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Cutting excessive post-secondary salaries

Government is bringing excessive salaries for Alberta’s post-secondary presidents in line with the national average and eliminating perks under a new compensation framework.

As of April 15, any new or renewed contracts for post-secondary presidents must adhere to these new rules, as identified under Phase 3 of the Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABC) Review. For existing contracts, executives will have a two-year transition period before their contract is brought in line. Bonuses for non-bargaining staff will also be eliminated.

Once fully implemented, the new framework will save government and the post-secondary institutions an estimated $5 million per year.

“For far too long, the salaries of college and university presidents have been out of step with the public service, the national average, and the expectations of Albertans. We need to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used in the best interests of students, staff, and faculty. By lowering salaries and creating stronger controls on benefits, we’re making sure that public funding goes towards the classroom, where it belongs.”

Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education

“We started by getting rid of unnecessary boards. Then we eliminated perks and bonuses, like the golf club memberships. And now we are reining in salaries of the top executives of our agencies, boards and commissions, including post-secondary institutions. We will continue to clean up waste and make sure taxpayer dollars are well spent.”

Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board, Minister of Finance

This latest step to rein in salaries of university and college presidents follows the government’s ABC review. The review included cutting salaries, eliminating bonuses and cutting perks for the highest paid executives of Alberta’s agencies, boards and commissions—saving government approximately $33 million.

“Salaries for universities and colleges in Alberta have been influenced by the favourable fiscal climate of the past, and have been allowed to rise to unsustainable levels. We’re now living in a new financial reality, and our decisions around how we allocate funding at our institutions should reflect this and our commitment to our faculty, staff and students.”

Darrel Howell board chair, Lakeland College

Quick facts

The Post-secondary Institutions Compensation Regulation

  • Caps salary levels for post-secondary president positions and places them into one of five levels based on roles and responsibilities.
  • Eliminates executive bonuses.
  • Limits executive severance pay to a maximum of 52 weeks.
  • Sets guidelines for additional benefits.
  • Prohibits perks such as sports memberships, signing bonuses and executive allowances.

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Media inquiries

Government of Alberta