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School board seeking input on proposed executive pay raises

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The Rainy River District School Board is in the process of gathering public feedback on a proposal to hike the pay of four executive positions.

For the local public school board, the proposed Executive Compensation Program applies to the Director of Education, Superintendent of Education/School Effectiveness, Superintendent of Education/Student Success, and Superintendent of Business.

As first reported in Friday's Daily Bulletin, the pay envelope for the RRDSB (the total of all actual base salaries paid to executives) is $629,996, with its proposed maximum rate of increase being five percent.

The proposed grid for the Director of Education is $192,000 in Year 1, $194,000 in Year 2, $198,000 in Year 3, and $203,000 in Year 4.

The proposed grid for the other three executive positions is $153,000 in Year 1, $157,000 in Year 2, $161,000 in Year 3, and $166,000 in Year 4.

According to the report, which is posted on the board's website under “Executive Compensation Plan,” the actual annual increases paid to executives may be less than the proposed maximum rate.

It also notes individuals may receive more or less than the proposed maximum rate of increase, considering a variety of criteria, including their tenure in the designated executive position.

But the report adds increases will not be provided beyond the range maximum of five percent per envelope per year.

The board's website states the purpose of the program is to set out a rational compensation approach for executive positions across all school boards in the province, including the RRDSB.

Part of this process requires that the board ask for public feedback on its proposed program.

You can find details of the program by visiting the board's website at www.rrdsb.com, clicking on “Executive Compensation Plan," and then clicking on "Read the Report.”

After reading through the 15-page report, dated Nov. 29, 2017, the board is inviting public input by completing the feedback form.

You must provide your name and a valid e-mail address.

The board will be accepting feedback until next Tuesday (Jan. 16), then it will provide a summary of that feedback to the Ministry of Education for its review.

Board chair Dianne McCormack said yesterday via e-mail to the Times that the board will meet Jan. 30 to review the feedback received.

“School boards must submit their proposed programs to the minister, along with a summary of relevant public feedback and any changes made to the proposed program since the government completed its last review,” she noted.

“The minister will review to determine if she will approve the comparators and the proposed maximum rate of increase for the executive salary and performance-related pay envelope,” McCormack added.

"Boards will be notified in writing of the minister's decision.

“Upon approval by the minister, each school board will determine whether to adopt its proposed program and post the finalized program on its public-facing website,” McCormack said.

“The finalized program must be posted on the school board's website before it can be implemented, and the deadline for this is Feb. 28.”

McCormack stressed the board followed the posting requirements set out by the Ministry of Education for all boards across the province, and is aligned in the posting practice with the other school boards in the region.

“As in other stakeholder consultations, the board followed its practice of seeking stakeholder feedback by notifying school councils, advisory committees, union representatives, the Student Senate, and schools of the webpage, the link, and the deadline for feedback, by memo on Dec. 18,” she noted.

According to the report, there is a “significant compression” between principal and superintendent compensation which is inconsistent with the board's recruitment needs.

It says the RRDSB needs to increase its envelope at a higher rate so as to “reduce the gap, rectify the inequity, and support succession planning into the future.”

To attract quality leadership, the board says it is crucial that it offers a competitive, transparent, and responsible compensation plan.

McCormack said staff completed the draft template, which was developed by Mercer through the Ontario Public School Boards Association and which was approved by the Ministry of Education and Treasury in August, 2017.

“Trustees determined the proposed grids for each position, and reviewed the draft report and the final submission, during several committee of the whole meetings,” she noted.

She added the report was submitted to the Ministry of Education on Sept. 29.

McCormack said the framework is “long overdue.”

“All staff within the Rainy River District School Board work very hard every day for students,” she remarked.

"The board is very happy to finally have this comprehensive framework available to responsibly provide fair and reasonable compensation to the executives within our Board; compensation which will be consistent across the province.

“Providing such compensation is an important step in recognizing the knowledge, experience, time, and dedication of our senior staff,” McCormack added.

“More importantly, though, it is essential in attracting and retaining the talented and passionate individuals we want, and need, in order to fulfill the board's goals and commitments to our students and their families, staff, and communities,” she concluded.

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