LangleyAdvance Your community newspaper since 1931 Thursday, December 13, 2012 Breaking news, sports, and entertainment: www.langleyadvance.com Audited circulation: 40,026 – 48 pages Education SELLING LANGLEY ONE YARD AT A TIME B.C. forces school cuts Call KEITH SETTER for a FREE Market Evaluation 604-533-3491 The B.C. government is making Langley and other school district find millions more in cuts. by Heather Colpitts email@example.com The Langley School District has to find more than $7 million more in cuts in its budget to fund provincially mandated wage settlements. Every provincial public sector employee whose contracts expire on or after Dec. 31, 2011 falls under the B.C. government’s 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. The province isn’t providing any additional funding for these wage settlements. “I think it’s ridiculous to come to boards,” said Trustee Megan Dykeman. “Obviously there’s going to be impacts to the district. I think it’s completely unacceptable downloading.” She went on to criticize the provincial government’s use of “Orwellian doublespeak” by calling it cooperative when districts have no say in it. “I think Employers, such it’s as school districts must create savings ridiculous plans to “free up to from within existing budgets to provide come to modest compensaboards.” tion increases,” the Megan Ministry of Finance Dykeman says. Staff informed the board around October of the province’s mandate and has been working on the problem. The province sent a reminder letter in early December. “You’re still required to have a balanced budget and find extra money,” said secretary-treasurer David Green. “It’s obviously a very challenging mandate.” The district will have to find about $429,000 this year for CUPE agreements, and about twice that next year to meet the two per cent per year increases. The province has said districts can come up with 1.5 per cent this year, and then 2.5 per cent next year to make up the four per cent. The savings must be found by mid-January so the provicial bargaining unit can start talks with CUPE for its contract that expired in June. For 2013/2014 teacher contracts, the district must find $2 million and $4 million for the year after. About $300,000 will be needed for non-union staff increases (for example principals, vice principals and administration). The Cooperative Gains Mandate does not allow employers to reduce service levels nor transfer costs of existing services to the public. The savings must be found through “operational cost reductions, increased efficiency, service redesign, business gains, and other initiatives.” Langley has struggled in recent years to clear off its books a $13.75 million deficit and under the guidence of the B.C. Auditor General’s office expects to have it paid off by the end of this school year, earlier than required. Treeland Realty We Pay Cash NOW Gold & Silver For your scrap Turn your scrap … gold inato vacation 604-534-8845 20369 56 Ave., Langley (Behind the Baseline Pub) Get a FREE 10 Year Warranty with the purchase of any Miele Vacuum before December 30, 2012. 01031910 • paid bills • ith the family • a night out w thes clo w • ne Troy Landreville Langley Advance photos Songs of the season Guitarist Dave Walsh, Officer in Charge of Ridge Meadows RCMP Detachment, led a choir of musical Mounties who sang Christmas classics Tuesday at the Langley Seniors Village. Above right – Langley Seniors Village resident Cory Brearley listened intently. See story online at www. langleyadvance.com. LANGLEY #1-19638 Fraser Hwy. 604-530-7501 SOUTH SURREY #600-15355 24th Ave. 604-531-7614 www.biggarysvacuums.com Rivermen TEDDY BEAR TOSS Friday, Dec. 14 Fans: bring your stuffed toys to the LEC for the game, and when the Rivermen score their first goal, throw them on the ice! All toys will be donated to children in need!