Issues of Compensation in the Voluntary Sector:
A Salaries and Benefits Survey of Regina's Charitable Human Service Agencies
For some time now the issue of salary levels in the third sector has been a focus of discussion in voluntary agencies across Canada. This issue is particularly relevant for social policy in view of the increase in the role of these organizations in the delivery of human services in the post-welfare state era. This research note provides a "snapshot" picture of compensation among some categories of paid employees working for Regina-based voluntary human service agencies. It is based on a research instrument adapted from a previous study conducted for the Muttart Foundation. The sample is constituted of 37 agencies and is representative of all Regina-based charitable human service agencies. A large variation was found in the budgets of agencies, but generally, United Way's funding accounts for 8% of these budgets. On average each agency employs between 10 and 20 employees, half of them as permanent staff. Over ¾ of the employees are women. Volunteer work represents an important contribution to this sector. Average salaries stand near $42,000 for Executive Directors, $31,000 for Program Managers, and $25,000 for Support Staff. Executive Directors are found to work many extra unpaid hours every week. In terms of benefits, we note that about 40% of the agencies surveyed do not offer a pension plan. This is especially true among agencies with smaller budgets. Small annual bonuses (ranging from $100 to $1,200) are paid in 15% to 20% of agencies surveyed. These results are discussed and compared with those of the previous study by the Muttart Foundation and with general labour force statistics for some paid employees working in the "Health and Social Services" industry group in Saskatchewan. Some implications of these findings for the voluntary sector in Saskatchewan are discussed.
Luc Thériault holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Toronto and has held a postdoctoral fellowship at the École de Travail Social, Université du Québec à Montréal. He has worked part-time in the Research and Evaluation Branch of Saskatchewan Social Services. He is currently Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Regina. His articles have appeared in journals such as Nouvelles Pratiques Sociales, Canadian Social Work Review, Prairie Forum, Canadian Social Work, Canadian Review of Social Policy, Économie et Solidarités, Atlantis, and the Revue de l'Université de Moncton. He has served on the Board of Directors of Nouvelles Pratiques Sociales and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Review of Social Policy. He currently holds a SSHRC standard research grant as principal investigator and is co-investigator on two other SSHRC-funded projects. He has been teaching regular courses in the areas of social policy and research methods, and occasionally in other fields such as disability issues, family and child policies and programs, and program development and evaluation.
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