Alberta’s Education Minister outlined changes to compensation for school superintendents in the province, effective immediately.

The framework will apply to 74 people who lead the province’s public, separate, Francophone and charter school authorities.

The rules will separate compensation into five levels, based on the different organizations they lead. The levels will include different salary ranges.

The new rules will include limiting allowances, severance pay and reimbursements for other types of expenses.  

The province said the new rules come after a review of compensation practices, which varied between different school boards.

The province said 17 contracts included retirement allowances or severance pay agreements that included up to one year’s full salary, and a number of other provisions were included in some contracts, including:

  • $1,200/year for gym membership
  • $10,000/year for a superintendent’s children’s post-secondary education
  • $1,200/year to cover the cost of a superintendent’s spouse attending school board events
  • $25,000/year in “executive compensation” fund that could be used as cash, RRSP or health spending account
  • $10,000/year for “incidental” costs, and no details on their use listed

The province said the compensation changes will reduce pay for superintendents by an average of 10 per cent across the province.

Edmonton school boards respond

Edmonton Public School Board Chair Michelle Draper released a statement in the wake of the news, saying the contract for EPSB Superintendent Darrel Robertson would stay in place for the next three years.

“The board has every confidence in Mr. Robertson’s leadership,” the statement continued.

“We will review the implications of the new framework as a Board, and will continue to work with our provincial counterparts to ensure our Board is able to retain and recruit the best people for this very complex and important role.”

Edmonton Catholic Schools chair Terry Harris also released a statement in response to the changes.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees I would like to share that the new regulation does not change Superintendent Joan Carr’s commitment to students, staff or Catholic education. “Joan has reaffirmed her decision of January 23, 2018, to continue her leadership of the Edmonton Catholic School District until August 31, 2020. The board looks forward to continue working with Superintendent Carr to serve the students and families of the District. We will not be making any additional comments.”