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Superintendent pay cap a good step, says ATA president

June 12, 2018 Jen Janzen, ATA News Staff

It’s nothing to celebrate but does reflect the realities that teachers have been living with.

That’s ATA president Greg Jeffery’s reaction to a new compensation framework that introduces limits to the salaries of Alberta school superintendents.

“With teachers have lived with five zeros in the last six years, it was only a matter of time before government turned its attention to superintendents' compensation," Jeffery said. 

Education Minister David Eggen announced the framework June 1. A new five-level salary grid starts at $60,000 and goes up to a maximum of $275,000. The grid will apply to new contracts but won’t affect existing ones.

It is expected that the changes will reduce overall compensation for superintendents by an average of 10 per cent across Alberta and save $1.5 million per year once all existing contracts are renewed under the new rules.

The cap follows a March review on compensation for the 74 Alberta superintendents of public, francophone, Catholic and charter school boards.

A February report by the Alberta School Boards Association revealed that superintendent pay in Alberta rose 10 per cent over the last five years.

“Superintendent salaries were running out of line with the rest of the country and there just wasn’t much regulation at all,” Eggen told the Calgary Herald. “So I mean, it’s high time that we did build a fair system.”

The top superintendent salary in the province went to Joan Carr of Edmonton Catholic Schools, whose compensation totaled $426,834 last year.

Following Eggen’s announcement, Edmonton Catholic board chair Terry Harris issued a statement indicating that the board and Carr remain committed to working together until her contract expires Aug. 31, 2020.

The new framework also includes the removal of perks like golf club memberships, money for children’s’ post-secondary tuition and other benefits, including spending accounts of up to $25,000.

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney said on Twitter that capping salaries for superintendents was a “commendable move.” ❚

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