Inequities in salary “gross” in the rectors

Photo: David Afriat Duty
The ten rectors of the least paid in Quebec are those of the network of the University of Quebec.

The household promised in the compensation of university presidents is expected. Result : the grand patron of the Concordia University wins again two and a half times the salary of his counterpart of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), which has yet 5000 more students.


The absence of political will, the ten institutions in the network of the University of Quebec are struggling in conditions “deplorable” imposed by the government, ” says Lise Bissonnette, chair of the board of the UQAM.


The ten rectors of the least paid in Quebec are those of the network of the Université du Québec network, which this year celebrates its fifty years.


Ms. Bissonnette deplores the reluctance of the minister of higher Education, Hélène David, to fulfill his promise of restoring fairness in the remuneration of vice-chancellors. This lack of will betrays the contempt of the political class towards the network of the University of Quebec, ” she says.


“It is clear that, if one examines the remuneration of vice-chancellors and senior [university], it is lamentable in the case of the University of Quebec. We are in the iniquity absolutely blatant. At UQAM, it is outrageous, simply, ” said Lise Bissonnette Duty.


Parallel universes


The 10 institutions of the network of the University of Quebec have no margin of manoeuvre to establish the remuneration of their executives, recalls the president of the board of directors of UQAM. The government sets by decree the conditions of work of rectors of the network. This salary corresponds to the remuneration of an assistant deputy minister.


Result : the compensation of the officers of the network of the UQ ranged between 165 000 $ 198 000 $ in 2015-2016, according to data from the ministry of Education and higher Education. The salary of the rector of the UQAM university — the third university in importance for the number of students — was 197 374 $.


Chartered universities, which have the latitude to determine the remuneration of their executives live in a different world. The rector of the better paid in Quebec, Alan Shepard, Concordia University, has received 444 857 $ in 2015-2016. It is more than two and a half times the salary of the rector of UQAM, Magda Fusaro, entry into service this week.


Even the rector of the small Bishop’s University in Lennoxville — effective 2744 student wins $ 100,000 more than his vis-à-vis the UQAM. At the prestigious McGill University, David H. Eidelman, vice-principal and dean of the Faculty of medicine, is the university the best paid in Quebec, with a total compensation of 451 112 $ — more than her boss, Suzanne Fortier, who won 418 000 $.


“A general contempt “


This “iniquity” flagrant “in the treatment of senior university leadership is” the symptom of an evil that is much deeper, ” said Lise Bissonnette. “It is the general contempt, and it is worth it almost for the whole of the national Assembly, I would say, in respect of the universities of the network of the University of Quebec. And it’s there, it is clear, that is net. After five years of presidency of the council of UQAM, it hit me constantly, that includes all parties. This network, which is a network of extraordinary, really suffering from a kind of… I am looking for another word than “contempt” and I can not find. “


Another symptom of this ” contempt “, considers the president of the UQAM : Université du Québec has obtained “shot” under the strategic investment Fund for the post-secondary institutions, created by Ottawa and relayed in Quebec by the government Couillard. The University of Montreal has received the lion’s share, with ten projects with a total value of nearly a half-billion dollars.


The minister Hélène David was committed to file a bill last fall to make the household in the remuneration of vice-chancellors. It has not done so. Why ? Does it act in the next parliamentary session ? “The work is ongoing, the minister will be able to make their intentions known in the coming weeks,” says his cabinet.


In private, of influential members of academia are asking whether minister David seeks to protect the University of Montreal, where she was professor and vice-president before entering politics in 2014. The rector of the université de montréal, Guy Breton, earns more of $ 422,000. The vice-rector of the better paid of the UdeM wins 258 000 $. The dean of the faculty of the best paid key even a salary of $ 344,000 — significantly more than the great patron of the UQAM.


In the surroundings of Hélène David, it is said that the minister feels totally free to mediate this case. Ms. David has refused our interview requests.


Sources believe that the minister, in particular on the self-discipline of the universities, which have reduced the financial benefits of the rectors. Laval University has reduced the severance pay of its new president, Sophie D’amours, who will be entitled to a year’s salary at the end of its mandate. His predecessor, Denis Brière, was entitled to a compensation six years after his departure.


The salaries of vice-chancellors raise for sure the controversy, but they are more modest in Quebec than anywhere else in North America. The president the highest paid in Canada, and Indira Samarasekera, University of Alberta, gaining 591 000 $, according to a compilation of the canadian Association of professors and university professors. The seventeen officers of the university the best paid in the country earn more than $ 400,000, according to the document.

Salaries and benefits paid to presidents in 2015-2016

Chartered universities

Concordia University
444 857 $

University of Montreal
422 293 $

McGill University
418 333 $

Université Laval
328 414 $

University of Sherbrooke
301 546 $

Bishop’s university
297 558 $

286 921 $

263 671 $

Network of the Université du Québec

198 332 $

197 374 $

191 320 $

187 512 $

186 134 $

183 145 $

176 782 $

176 772 $

166 779 $

165 635 $

Source : ministry of Education and higher Education in Quebec, a study of the appropriations 2017-2018