School Board Meeting Minutes: June 3, 2013 - Special
Category : School Board Meeting - Minutes
Published by Michelle MacLeod [Michelle MacLeod] on 06/18/2013

Central Office
Sydney, N.S.
June 3, 2013



A Special Board meeting of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was called to order today beginning at 6:57 p.m.


Present: Lorne Green, Chair Jack Toomey Darrell Flynn
Barb Mercer Yvonne Kennedy Joan Currie
John Berk Fred Tilley Darren Googoo
Joyce Lind Stewart Matheson Steve Parsons
Regrets: Jackie Organ Gary Fraser Sandra Margettie
Absent: Kevin Ruelland
Also, Present:
Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources
Paul Oldford, Director of Operational Services
Susan Kelley, Director of Programs and Student Services
George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services
Michelle MacLeod, Board Recording Secretary


a. Commissioner Berk – Middle River School
b. Commissioner Berk – School Review Meeting
c. Commissioner Green – Hiring Policy

(4) Human Resources Report:


Moved by Commissioner Tilley
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board accept with regret and thanks for years of service the following resignation(s)/retirement(s)



Classification Employed in





Byron Best

General Maintenance/Whitney Pier


Aug 30, 2013


Brian Curtis

Bus Driver/Transportation Dept.


May 31, 2013


John Joseph MacNeil

Bus Driver/Transportation Dept.

Early retirement

May 14, 2013


Bruce Marsh

Bus Driver/Transportation Dept.


May 15, 2013

Motion carried


i. NSTU Resignation(s)/Retirement(s):

Moved by Commissioner Flynn
Seconded by Commissioner Googoo

That the Board accept with regret and thanks for years of service the following resignation(s)/retirement(s)

Employee #






Lina Vickers

Riverside Elementary

July 31, 2013



Catherine Lever

John Bernard Croak

July 31, 2013

Motion carried

ii. NSTU Request for a Leave of Absence from Administrative duties:

Moved by Commissioner Tilley
Seconded by Commissioner Mercer

That the Board accept the following request to take a leave of absence from administrative duties. . .

Employee #






Maxine Hardy

Cape Smokey Elementary


August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014



Coreen Carroll-Coleman

Malcolm Munroe Jr. High


August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014

Motion carried

(5) Committee for AGM – CBVRSB 2014:

Board Chair Lorne Green noted that he would like to see a committee formed whether a committee of the whole was favored it would make the tasks of all Board members that much less strenuous. A consensus was reached by those in attendance to work as a Committee of the Whole and then possibly move forward with subcommittees.

It was further noted that we would need to book dates, location and select a theme for the event.

Consensus was reached to contact the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre to ensure booking.

Clarification was requested with regards to budget costs. One hundred rooms will approximately be needed with approximately 100 for dinner. May 29, 30 and 31st would be the approximate dates.


Mr. George Boudreau, Director of Financial Services noted that a high level summary was provided to the Board at a Special Board meeting at Cabot last Monday evening. He further noted that we are still awaiting permission from the Department for additional funding. He noted that we will receive further reductions with the closure of the Southside Learning Centre. With additional retirements, approved earlier this evening, and possibly more to come, the Board will also receive further savings.

Commissioner Parsons noted he is not questioning the numbers which were presented however he is questioning the process. He reiterated his support for the presentation made with regards to Teacher Assistant staffing noting it was well done. His perception of the possibility of eliminating fourteen cleaners was disappointing. He felt that we were targeting the frontline workers of the Board. He would of liked to have seen more done through administration.

He further noted that last year was the first year that management was impacted by the budget and it was his opinion that it was only done as a directive by the Board.

He also noted that any budget needs to provide some flexibility for increased costs through the year; ie. heating, fuel, increase substitute costs, etc. He also noted we took busses off through attrition and yet we are not eliminating Head Bus Driver positions. He also noted that no other Board has that many in place.

He noted that not one offer has been put forward to eliminate any positions in management. He would also like for the Board to go through the budget line by line as done in previous years. He said we did not review with due diligence management. He further asked if reductions in management were even considered by administration.

He suggested that the IT position which is 50% DOE and 50% Board paid be considered as a 50% gain for the Board. He further questioned the status of two database managers. He stressed the importance of due diligence. Were we fair to all workers in our Board.

He noted that administration has never brought a recommendation forward to reduce its size.

Commissioner Tilley noted that we are using standards and being conservative in determining our estimates which allows the Board some flexibility.

He supported taking a broader approach at looking at the budget. He would like to see staffing changes tied to capacity rather than budgets. A more comprehensive report of all areas of the Board should occur when it relates to all staffing areas. He felt we now have a solid budget to support.

Commissioner Googoo noted that we are here to govern however at this point he feels strongly that we have a solid budget. We have made significant cuts to management which were mandated by government. He noted the Head Bus Driver positions are only managing a couple of hours a day and during the other hours they are serving as bus drivers.

Commissioner Parsons further noted that he has requested an overtime report which to date he has not received.

Commissioner Flynn noted he would of liked to have seen a presentation on the respective organization charts. He further requested clarification on the number of retirements/resignations within CUPE vs NSTU.

Commissioner Mercer noted that she feels student achievement needs to be the primary focus during budget deliberations

Commissioner Parsons strongly stated that no teachers will be laid off and yet we are laying off CUPE staff.

(7) New Business:

a. Commissioner Berk – Middle River School – He invited all Board members and staff to the fiftieth anniversary of the school on June 8, 2013.

b. Commissioner Berk – School Review Meeting – He requested a united front on how the Board wishes to approach this session. It was noted by Commissioner Mercer that correspondence was forwarded by the Board Chairs across the province requesting more time and further deliberations. Commissioner Mercer noted that she received correspondence late today noting that the meeting will not be changed and will be moving ahead as planned.

Commissioner Googoo noted he doesn’t see how the process can be made more palatable. He would like to see the Boards provided more planning time.

Commissioner Berk noted he would like to see the whole process scraped and more thought given to a positive approach. It was questioned whether it could be done in a less adversarial way. The Board Chair noted that by possibly taking it away from Boards and the Department and hiring a third party to make the decisions may work.

c. Commissioner Green – Hiring Policy – He noted he has been dealing with an issue of an individual who has been refused to be interviewed because he is working full-time. He has reviewed the policy and doesn’t state anywhere that you can’t be interviewed. He further suggested that we are violating his human rights.

Mrs. Beth MacIsaac, Director of Human Resources noted that part of a casual employees status is that you need to be available for work. If you are not available, then you are to be removed from the casual list.

The second question would be, is there a need for additions to the casual list for any particular classification.

Ms. MacIsaac will check the file and report back to the committee.

(8) Adjournment of the meeting. . .

the meeting adjourned at 8:49 p.m.