draft executive compensation program

thursday, april 12, 2018

the required feedback period for the draft nipissing university executive compensation program is now complete. as required by legislation, a public consultation period took place for 30 days between march 12, 2018 and april 10, 2018. comments and feedback will be reviewed and considered in finalizing the program. feedback will be reviewed confidentially by human resources and will be summarized for the purpose of finalizing the program. finally, it will be sent to the government for approval to implement.​

monday, march 12, 2018

message to the nipissing university community:

in 2014, the broader public sector executive compensation act was introduced, authorizing the ontario government to establish compensation frameworks for designated employers in order to manage executive compensation in the broader public sector (bps).

executive compensation in the bps has been restrained (frozen) for eight years under the public sector compensation restraint to protect public services act, 2010, and the broader public sector executive compensation act, 2012. in other words, salaries and other compensation elements that were in place in 2010 have not increased for these designated positions. once the draft executive compensation program of a designated employer receives final approval from the province, that freeze will be lifted with specific constraints in place.

it is imperative that nipissing university operate in a fiscally responsible manner while providing fair and equitable compensation to employees. 

we received notification from the ministry of advanced education and skills development on february 22, 2018, that nipissing university’s draft executive compensation program was approved for posting on our website to allow for a thirty (30) day public consultation period. The program outlines the compensation arrangements for the University’s three designated executives: the President and Vice-chancellor; the Provost & Vice-President, academic & research; and the Vice-President, finance & Administration.

as required by the legislation, this public consultation period of thirty (30) days begins today, march 12, 2018. feedback can be sent to execcompfeedback@nipissingu.ca. comments will be accepted up to april 10, 2018

gord durnan
chair, nipissing university board of governors

general information

for further information regarding the broader public sector (bps) accountability act, the bps executive compensation program, the bps executive compensation program directive and the bps executive compensation guide, please click here.

 nipissing university draft executive compensation program


what is the broader public sector executive compensation program?

the broader public sector executive compensation program is an ontario government directive that sets out a framework that designated employers must follow when establishing executive compensation programs. the purpose of the directive is to manage executive compensation in the broader public sector (bps).

why is nipissing university implementing this program?

universities in ontario are designated employers under the broader public sector executive compensation act, 2014. therefore, nipissing university must follow the regulations set out by the act.

who is responsible for the program?

The Nipissing University board of governors is responsible for ensuring the University is in compliance with the legislation. The Executive Committee of the Board, as per the Board bylaws, is responsible for the terms and conditions of employment, including compensation, for the President & Vice-chancellor and serves as an advisory body for the compensation of other senior administrators. Accordingly, the executive Committee of the Board will have the authority to set the compensation, within the parameters of the program, for nipissing university’s designated executives.

what nipissing university positions are impacted by the program?

the following are the designated executive positions at nipissing university that fall under this program:

  • President & Vice-chancellor
  • Provost and Vice-President, academic & research
  • Vice-President, finance & Administration

according to the legislation, employers must set maximum executive salaries at the median level of a comparable group of employers. who are the nipissing university's comparators and how were they chosen?

in order to efficiently obtain data regarding comparable positions at other institutions, nipissing university participated in the commission and use of a salary survey spearheaded by the council of ontario universities. scope of responsibilities of the position, the type of organization (i.e. other universities), and the size of the organization (including operating budget and student enrollment data) were all taken into consideration when choosing the comparators.  the location of the organizations was also considered, with the majority of the comparators from within ontario (three from northern ontario). due to nipissing’s relatively small size, we were instructed to use some out-of-province comparators as well. 

the following comparators were used:

  • algoma university
  • ocad university
  • trent university
  • lakehead university
  • laurentian university
  • mount allison university
  • mount st. vincent university
  • st. mary’s university

will this program result in a immediate pay raises up to the pay caps for the designated executives?

no. the program could result in incremental pay increases, under the limits of the program, to ensure the compensation for the designated positions is commensurate with similar positions in similar institutions.

the 50th percentile (the median) has been identified as the “pay cap” for these positions. the program identifies that all three designated positions at nipissing university earn less than the median of their comparators. the program further identifies that annual increases are limited to a maximum of five per cent of the pay envelope of the designated positions and may be distributed differentially. the board of governors is responsible for determining the annual percentage increase, if any, within these limits.

under the legislation, the pay envelope is defined as the maximum amount of salary and performance-related pay that a designated employer may provide to all of its designated executives for a pay year. (note: nipissing university does not provide performance-related pay.)

the pay envelope for the three designated positions at nipissing university (based on the most recently completed pay year) is $640,000, representing less than 1% of the university’s operating budget.  the total annual increase will be a maximum of 5% of the pay envelope until the pay cap is reached. 

more details on potential salary increases can be found on page 7 of nipissing university’s program​.

how are these possible salary increases compare to those received by other public sector positions?

executive compensation in the bps has been frozen under the broader public sector accountability act since march 31, 2012. salaries and other compensation elements that were in place as of that date have not increased for these designated positions.

according to the ontario ministry of labour, the 11-year average wage base increase for the provincial public sector from 2006-2016 was 1.82% per year. many of these employees also received annual increases for progress through the ranks (ptr).

at nipissing university, between 2011 and 2017, the average rate of increase for non-designated administrators, support staff and faculty has ranged from 3% to 5.8% per year including economic and ptr increases.

what happens next?

now that the province and the board of governors have approved the proposed program, nipissing university will post it on our public-facing website for a minimum 30 day period, inviting public comment on the program. after the thirty day period, a summary of the relevant feedback will be forwarded to the province. such feedback will include the following:

  • total number of comments received;
  • the number of comments that were generally supportive of the program and the number that were not;
  • the names of any organizations that commented;
  • a summary of common themes, if any; and
  • if necessary, what the employer did to address the feedback. 

after considering the public feedback, the draft executive compensation program will be submitted to the ministry of advanced education and skills development for final approval. once approval is granted, the finalized program will be posted on nipissing university’s website, and the program will be in effect.

feedback can be sent to execcompfeedback@nipissingu.ca. comments will be accepted up to april 10, 2018.