The union representing faculty at Ontario's community colleges is slamming significant pay increases under consideration for college presidents including Confederation College president Jim Madder.
Confederation's board of governors is looking at bumping Madder's pay from about $227,000 to a maximum eligible level of $325,000, an increase of 43%.
The boards of most community colleges across the province are proposing similar increases for their presidents, ranging between 25% and 54%.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said the increases would happen at the same time as colleges are stating that tight budgets are keeping them from providing the frontline resources needed by students.
"Ontario's colleges receive the lowest per-student funding of any province," said RM Kennedy, chair of OPSEU's college academic division. "College presidents should be carefully allocating the limited funds they have...Instead of putting money on the front lines where it can do the most good for students, they seem to be trying to funnel as much as possible into their own pockets," Kennedy said.
The colleges' pay proposals are part of an Executive Compensation Program developed in line with the provincial government's new process for setting executive compensation in the broader public sector.
Four other colleges in northern Ontario are considering the same maximum pay for their presidents as Confederation.
In an emailed statement to tbnewswatch.com, Confederation board chair Don Campbell said the compensation program is currently in draft format, outlines compensation as a guideline, and sets a cap.
Campbell said the college has met the government's requirement that it engage in a public consultation program, and that the final compensation will be discussed and approved by the board of governors following consideration of the public input that was received.
He concluded "Any speculation on the decsion of the board is premature."
In a message to the Confederation College community last month, Campbell said the compensation program was developed in consideration of the need to attract and retain the best leaders possible in order to deliver high quality public services, while also managing responsibly.
Kennedy wants Deb Matthews, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, to intervene before decisions are made by college boards, and to encourage them to reconsider the frameworks.