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The Honourable Rachna Singh
Minister of Education and Child Care
Government of British Columbia
PO Box 9045 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E2
Dear Minister Singh,
Re: Follow-up Request for Adjustment of Pay Equity Supplement
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing as the Chair of the Board of Education of School District No. 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) to follow up on our previous communication dated February 25, 2021. We understand that this issue predates your tenure, and we appreciate your attention to this matter.
As you are aware, the principle of pay equity is to ensure equal pay for work of equal value, addressing historical disparities between typically male-dominated positions and female-dominated positions within the education system. We are grateful for the Ministry's commitment to pay equity, which began in the period 1998-2003. However, we are writing to urgently request the immediate adjustment of our District's Pay Equity Supplement to reflect the true cost of implementing Pay Equity as of 1998 or alternatively fund the District at the provincial average of Pay Equity supplements received by all Districts based on FTE.
In our previous letter, we highlighted how our District's progressive actions resulted in early compliance with pay equity principles, as early as 1992. Unfortunately, this led to an inequitable funding situation, where our District received a disproportionately lower amount of pay equity funds compared to other Districts. Over the past two decades, this funding disparity has amounted to tens of millions of dollars in lost funding for the students of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
We firmly believe that rolling the Pay Equity Supplement into the Operating Grant Block, as we proposed in our previous letter, would be a fair and equitable solution. We understand the potential challenges this may pose for some Districts, but in the long-term, it would benefit everyone and ensure a just distribution of resources.
We were encouraged by the Independent Panel for the Funding Model Review's recognition of this issue and their recommendation to add this special grant to the operating block. We sincerely hope that you can take action to rectify this inequity without negatively impacting other Districts.
Additionally, we would like to request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter further. A personal conversation would provide us with an opportunity to elaborate on the challenges our District faces and explore potential solutions together.
We thank you for your attention to this matter and your commitment to fairness and equality in the education system. Your support in addressing this longstanding issue would have a profound impact on the educational opportunities we can provide to the students in our District.
Looking forward to speaking with you further on this matter,
Letter from the Board of Education
July 19, 2023
RE: Camp Qwanoes
To our students and their families, staff and community members:
We would like to inform you that Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has made the decision to sever its partnership with Camp Qwanoes, effective July 1, 2023. This decision was made after careful consideration and evaluation of our district's values and commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and respect for all individuals.
At Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, we strive to create an educational environment that fosters equality and supports the well-being of every student, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by law. We believe in providing a safe and inclusive space for all members of our community.
Our decision to sever ties with Camp Qwanoes was influenced by our commitment to promoting an inclusive atmosphere. While we respect diverse beliefs and opinions, it is crucial that our partnerships align with our core values and the principles of non-discrimination.
We understand that change can raise questions and concerns. We are here to address any inquiries or provide support during this transition period. Our district remains dedicated to offering meaningful and inclusive opportunities for students outside the classroom, and we are actively exploring alternative partnerships and programs that align with our values.
We would like to emphasize that this decision was not made lightly. It reflects our ongoing commitment to providing a safe and inclusive educational experience for all students. We appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to strive for a respectful and accepting environment for everyone in our school community.
If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out to our Executive Director of Communications, Privacy & Community Engagement Mr. Dale Burgos at DirectorCommunications@sd68.bc.ca.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
In preparation for the 2023-24 school year, Learning Alternatives will transition two more programs to the Woodlands Secondary site. The move will create numerous benefits for the Learning Alternatives students while opening up classrooms for a growing student enrolment at John Barsby Secondary.
The two remaining programs at John Barsby, the Senior Learning Alternatives and RAVENS Lelum programs will move to its new home over the course of the next few months. All Learning Alternatives programs, with the exception of the Snuneymuxw Classroom and Nanaimo Correctional Centre, will operate out of the Woodlands site.
Hosting all programs at the same site facilitates easier movement between programs for students, enabling seamless transitions and relationship-building with staff. Additionally, consolidating programs at one location enhances administrative efficiency by eliminating travel time and keeping resources in one central location. The move will also allow the principal to provide stronger leadership, supervision, and build a cohesive community in one place.
These benefits emphasize improved student experiences, streamlined administrative processes, effective leadership, and the ability to accommodate growing enrolment as key advantages of moving a program from one school to another.