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June is the month that BCRTA sets our budget, and a time when we review year-to-date results. For the current 2018-2019 fiscal year a projected budget deficit of $33,415 was approved at the 2018 AGM. This year we found that fewer teachers are retiring, so our membership growth was not quite as high as we anticipated. As we reviewed the trends, directors heightened their awareness of spending, without slowing our efforts to serve members through projects in progress and organizational momentum. A detailed review by staff of all business expenditures resulted in some savings. Some directors also found savings by having fewer committee meetings when possible, saving on travel costs. The result is that while income was slightly below projected, expenses were significantly less than budgeted and BCRTA is not in a deficit position for this year.

For the coming year 2019-20, the Finance Committee is taking a cautious but more confident approach to projected revenue and expenses. For clarity of reporting, the expense section of the projected budget will look slightly different. It will enable Directors to easily track committee expenses and will also be more transparent for members. The Board will be recommending a budget with a small deficit of just over $3,000.

To continue to provide and increase services to members, the Board will also be recommending a fee increase to $42 for the following 2020-2021 year, which begins on July 1, 2020. This five percent increase will be the first change to fees in three years, and tracks with inflation.

In May the Finance Committee formed an ad hoc committee to review committee members’ travel and accommodation eligibility. The purpose of the review was to bring clarity, consistency, and standard administrative procedures for handling expense claims. The following changes will be added to expense vouchers and the BCRTA handbook.

  • Hotel accommodation for Metro area members will be provided if they live further than the Surrey/Langley border.
  • In the event a BCRTA Director or member is required to attend multi-day meetings, then he/she may obtain overnight accommodation to facilitate attendance at these meetings.
  • Travel and/or accommodation requests that fall outside of existing policy must have prior approval of the Finance Committee Chairperson.
  • No reimbursement will be made for any unauthorized expenses until authorization has been obtained.
  • In the Guide to BCRTA Zone Meeting Expenses:
  • 5 (c) the rate for hotel accommodation shall be no more than $145.00 plus tax per night.

Please note that travel and/or accommodation requests that fall outside of existing policy will be considered on the basis of time, combined cost (e.g., road + air), weather conditions and disabilities.

Travel reimbursement has been increased to $ .54 per km. This is in keeping with the new BCTF rate.

Grace Wilson
1st VP and Treasurer