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Updated: 20th September 2018 16:39

Education minister announces review of superintendent salaries

Some Alberta school superintendents may face a cut in pay following a system-wide review announced Monday by Education Minister David Eggen.

Alberta superintendents earn more than counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia

Education Minister David Eggen is reviewing the compensation paid to Alberta school superintendents. (CBC)

Some Alberta school superintendents may face a cut in pay following a system-wide review announced Monday by Education Minister David Eggen.

Eggen wants the 61 province's school districts to forward the employment contracts of their superintendents by Friday.

He acknowledged some people could see a pay cut.

"It's possible, yes. Absolutely," he said.

The minister is asking for all contracts signed since Jan. 1, 2015. He wants to look at all compensation information including salary, allowances, cash benefits, health benefits and termination pay.

He is holding off on signing new contracts until the review is completed.

The review comes one month after a survey for the Alberta School Boards Association became public. 

The report found Alberta superintendents are paid "significantly higher" salaries than their counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Base salaries for superintendents increased by over 10 per cent on average between 2011 and 2016. 

In comparison, salaries for teachers have remained flat. The Alberta Teachers Association agreed to a wage freeze in a two-year deal reached last year.

Joan Carr of Edmonton Catholic Schools was Alberta's highest paid school superintendent last year, earning $426,824 in total compensation. (CBC)

The College of Alberta School Superintendents has taken issue with the survey and demanded revisions to the original report. 

According to the survey, Joan Carr of Edmonton Catholic Schools was Alberta's highest paid school superintendent in 2015-16.

She earned $426,824 in total compensation last year. Edmonton Catholic is the fourth-largest school district in terms of student population.

In Calgary, the chief superintendent of the public system receives a base salary of $295,000 each year.

The College of Alberta School Superintendents has taken issue with the survey and demanded revisions to the original report. 

Barry Litun, the organization's executive director, said he hopes his organization can be consulted as part of the review.

Litun noted that employment contracts are negotiated between superintendents and their school districts. But he said salary freezes can create issues with recruitment.

"Discussions with my counterparts there, they have indicated this is posing a problem," he said. "I think a lot of it will depend on what the end result will be of this review."

Eggen plans to review the contracts as quickly as possible as the issue is "top of mind' for the government. 

"So we'll work very expeditiously to ensure that the public money is being spent in the classroom and in the most efficient way possible," he said. 

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