National Post (Latest Edition)

Alberta to place ‘clear limits’ on school superinten­dent pay

Salary structure now in line with B.C., Ontario

- Dean Bennett

EDMONTON • Alberta is reducing almost all salaries paid to school superinten­dents after a review found they were earning too much and revealed that $10,000 in college costs were covered for one superinten­dent’s children.

The government, citing contract privacy rules, won’t reveal the superinten­dent’s name.

Other perks found in the review of 74 contracts included a $1,200 annual gym membership and benefits ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 for superinten­dents to essentiall­y spend as they saw fit.

Also, 17 contracts had retirement allowances or severance payments that included up to a year’s full salary.

Education Minister David Eggen said those benefits will not be allowed under new salary rules.

“Clear limits for superinten­dent pay will help ensure public funds continue to be put where they can do the most good for Alberta’s students while ensuring boards can continue to recruit top leaders,” Eggen said Friday.

The changes will only affect new contracts.

Ministry of Education officials did not immediatel­y release bottom-line compensati­on numbers, but said the changes will reduce 67 of the 74 contracts the next time around. No one is getting a pay increase as a result.

Future contracts under a new grid will pay a minimum of $60,000 to a maximum of $275,000 for the biggest school boards.

Eggen announced the review in March following reports of widely varying contracts, including a pending offer of $430,000 to Joan Carr of the Edmonton Catholic School Board.

Eggen refused to sign off on Carr’s contract pending the review and any deal Carr signs now will be subject to the salary cap.

Terry Harris, chair of the Catholic board, said “Joan has reaffirmed her decision of Jan. 23, 2018, to continue her leadership of the Edmonton Catholic School District until Aug. 31, 2020.”

Christophe­r MacPhee, president of the College of Alberta School Superinten­dents, responded in a news release, but did not address the perks red-flagged in the government review.

“While not all of CASS’ recommenda­tions for a new structure were adopted by the government in this review, our superinten­dents remain fully dedicated to overseeing and managing the schools where our children thrive,” said MacPhee. “We will work with the government to ensure the new structure is properly implemente­d across the province.”

The province said the new rules — which apply to superinten­dents of public, separate, francophon­e and charter school boards — bring Alberta in line with provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario.

Severance pay now matches that in the Alberta public service. Each full year of continuous service entitles a superinten­dent to four weeks of base salary up to a maximum of 52 weeks.

Current compensati­on to superinten­dents is $14.1 million a year and changes are expected to save $1.5 million.

CLEAR LIMITS FOR SUPERINTEN­DENT PAY WILL HELP ... RECRUIT TOP LEADERS.

 ?? JEFF MCINTOSH /THE CANADIAN PRESS ?? Alberta Education Minister David Eggen announced a salary cap Friday for future school superinten­dent contracts.
JEFF MCINTOSH /THE CANADIAN PRESS Alberta Education Minister David Eggen announced a salary cap Friday for future school superinten­dent contracts.
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