June 15/15: Board Meeting: The Record Off The Record: The Motion, Not The Member

P1: Disclaimer / Backgrounder (revised June 2015)
P2: Standing Committee / Board Meeting Report
P3: RROR / SD61 Applicable Bylaws / Letters from BC School Boards (revised June 2015)
P4:  SD61 DPAC Constitution excerpts / School Act re DPACs

Links for more info /sources underlined.

Regular transgressions of this important principle by some long time Board members regularly derail debate:

Robert’s Rules of Order 11th Edition: Debate on the Question p 42 / p 43: “Speakers must address their remarks to the Chair. Debate must be confined to the merits of the pending question. ..and…should avoid injecting a personal tone into debate. …they must never attack or make any allusion to the motives of members.” // p 392: “The measure, not the member, is the subject of debate.”

As well, this article of SD61 Bylaw 9368 Procedure has never been enforced. Bylaws are kind of a big deal. Enforcing this Bylaw could really focus debate in SD61 Board meetings.

“104.02 Trustees shall be permitted to debate only upon a motion, as herein provided, and each trustee shall be limited to the opportunity to speak once to any motion,…

The Record Off The Record is  my personal record of / commentary on SD61 Board & Standing Committee meetings. Meeting agendas posted on SD61 website Friday before the meeting.

Trustees and student representatives referred to by last name only for brevity; “The Board of Education of SD No. 61 (Greater Victoria)”  referred to as “the Board”. No audio or video recordings of Standing Committee meetings, only of Board meetings. Motions may be shortened but retain essential wording. Seconders not noted.

Sticky post: Motions and Trustee Voting Records  January 2012 – March 2015.

  •  Record of motions carried on SD61 website, but  motions that fail are equally interesting. (Appear in the minutes, along with vote, but not officially until a month after the meeting.)

Next Meetings
Thurs June 25: Last day of school for students
Tues Sept 8/15: School opening
Mon Sept 14/15 7 pm: Education Policy Development Committee

SD61 Greater Victoria School District: Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal, part of Saanich and the Highlands, and the Traditional Territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

In Camera meetings

  • Legally required reports posted beside relevant meeting. (Click “view all” on Bylaws, Policies and Regs menu).
  • “Section 72” refers to Section 72 (3) BC School Act :  “ A board must prepare a record containing a general statement as to the nature of the matters discussed and the general nature of the decisions reached at a meeting from which persons other than trustees or officers of the board, or both, were excluded, and the record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any person, who may make copies and extracts on payment of a fee set by the board.” [Antique process now that these are posted online.] Key word: “general”.
  • Any report beyond very basic one required must be done by in camera motion / majority vote.
  • SD61 Bylaw 9360.1: “In-camera items that may be discussed confidentially include legal, property, personnel and privacy matters as defined by provincial legislation. [Note, not “limited to”.] Full board meetings must be held in public unless the board decides that it is in the public’s interest to hold a private session (closed or in-camera meeting). However, it is important not to abuse this power. Potential controversy or embarrassment to the board is not usually sufficient reasons for an in-camera meeting.” [“Never” might be better wording.]
  • Civic governments bound by Community Charter (except City of Vancouver); move into in camera meetings by public motion of Council. Public has to leave for  duration of secret meeting, then come back. School Boards governed by  BC School Act which states that Chairs can set in camera meetings before public meetings.

Trustees  assigned by the Chair as members of the two standing committees, Ed Policy and Operations Policy. Agenda setting is the prerogative of the Chair, with input from senior administration.

OPPS: Chair Leonard; McNally, Paynter, Whiteaker (Loring-Kuhanga)
Ed Policy: Chair Nohr; Ferris, Orcherton, Watters (Loring-Kuhanga)

  • External Trustee Liaison assignments made by  Chair to groups which replied “yes” to last year’s  District query re their desire to have a Trustee liaison, so fewer than for the 2012-2015  Board term, and for many years before that. [No one has been able to find a contact for  Vancouver Island Labour Relations Association since I started asking a few years ago,so my position as elected rep to VILRA may not last for as many years as the previous rep’s did.]

Assign & Family of Schools JAN.15

Trustee attendance:

  • Don’t “have to”  attend Standing Committee if not assigned. Advisable though for keeping up with motions.
  •  SD61 now has an Attendance Manager to “encourage and support” return to work for employees (even though SD61 employees generally below provincial average in sick days, and generally under number of negotiated available days in Collective Agreements, and have union-contracted return to work provisions through their own providers).
  • Trustees can miss almost 3 months of meetings – just not show up – ie. miss 6 Standing Committees, and 2 Board meetings, with no reason given, no cut in pay, and no approval required from the Board:

School Act, BC: Trustee disqualification from holding office: 52 (2) If a trustee is continuously absent from board meetings for a period of 3 consecutive months, unless the absence is because of illness or with the leave of the board, the office of the member is deemed to be vacant and the person who held the office is disqualified from holding office as a trustee until the next general school election.


About Diane McNally