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B-160-BR: Trustee Honouraria and Expense Reimbursement


  • B-160
  • Education Act Sec. 51, Sec 33(1)
  • Trustee Handbook

  1. Budget
    1. The Board Governance Budget will be developed and approved during the annual budget process subject to the following considerations.
      1. The budget will specify allocations for the chair, vice chair and each trustee.
        1. The allocations to the chair, vice chair and the trustees are individual budgets and are not to be exceeded.  The allocations to the board members are as follows: chair $39,220, vice chair $34,623, and trustees $32,556.  Amounts are prorated for the chair’s and vice chair’s terms, as applicable.
        2. The trustee’s individual budget will cover trustee honouraria (67% of the trustee’s total budget), statutory benefits (3% of the trustee’s total budget) and expenses (30% of the trustee’s total budget). 
        3. It is understood that once an individual trustee’s expense budget has been exceeded, the amount of the individual trustee’s monthly honouraria will be arbitrarily reduced to allow for the additional expenditures to be reimbursed.  Therefore, receipts will need to be continued to be submitted on a timely basis.
      2. The budget will also specify an amount for general board expenses.  General board expenses will cover board functions, board directed activities and board elections.
      3. During the budget year, amendments to the specific allocations within the approved board governance budget may be made after consideration and approval by the board.
      4. Trustees who attend the Alberta School Board Association (ASBA) Spring and Fall General Meeting, the Public School Board Association of Alberta (PSBAA) and/or the Public School Boards Council Spring General Assembly and Fall Conference and AGM are permitted to have the cost of registration for these events sourced from a separate general board expense account as opposed to their individual trustee account for the cost of registration for these events.
      5. If the funds for registrations to 1.1.4. are not accessed, then the dollars are returned to the instructional block for distribution back to the schools.
  2. Annual Adjustments
    1. The board governance budget and individual trustee budgets are to be adjusted for the percentage change in the basic instructional grant.  The resulting amounts will be rounded to the nearest dollar.
  3. Honouraria
    1. Trustee honouraria in Section will be divided into twelve equal installments and paid monthly.  The final installment of the fiscal year will include any unused budget room from the individual trustee’s statutory benefits and expense accounts.
    2. Trustee honouraria is intended to include reimbursement for the following items: (The following items are examples.  This is not an exhaustive list.)
      1. preparation for and attendance at regular board meetings;
      2. attendance at concerts, plays, art shows and sports events;
      3. attendance at social functions of the staff (e.g. retirements);
      4. informal, unsolicited school or office visits and individual meetings with members of the staff or public;
      5. travel within St. Albert;
      6. special board meetings;
      7. meetings of committees of the board;
      8. school council meetings;
      9. meetings with division staff and tours of facilities as planned by the   board;
      10. other division meetings on behalf of the board;
      11. board sponsored events;
      12. Alberta School Boards Association zone meetings;
      13. Canadian School Boards Association, Alberta School Boards Association, and Public School Boards Association of Alberta events;
      14. other workshops, conventions, seminars, and retreats;
      15. attendance at school functions, other than those identified in 3.2.2, where formally invited by the school or designated by the board;
      16. attendance at external meetings as the board’s representative; and
      17. attendance at meetings held by other organizations when invited as a trustee.
  4. Communicative Device Allowance
    1. A monthly allowance is provided for a basic plan, as determined by administration, for a communicative device (e.g. cell phone).
  5. Benefits
    1. Benefit coverage is optional.
    2. A trustee may access a benefit package or a portion of a benefit package that has previously been agreed upon by the Board of Trustees.
    3. The package offered shall be with a carrier or facilitated by a carrier the division already deals with.
    4. If subscribed to by an individual trustee, the cost of benefits will be deducted from amounts otherwise paid to them.
  6. Expense Reimbursement
    1. The following will be approved for reimbursement in accordance with sound business practices and division practices:
      1. expenses actually incurred by trustees in the performance of their official duties and not reimbursed by any other source;
      2. expenses actually incurred in attending division functions, such as retirements and concerts;
      3. the cost of the ticket to attend St. Albert community sponsored events when invited as a trustee;
      4. travel expenses for travel outside the greater St. Albert area as per the Trustee Handbook; and
      5. individual trustee expense claims for alcoholic beverages will not receive reimbursement.
  7. Approval, Payment and Recording
    1. Payment of expenses will be made following presentation of an expense report form and approval by the chair of the board and the secretary-treasurer.  The vice chair will approve expense reports submitted by the chair.  Expense report forms are counter-signed, for accounting approval, by the secretary-treasurer.
    2. It is understood that once an individual trustee’s expense budget has been reached, the amount of the individual trustee’s monthly honouraria will be arbitrarily adjusted to allow for the additional expenditures to be reimbursed.  Therefore, receipts will need to be continued to be submitted on a timely basis.
    3. Expenditure receipts are required to be submitted for reimbursement so that they can be tracked internally and reported externally (e.g. audited financial statements, public disclosure of travel and expense claims initiative).
  8. Division Purchasing Cards
    1. Trustees will be given the option of being issued a division purchasing card upon request, subject to the following restrictions.
      1. The purchasing card will be used for approved trustee business.
      2. Detailed receipts will be retained by the trustee and submitted to the secretary-treasurer by the time the monthly payment on the purchasing card is due.
      3. Statements will be submitted directly to the division by the purchasing card issuer.
      4. The statements will be subjected to the same approval process as other trustee expenses.
      5. The chair will have a purchasing card credit limit of $5,000. Other trustees will have a purchasing card credit limit of $2,000.
      6. Except in exceptional circumstances, the charges on the individual trustee’s purchasing card will be charged to their individual budget.  In the exceptional circumstance, some charges, typically incurred by the chair, will be charged to the board governance general account.
      7. Board approval on any expense in the amount of $5,000 or higher.
  9. Trustee Professional Development Fund
    1. Underlying Principles
      1. Professional development is a key strategy that a trustee may utilize to gain insight as well as to assist them to confirm and revise beliefs and understandings regarding educational trends and issues.
      2. Each trustee is permitted to access the Trustee Professional Development Fund to:
        1. cover expenses (travel, accommodations, meals and at their discretion registrations (also see B-160-BR subsection 1.1.4) to attend the annual/semi-annual general meetings of the Alberta School Boards Association and the Public School Boards Association of Alberta; and/or
        2. cover expenses (registrations, travel, accommodations, meals) to attend an educational conference or meeting in Canada or the continental USA.
    2. Amount
      1. Each trustee will have access to a budget line amount of $10,000 within their term to be utilized to cover expenses to attend conferences or meetings of educational relevance in Canada or the continental USA.
      2. The Trustee Professional Development Fund will be prorated, based on calendar days if an incoming trustee’s term is less than four (4) years.
    3. Guidelines
      1. A trustee may access their account within a term until the fund is depleted.  A trustee can utilize their professional development fund to attend more than one conference or meeting within their election term.
      2. A trustee may utilize funds from their regular trustee budget in combination with their professional development account balance to attend a conference or meeting.
      3. Trustees will submit detailed expense receipts that will be subject to the same approval process as other trustee expenses as detailed in section 7.1.
      4. At the end of a trustee’s term any unused professional development funds are transferred to the board governance general surplus/deficit account.