KEC Announces completion of Compensation Review Project

KEC Announces completion of Compensation Review Project

The Kahnawà:ke Education Center is pleased to officially announce the completion of a Compensation Review Project (hereinafter referred to as the “Project”) that began in May 2017 to examine KEC pay scales and to align them with pay scales for similar work in the education sector in Quebec. The KEC hired MNP, one of the most specialised and reputable chartered accountancy and business advisory firms in Canada to undertake the Project. After an in depth consultation with representatives from all 3 KEC schools’, the results of the Project were presented to, and approved by the Kahnawà:ke Combined Schools Committee (KCSC) on August 13, 2018, and presented to staff on August 20, 2018.

Up until this time, there were many irregularities with KEC employees’ salaries with some being within the industry standards while many were far below. The Project was initiated by KEC Management to bring all KEC positions to a fair and equitable level of compensation, and to particularly address positions with salaries that were far below industry standards. During the course of the project, a detailed job evaluation of all KEC positions was completed (which assessed job responsibilities such as supervisory responsibility and physical demands), and included market research, and staff consultation. Based on the findings of the project, 12 new salary ranges were created, each with nine steps. Positions in which salaries were below industry standards were brought up to the newly prescribed KEC scale, and the recommendation was that those that were already at or above this prescribed scale would not see a salary increase. The objective of the Project was to create a pay scale where everyone would be paid in a fair and equitable manner. The objectives of the Project did not include an offer of bonuses as compensation as this was not a financially viable option as determined by the KEC. Bringing all employees to an equitable salary scale meant that employees who were objectively at or above scale could not receive raises. Doing so would have hindered our ability to compensate those who were grossly underpaid due to KEC’s limited financial resources.

As an Indigenous organization, the KEC is funded differently and, essentially, more poorly than public school boards across Canada which creates financial limitations that sometimes hinder the ability to meet student, parent, staff, and community needs. The Compensation Review process was wrought with particular challenges such as cuts to the KEC budget, the failure of the Trudeau government to follow through on promises of additional funding for First Nations education, and looming threats of future funding cuts. Invariably, in order to support much needed KEC and school programs, adequate, stable and predictable funding is necessary which, to date, the government of Canada has failed to provide. While the KEC is pleased that to have been able to bring equity to the pay scale, it regrettably recognises that it continues to fall behind Canadian and provincial standards. As always, the KEC and KCSC will continue to pressure the external colonial governments continue to meet their fiduciary responsibilities.

The KEC recognizes that not everyone has seen a pay increase and understand that there may be some disappointment associated with these results. There is also recognition that the pay scale over all does not meet Canadian and provincial standards. Again, this is a result of Kahnawà:ke education being grossly underfunded by Canada in comparison to Quebec school boards. However, the KEC works within its means to provide additional benefits to its staff including one of the best pension plans in Canada, and a significantly low student/teacher ratio.

The KEC worked to deliver the most fair and equitable compensation process without significant disruption to existing programs and services, while continuing to ensure that the growth of our education system could be supported. The total cost to the KEC to provide compensation to positions according to the findings of the project is $534,046.

The Kahnawà:ke Education Center would like to thank its dedicated staff for their understanding and continued commitment to education in Kahnawà:ke throughout this difficult process.

For More Information, Contact:
Alana Atwin, Communications Officer
(450) 632-8770