(Quebec) Finish the clutter and opacity in the compensation of presidents. Quebec soon set standards to be met by universities as to the remuneration of senior executives.
The Minister for Higher Education, Hélène David, will file an “action plan” by early fall. It could move forward as quickly as in June, but September is considered more realistic. She wants a “harmonization” and “unification” of the rules on the conditions of remuneration. It also wants the “predictability”, suggesting that it wants to avoid sudden wage increases as we have seen in recent years.
The action plan will concern not only wages but also all other benefits granted to presidents, as a company car in some cases, for example.
The government “did a damn good job of watching it for the first time, I think, in history,” commented Ms. David, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Montreal, in an interview with La Presse yesterday.
The measure will mostly affect the chartered universities: Montreal, McGill, Concordia, Laval and Sherbrooke, for example. For them, these are the boards that decide executive compensation. Conversely, the government sets the salary and working conditions of the leaders of the 10 member institutions of the network of the University of Quebec, as UQAM.
Hélène David intends to submit to the universities ‘proposals’ standards in the coming weeks. They will not be placed before a fait accompli, she insisted. The Government’s approach is tricky, because universities are jealous of their autonomy.
At the request of the Minister, they provided to Quebec literature about executive compensation.
Transparency and clarity
The action plan also will require more transparency and clarity from them. “Knowing all the conditions of work, I do not know how you live it, you but it is not clear …” said she dropped.
“On the one university to another, the parameters are very different. And between them, they do not know everything “on the tags of each others for determining compensation.
“This is the first time we will put all the parameters together”
Minister for Higher Education
It asked the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada to hand over information about wages and terms of Rectors and vice-rectors in other provinces. The goal is to make comparisons.
Helene David recently met all the presidents of boards of universities, a first from a minister, she said. She wanted to tell them of his “concern” about executive compensation. “Everybody said, ‘Thank you, Minister.” Everybody! All universities, even chartered necessarily, said: “We will even a little to understand how others operate.” And I’ll go further. Not just understand but say how we might work fairly with each other. ”
Hélène David did not want to give an overview of forthcoming standards. There is however no question of completely review the remuneration of the current leaders. “You know, there’s that function cars, there have function homes, and there is a long history behind it. I do not want to make tabula rasa of the entire history of these great institutions, “said the minister.
$ 200,000 for a study?
The presidents of the boards of universities juggle the idea of controlling their own compensation study of Rectors from Mercer. It would be a way to counterbalance the departmental analysis. They pointed to Helen David that the contract would cost $ 200,000, given the tight timetable and their application to analyze compensation in 97 Canadian universities. The government refuses to fund such a study. “We said we were not there at all,” summarized the minister. She said the presidents agreed that “it is quite expensive, take as much public money to do a study.” They have not yet decided if they would give the green light to study or change the contract conditions to reduce the bill.