School Board Meeting Minutes: May 12, 2008- Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 05/28/2008

Central Office
Sydney, N.S.
May 12, 2008



A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School board was called to order today beginning at 5:00 p.m.



Sandra Margettie, Acting-Chair Fred Tilley George MacDonald
Cathi Pierrard Stan MacKinnon Myrtle Campbell
Charlie Keagan Joan Currie Lorne Green
Sandra Margettie Kevin Ruelland Dr. Andrew Lynk

Absent: Darlene Morrison Gary Fraser Darren Googoo

Also, Present:

N.E. Davis, Superintendent of Schools
B. MacIsaac, Director of Human Resource Services
A. White, Director of Operational Services
J. Astephen, Director of Programs & Student Services
G. Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
V. Hanham, Coordinator of Human Resources
M. Passerini, Coordinator of Human Resources
Bernie MacKinnon, Coordinator of Human Resources
Mr. Jim Burton, Director of Regional Educational Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary
Commissioner Tilley participated through a conference call.


a) Commissioner Green - Casual Maintenance - electricians


Mrs. MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources reviewed the negotiations for the new CUPE Collective agreement. It was noted that the effective date would be April, 2007.

Commissioner Campbell questioned the status of those individuals who participated in the Environmental Building systems program and the reclassification of those individuals. It was noted by Mrs. MacIsaac that further investigation will be needed regarding these individuals.

Moved by Commissioner Tilley

Seconded by Commissioner Pierrard

that the Board approve the Memorandum of Agreement with regards to the CUPE Framework agreement. . .

Motion carried



Mr. Boudreau, Director of Financial Services noted that to date he has not received the profile sheets for the fiscal year 2008-2009. It was noted however that the preliminary funding amounts, for public education for the Province of Nova Scotia was shared with the Chief Financial Officer, Superintendents and Board Chairs.

He wished to assure the Board that we need to be cautious and that overall funding for 2008-2009 is not promising.

He advised the Board that to bring forward a status quo budget for 2008-2009, (which would include known economic creases for such things as teacher increments, license change, heating fuel, bus fuel, benefits, etc.) would mean that our Budget expenditures would have to increase in access of $4,800.000 over last year′s budgeted expenditures.

Commissioner MacDonald questioned whether we should be publicly speaking out regarding this issue and whether we should be contacting our local Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Davis, Superintendent, expressed his disappointment with regards to funding and the impact on our board. He was also disconcerted over the issue of the Education Program at Cape Breton University and the fact that only forty seats were granted, that the seats were targeted for specific programs and that the funding was provided to the universities on the backs of the Public Education program.

Mr. Davis felt that the Department of Education should be compensating the Board′s for the increase in heating oil. It was noted that this was conducted in the past however we have already been advised that they will not be subsidizing us this year.

(6) STAFFING FOR 2008 - 2009:

In light of the presentation made by Mr. Boudreau regarding the budget for the upcoming school year Mrs. MacIsaac began her presentation noting that a review of the staffing requests received from various schools throughout the Board were considered and that all schools were reviewed.

Mr. Bernie MacKinnon, Coordinator of Human Resources presented three options to the Board to review.

Commissioner Ruelland was extremely upset with the scenarios which were presented. He was not upset with staff however he was upset with the Department of Education over the decision the Board will be forced to make.

Commissioner MacDonald wished to see the preferred staffing plan to be accepted while reviewing the itinerant staffing to gain the other seven positions which are needed.

Commissioner Ruelland, MacDonald and Commissioner Lynk wished to advise the public through the media of the devastation our Board will be experiencing by the status quo budget. Commissioner Lynk would like to see some room for flexibility to address concerns for classes that are struggling due to the high numbers of special needs students.

Commissioner MacKinnon thanked staff for their hard work and struggle to achieve the highlighted cuts throughout our Board. Commissioner Keagan agreed and reminded the Board of their obligation to make tough decisions in order to achieve a balanced budget.

Commissioner Tilley left the meeting at 6:00 p.m.

The preferred program which was reviewed included fifteen classroom cuts and would include a review of itinerant programs to achieve the other seven positions required to balance the budget.

Commissioner Currie noted that the cuts noted this year will really hurt our schools however she also recognized that staff worked hard to present three scenarios for the Board to review.

Moved by Commissioner Campbell

Seconded by Commissioner MacDonald

that the Board approve the preferred NSTU classroom staffing plan for the 2008 - 2009 school year which was presented by the Human Resources Department (attached to the original minutes) . . .

Motion carried


Commissioner Lynk requested Senior staff to advise the Cape Breton Members of the Legislative Assembly are notified of the impact the budget will have on our Board.

The Board agreed they wished to see a release made to the media noting our concerns and the effects that it will have on programs. These actions are to be considered, once the funding profile for our Board is received.


Schools which have requested an increase in administrative time were Cusack/Cornwallis/Ashby, Sherwood Park and Greenfield Elementary. It was noted that due to the hardship of achieving the cuts which we were mandated to achieve we are unable to increase any administrative time. It was also noted that a meeting will occur with St. Anne′s school with regards to the administrative time they are presently receiving. Mrs. MacIsaac reiterated that we do not have the capacity to increase any administrative time and that all schools were treated fairly throughout the review.

Commissioner Ruelland wished to see all sites treated equally and would appreciate a report back to the Board after the schools are advised of the proposed changes.

Mrs. Beth MacIsaac advised the Board that a principal is required for the Adult Day School to cover all

sites along with a teaching vice principal. It was noted that the positions are already in place, however a nominal increase would have to be incurred for administrative allowance for the principal and vice principal.

Moved by Commissioner MacDonald

Seconded by Commissioner Lynk

that the Board approve a Principal and Vice Principal for the Adult Day School. . .

Motion carried



Mrs. Beth MacIsaac noted that we have identified twenty-six incoming primaries which will require support. Mr. Victor Hanham, Coordinator of Human Resources noted that meetings were conducted with principals throughout the Board with the participation of the Student Services division, Miss Cathy Viva.

Commissioner Campbell questioned whether site visits were conducted. Mr. Hanham noted that various representatives from the program division have been regularly visiting our schools and have offered their full support throughout the process.


a) Commissioner Green - Casual Maintenance - electricians - Commissioner Green wished tobe advised of who conducted the interviews of the recently hired casual electricians and wished to see the comments which were made by one of the Maintenance Supervisors addressed.

Commissioner Green expressed his frustration over the fact that electricians were recruited for casual work without an official posting for applications.

Mr. Ambrose White, Director of Operational Services noted that an ad was placed in the local newspaper for tradespeople and interviews will be conducted to add additional staff to our lists.

Mrs. Beth MacIsaac recognized that the issue of hiring needs to be streamlined and all applications should be received at the Human Resources Department.

Commissioner Green noted that a screening process was omitted and he wished to see this issue addressed.

Commissioner Lynk requested that the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Operational Services prepare a report regarding this issue for the next Management Committee meeting.

(10) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

The meeting adjourned at 6:58 p.m.

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