Mercer revises Compensation Survey finding – a somewhat better picture but the message is the same

In late April the 3rd edition of the National Compensation Study for Managerial and Administrative Positions in Not-for-Profit Arts Organizations, commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage, was released with a key finding that showed Average Wage Growth at -.1%. Very disturbing, especially given the many efforts made since the 2008 report to improve compensation for arts administrators and managers.

Mercer has since provided a revision to the report (particularly in Section 4.5) that relates to methodology. This has led to a change in the average yearly real wage increase which was originally calculated at minus .1%, and has been re-calculated at 6.7% since the previous study in 2008. An improvement and it’s encouraging to see trending in an upward direction but this is still not keeping up with the all industry average real wage growth of approximately 10% over the same time period. For organizations with operating budgets of $250,000 to $1,000,000 (representing 44% of the survey respondents), the real wage increase is calculated to be 3.9% over nine years (0.43% per year), well behind the all industry average real wage growth.

The revised report can be found here

Recruitment and retention of manager and administrators are still big challenges for arts organizations.

Richard Hornsby, chair of CHRC, says: “To have a healthy cultural sector, we need a strong infrastructure at its core. And that means we need to be competitive with other industry sectors in terms of compensation and benefits to be able to recruit and retain top quality managers and administrators. We’re not there yet. Arts administrators and managers still receive significantly less than their counterparts in other sectors. We must keep pressing on this issue.”