File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Alberta Minister of Education David Eggen arrives for a cabinet meeting in Calgary. Eggen says the salaries for school superintendents are out of line with the rest of the province and need to be reined in. Eggen says he’s looking at a number of options, including a pay cap and a salary grid.

Alberta eyes pay grid, ceiling to rein in rising pay for school superintendents

EDMONTON — Alberta’s education minister says salaries for school superintendents are too high and need to be reined in.

David Eggen says he’s looking at a number of options, including a pay cap and a salary grid.

“We certainly know that superintendent salaries have been rising precipitously over the last number of years and I’m very concerned about that. The public is too,” Eggen said Tuesday at the legislature.

“It’s out of line with the public expectations and it’s out of line with our attempts to have restraint for salaries in general in the government.”

Eggen wouldn’t give a timeline for any changes, but said he is working quickly and has recently stopped approving superintendent salaries, which are negotiated and set by school boards.

He said he has not signed off on the $430,000 annual package for Alberta’s highest-paid superintendent, Joan Carr of the Edmonton Catholic School Board.

A consultant’s report prepared for the Alberta School Boards Association found that superintendent pay has risen by 10 per cent in recent years, while pay in other public sectors has been flat or reduced.

The report said Alberta superintendents are getting more than $200,000 a year on average in base pay alone — higher than in Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia.

The Alberta government has already passed rules to reduce and regulate pay at agencies, boards and commissions. There is also a wage freeze in place for public-sector managers and non-unionized employees.

Teachers agreed to a salary freeze in their current contract as Alberta deals with multibillion-dollar budget deficits.

Barry Litun, executive director of the College of Alberta School Superintendents, said he questions the numbers in the report, specifically whether the pay increase is as high as 10 per cent.

Litun said he expects superintendent salaries in Alberta are probably higher than other jurisdictions, but added that “the reality is the salaries in Alberta for virtually every sector, I believe, would be higher.”

He said there are other factors to consider.

He noted that since Ontario and B.C. capped superintendent and other senior salaries, there have been problems filling those jobs because pay for principals and teachers has continued to rise.

“In many jurisdictions, the principals are earning a higher salary than those in the leadership positions at the district level,” he said.

“(So) if I’m a principal and I’m perhaps considering a position as an assistant superintendent, if I’m successful, the results are that I will take a reduction in salary and I will now be working on a 12-month schedule instead of a 10-month schedule.

“They’re finding that has been a real challenge.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer walks to reduce stigma associated with schizophrenia

First annual Strides for Hope walk takes place across Alberta

Decorative, message-driven art can be viewed in Red Deer

Many First Friday opening receptions on June 1

Female-driven films part of RDC student movie screenings

2017/18 films shown June 1 and 2 at Welikoklad Centre

Thunderstorm watch issued for Red Deer, Central Alberta

Environment Canada warns of possible thunderstorms in area

Central Alberta athletes shine on the track at CASAA Zone Track and Field Championships

Lindsay Thurber Raiders athlete Hayley Lalor took the win in the senior girls individual aggregate

Trudeau defends $600-million price tag for G7 summit in Quebec town of La Malbaie

LA MALBAIE, Que. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending the hefty… Continue reading

Weather now co-operating with evacuation of fire-threatened communities

WINNIPEG — The weather is now co-operating with efforts to evacuate some… Continue reading

Canadian auto sector observers doubt U.S. will carry through on tariff threat

Canadian auto industry observers are reacting with shock and disbelief to news… Continue reading

Bus bursts into flames on parkway; driver, passengers safe

HOLMDEL, N.J. — Authorities say a bus driver and about two dozen… Continue reading

Facebook won’t pay compensation for Cambridge Analytica case

BRUSSELS — Facebook said Thursday it will not compensate users in the… Continue reading

Five standout tracks from Shawn Mendes’ vulnerable new self-titled album

TORONTO — Shawn Mendes is slowly letting the world capture a glimpse… Continue reading

Canadians confused about GM foods, support mandatory labelling: study

HALIFAX — The vast majority of Canadians believe genetically modified foods should… Continue reading

Bucks’ Brown decries ‘police intimidation’ during arrest

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month