It’s time to increase Paige’s salary.
In each of the past two years while I was on our Board, and before that when I served in various UUCC financial positions, Paige repeatedly suggested in budget meetings that proposed pay increases for the senior minister position be struck from the draft budget so that other deserving programs and staff could be funded at higher levels. Each time I was impressed and grateful for her generosity.
I think I understand her thinking. Paige is playing a long game. She’s been here nearly 15 years and fully intends to stay at least 10 more – until her youngest child graduates high school. She sees enhancing the congregation’s programmatic offerings in the present as the best path to sustaining its financial health in the future. I happen to agree. The question is, who should pay for it?
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Paige mature in her position. When a hymn goes awry or other SNAFUs occur in services, meetings or personal interactions, the skill, confidence and poise of an experienced, senior minister show through. Her sermons range from being quite good to “Wow!” She knows all of our names. She really cares about all of us. She does the right things when it would be easier not to. I value these characteristics. We haven’t always had it this good. We haven’t always had a minister of her caliber.
UUA Salary Guidelines
UUA puts out salary guidelines for various staff positions that take into consideration tenure, regional costs of living, congregation size and other variables. For each position, there is a low, mid-level and high compensation range. After no increases were included in those guidelines last year, a 4 percent increase has been suggested this year. Even before this most recent increase, Paige was being paid below the guideline’s mid level. Is she a below-mid-level minister? Can we agree Paige is above average?
First Friday, January 5
I will be on hand at the First Friday gathering in January (1-5-18) to discuss this and anything else members and friends would like to chat about. The exact time and OBIC room location will be determined soon.
On January 21, we UUCC members and friends will meet to collectively document our fiscal priorities. I would like to suggest that Paige be a priority this time. It’s time.
We shouldn’t raise her pay out of fear that she might leave if we don’t, we should increase it precisely because she’s not going to leave.
So, this time, when Paige suggests that we strike her proposed pay increase to help balance our budget, or to pay other deserving staff, or to enhance whatever it is that should be enhanced, I plan to look her in the eyes and say, “Thanks, dear minister, but not this time.”