Presidents Report to the Membership-Summer 2018
As the new president of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society my first duty is to wholeheartedly thank Kathleen Bigsby our president since 2013, and new past-president. Kathleen’s leadership and guidance has been outstanding. I also wish to express my thanks to former board members Don Munton, Alex Cherkezoff, and Hamza Kamal for their contributions to the Society and to the centre.
The Board of Directors voted strongly in support of the Executive Committee’s proposal that the Society accept the final two outstanding issues regarding the proposed operating agreement with the Park Board (JOA): 1) wording in the Mutual Release regarding the pending court case and other events dated prior to the signing of the JOA, and 2) the provisions for management of the seniors’ lunch program.
Preservation of the seniors’ lunch service was a major objective of the Society in the JOA discussions. We are happy to report that once the JOA is signed the lunch services will become a regular program, with provisions that protect our license to serve our seniors’ community.
A remaining barrier to our signing the JOA is an invoice from the Park Board related to staff salaries. The two issues of concern are a portion of staff (e.g., reception staff and other auxiliary positions) salaries that have historically been paid by the Park Board (referred to as the Top-Up) and salaries for a small number of positions which in 2012 Park Board unilaterally moved from auxiliary positions to regular part time (referred to as RPT). The Society rejects the legitimacy of much of the invoice. Our position is supported by the many events and documents referenced below.
Chronology of Shared Staffing Costs between the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society and the Vancouver Park Board
- 1988 Park Board unilaterally converted Kerrisdale Society staff doing the same work as union employees at other centres to Park Board employees and union members. These employee positions became known as Group One. Park Board offered to pay the difference between what the Society had been paying for these positions and the new union rate; this is the “top-up.” The Park Board billed the Society for the balance. The ratio between the Society’s cost and the “top-up” (roughly 72:28) was to remain constant as wage rates increased. From 1990 to 2010 this arrangement continued without comment.
- 1989 City Council agreed to increase the Park Board’s base operating grant by the amount required to pay the “top-up.”
- 2010 Park Board demanded a one-time payment from CCAs and a waiver of the “top-up” by those CCAs with Group One employees. It agreed to cancel termination notices given to 12 programmers across the City if these demands were met. Memorandum of Understanding (March 1 2010) states that this agreement is for one year only.
- 2011 Park Board repeated its 2010 demands. CCAs refused to make the payment. Letter from Kerrisdale president to Park Board General Manager (January 2011) states that Kerrisdale agreed to a waiver of the “top-up” for an additional calendar year ending December 31 2011.
- 2012 Park Board unilaterally converted three Group One positions to Regular Part-time (RPT) positions despite Kerrisdale’s objections on operational grounds. Kerrisdale stated publicly and in writing to Park Board that it would not pay for these positions created without its consent. The Park Board motion presented to Park Board September 2011 confirms that the new RPT position would be funded through “the existing auxiliary budget at the specified
- 2012 Park Board invoiced Kerrisdale for the Group One “top-up” and for the RPT positions from 2011 to present. Kerrisdale deducted the “top-up” amount for the Group One positions and the amount charged for the RPT positions and paid the balance of each invoice.
- 2013-2017 This pattern of billing and payment continued. Park Board at no time contacted the Society to discuss the situation, nor did it issue invoices for payments in arrears.
- May 2017 Park Board sent the Society an invoice (17 May) for $966,105 for the unpaid portions of its invoices since 2012.July 2017 Park Board staff refused
to discuss the invoice until the Society agreed to sign the JOA.
- June-August 2017 The Society three (3) times requested documentation to support the Park Board’s invoice; on August 31 Park Board sent a copy of the March 2010 MOU.
- February 2018 Society asked Director of Recreation to discuss the invoice, but was told the matter had been referred to the City Legal department.
2018 February to present: discussions between City’ and Society’s lawyers have been unproductive.
In April we wrote to the Chair of the Park Board, Stuart Mackinnon, and other Commissioners requesting their assistance in resolving this financial barrier. The response from the Commissioners was to again refer the issue to Park Board staff and City’s legal department.
The Board of Directors looks forward to settling this financial dispute with a mutually agreeable resolution, signing the JOA, and getting back to our primary goal of providing recreation, social, arts, and cultural services to the Kerrisdale community.
Once the JOA between the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society and the Park Board is signed there will be a significant impact to the Society on the revenues from and costs of operating the centre. The major impact on revenues will be the loss of our ability to charge membership fees. Additional costs will include payment of 100% (vs. current ~72%) of auxiliary staff salaries, a revenue share (2% in 2019 and beyond) with the Park Board, and a share (a proportional share with other community centre associations) in the cost of the Active Net program registration system. The Society has initiated a detailed study of the effects of these changes on our ability to offer free programming and services, and on the fee structure of paid programming.
The 2018 Play Palace season began on April 10th, and the annual Society sponsored free family Play Place event was held on April 18th. This free event drew Play Palace enthusiasts from both Kerrisdale and nearby neighbourhoods. This free event is a great way to promote this healthful, family friendly activity.
If you use the east entry to the community centre you will have undoubtedly noted changes to the entry walkway. It was necessary to shift the sidewalk in order to protect the root structure of the large cherry tree. The Society has been working diligently with the Park Board to correct some initial errors in sidewalk design, and to generate a more open and inviting atmosphere for this space.
Finally, the Kerrisdale Community Centre has again been voted the “Best Community Centre” in the West side Vancouver. We thank the local readers of the Vancouver Courier for their support, and the Courier newspaper itself, for sponsoring this friendly competition. To complement this achievement, Kerrisdale was also voted the “Best Neighbourhood” in Vancouver.
Robert Lockhart, President