March 12, 2018 1:33 pm
Updated: March 12, 2018 8:24 pm

Alberta reviews school superintendent pay amid concerns of high salaries

WATCH ABOVE: The salaries of some superintendents in Alberta have caught the attention of the education minister. Now, he wants to see the paperwork. Kendra Slugoski reports.

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Alberta’s education minister has begun a review of salaries paid to school superintendents.

David Eggen said there is a wide gap among contracts and he is concerned some superintendents are being paid too little and some are getting too much.

“Albertans expect a fair deal for public monies and to make sure that public servants are being compensated fairly but not excessively,” Eggen said Monday.

Eggen said he’s reviewing contracts of superintendents in the 61 public, separate, and Francophone school districts along with charter school boards.

LISTEN: Minister Eggen joins Rob Breakenridge on 770 CHQR


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“I need to make sure that I see the contracts in their entirety to make a comparison in their entirety, and so I will be expecting the 74 contracts on my desk here by Friday,” he said.

The contracts are negotiated and set by individual schools boards.

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

Eggen said he wants the review done as quickly as possible and he will not be approving any new superintendent contracts in the meantime.

That means holding off on a $430,000 annual package for Alberta’s highest-paid superintendent — Joan Carr of the Edmonton Catholic School Board.

Last month, the Alberta School Boards Association reported that pay for superintendents rose 10 per cent over five years and is slightly higher on average than other provinces.

Premier Rachel Notley’s government has already reined in salaries for agencies, boards and commissions, and Eggen said this will build on that work.

READ MORE: Joan Carr to stay on as Edmonton Catholic School District superintendent

Barry Litun of the College of Alberta School Superintendents said it’s hard having contracts in limbo, but he wants to work with Eggen on the review.

“There are currently four contracts that are awaiting review (and) there will be more because there are some superintendents who have indicated retirement or leaving, so processes are in place right now for their replacement,” said Litun.

Litun declined to comment on whether he believes some superintendents are overpaid, saying it’s important to keep salary numbers in the context of total compensation along with job demands and responsibilities.

“People who have the qualifications to be a school superintendent have the qualifications to be an executive leader in not only education, but other areas,” he said.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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