How much should you pay church staff? #3

Looking at Church staff pay over the last few posts… basically a summary of what our Association Committee discussed and decided last year. In the last post we saw that staff salaries should be:

  • Comparable, according to the work they do
  • Provided by us – the church
  • Tending on the side of “more than they need” (rather than “less than they need”)

The next question is, what does it mean to be comparable?

We started by doing some research to look at salaries in our society that it might be useful to compare with. But this research took a few things into consideration…

  • Geographical location changes average income
    We collected values that related to Newcastle where available, but we also took NSW figures and some from Sydney, and adjusted them to take out biases associated with location and cost of living differences. (We did this by comparing the average income in Sydney to the Average income in Newcastle and applying that ratio to the Sydney incomes).
  • After-tax income NOT total Salary Income
    We worked out the equivalent After-tax income (when you include all the Ministry expenses, and allowances and tax breaks). this was important when comparing to secular salaries which had a larger package overall, but would have been taxed more and thus had less after-tax income. It’s just a way of comparing apples with apples.
  • The Average Income of the Newcastle Area
    We used the Census data to get a figure for the average After-Tax income of persons who are full-timer workers aged 25-55 from the Greater Newcastle Area. This was from 2011, so we guessed it up to what we thought it would have been in 2013.

With these issues taken into account, we started to look at what other churches and denominations pay, and what other “similar secular roles” pay was compared to the Newcastle Average…

  • Religious Sector:
    • An untrained Anglican Deacon (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      102% of Newcastle Av.
    • NSW Pressy Pastor
      113% of Newcastle Av.
    • Anglican Rector (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      130-150% of Newcastle Av.
  • Education Sector
    • Childcare (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      77% of Newcastle Av.
    • NSW Public School teacher – 1st year graduate (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      80% of Newcastle Av.
    • School Admin staff (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      103% of Newcastle Av.
    • NSW Public School teacher – 5 years expereince (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      110% of Newcastle Av.
    • NSW Public School Head teacher (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      124% of Newcastle Av.
    • Uni Lecturer (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      126% of Newcastle Av.
    • NSW Public School Deputy Principal (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      140% of Newcastle Av.
    • NSW Public School Principal of med/lrg school) (Novacastrian-adjusted)
      169% of Newcastle Av.
  • Other comparable sectors
    • Average Human Resources Salary
      97% of Newcastle Av.
    • Average Architect Salary
      97% of Newcastle Av.
    • Average Physio/OT/SpeachPath
      111% of Newcastle Av.
    • Average 1st yr Military Officer
      113% of Newcastle Av.
    • Average Accountant/Engineer
      120-130% of Newcastle Av.
    • Average Senior Manager
      170% of Newcastle Av.

We realised that we had been paying our senior staff about 107% of the Newcastle Av. We decided that our staff team needed a range of salaries (based on breadth and width of responsibilities) between 85% and 115% of the Newcastle Av. We’ve planned to roll this increase in incrementally over 3 years.