B. Statement of Financial Information – Questions [presented as information by the Secretary-Treasurer, pages 20-22 of the agenda packup.]
Loring-Kuhanga: Notice of motion for Board meeting November 18 regarding further budget deliberations. This District is facing a possible shortfall of $11 million in the coming year which would lead to further cuts.
A. WorkSafe BC Cost Summary: information from Secretary-Treasurer
The Secretary-Treasurer presented information on total payments to WorkSafe by SD61. Worksafe works on a calendar year rate. It was reported that every penny saved in the net premium rate saves the District $12,000.
|Net premium rate||.79||.74||.59|
- Alpha: Why have surcharges lessened?
- Secretary-Treasurer: Unclear.
- Nohr: What is the source of the surcharge?
- Leonard: Will be explained at next OPPS meeting.
From the WorkSafe website: “WorkSafeBC does not operate to make a profit, so the premiums you pay go entirely towards funding the workers’ compensation system for B.C. Any surplus funds from operations are returned to employers through rate reductions. … WorkSafeBC’s experience rating plan was designed with industry to reward employers with good safety records. The safer you are, the less you pay. If your relative claims costs are low, you can earn discounts of up to 50 percent on your rate over a period of time through our experience rating plan. Competitors who have high relative claims costs could pay as much as a 100 percent surcharge.”
- GVTA 1st VP: The GVTA is looking at systems to increase safety in the workplace. The surcharge is related to the number of clams in a workplace and the number of individuals off work. Is there a record or analysis fro WorkSafe that would clarify who is most affected? BC statistics say Education Assistants (CUPE 947) are most at risk. How much of this situation is tied to the fact that they are the frontline workers and seriously impacted by cuts? What does the .04 surcharge represent?
- Alpha: Surcharge moving from $168,000 to $48,000 is good, but need a detailed analysis of who is getting hurt: age, gender, position.
B. Attendance Awareness – information from Director of Human Resources [if you don’t already know who this is, it’s difficult or impossible to find out via the SD61 website.]
- Director of HR: Attendance management program would be “relationship and conversation-led approach”. [Presented a chart showing average number of absences annually by employee group; showed all groups have fewer days of absence on average than what the contractual entitlement is. Most groups are allowed 15 days annually.]
|Absence Summary SD61|
|CUPE 947 (inside workers)||10.23|
|CUPE 382 (outside)||10.33|
|Principals and Vice-Principals||6.19|
|All employee groups||10.34|
- [I get 8.5 as an average of these numbers but maybe I don’t have all the information.]
- Orcherton: Helped develop attendance management for Union in Ministry of Health. One day’s reduction in absences resulted n significant savings. Someone would be hired in SD61 to manage this program. It’s a case of spend money to save money.
- Ferris: Notice of motion: That the Board implement an attendance program.
- McNally: This is a real morale buster for employees. People are on average under the days they are given on contract for sick days. Case loads for EAs and class size and composition issues for teachers, and the cuts to Facilities result in employees trying to do ever more; as a teacher have seen members of an employee group in tears from the stress of the caseload. What is the cost-benefit analysis when comparing the salary of the potential new administrator to be hired, with the possible savings to the District, while including the loss of employee morale?
- Nohr: Would like to see a summary of employee groups’ reactions and thoughts.
- Director of HR: Will be provided.
- Alpha: Employees don’t need management’s intervention in “wellness”. This is about underfunding and working conditions.Averages for SD61 are below the provincial averages. We should be celebrating the hard work of our employees. Will not support hiring of another administrator.
- Horsman: Back to work individual was very helpful at work during serious illness. Would not have been able to negotiate paperwork without her.
[This is not the same thing as attendance management. Employee groups in SD61 already have back to work support, assistance targeted to employees who are already off work for a relatively long term. Using the BCTF teacher employee group as an example, a community based professional return to work consultant, paid for by the BCTF, will assist teachers who need support in a return to work. Members of this employee group do not need to be off work to access wellness support paid for by their union. SD61 employees can also apparently access support from Homewood Human Solutions. Annoyingly, the Homewood website refers to “absenteeism”, a term in general use that is subtly pejorative and implies a sort of career choice of typically being absent from work. “Absence” is neutral.]
- Orcherton: Sometimes employees need it pointed out… .there is a right way to do things…if you’re not ill you’re not entitled to the leave. We will have to find large amounts of money next year. It’s how it’s handled.
- GVTA 1st VP: The GVTA first heard about this on Friday, 3 days ago. GVTA has a lot of concerns. Attendance management is being attempted throughout the province. Do you think sick time is not being used for illness?
- Director of HR: Some individuals’ records show a lot of use of Mondays and Fridays.
- GVTA 1st VP: So you are saying there is fraud going on?
- Director of HR: It’s hard to replace staff on Mondays and Fridays.
- GVTA 1st VP: Does a small percentage or employees exhibiting this justify hiring another administrator? The underlying message is “We don’t trust you”. A wellness program already exists free of charge in the District. Employees have the “conversation” with each other. Absences create more work for the individual who is absent. This initiative is meant to control.
- Principals’ Representative: I am the “system” as a principal. I could use help with that and would welcome advice and statistics re employee who is absent in patterns.
- Loring-Kuhagna: People on average are not taking all their contractual days they are allowed. We need to trust our employees. We will probably see more illness as more cuts happen.