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National Compensation Study released

By Cindy Brett

A National Compensation Study conducted by the Cultural Human Resource Council (CHRC) concludes that Not-for-Profit arts organizations continue to lag behind the general Not-for-Profit sector in areas of compensation and benefits, making it difficult to recruit and retain management and administrative staff. The study updates a similar one that was conducted in 2003 because of a growing concern in the arts management labour force: as older generations of managers retire, others in the sector seek better pay and benefits elsewhere. Hence, the turnover rate in Not-for-Profit arts organizations is high: 20% compared to 12% in similar sectors. Although the study shows some improvements since 2003, especially in larger organizations, it states that, “small and mid-sized organizations will likely continue to struggle with attracting and retaining director/management personnel because of limited ability to offer competitive salaries and benefits.” Senior Arts Consultant/Manager Jane Marsland commented that, “The reality is that jobs in the arts sector will always be financially under remunerated compared to jobs in the private sector. While we should always be striving to develop the resources to fairly compensate people for their work and contribution, we also need to develop human resource principles and policies in our organizations that will attract the people we need and want for our companies. In my experience the people I’ve met over the years desired meaningful work, the opportunity to make a difference, to learn, to have a sense of ownership in their job, to develop leadership skills, and most important, to have the security that comes from the knowledge that the work they are currently doing is preparing them to go out and find other positions that will allow them to continue to grow and progress in their career. If we cannot satisfy those values, we will certainly never attract and hold the new generation of arts managers.”

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