Thursday, October 09, 2008

Defending Executive Pay

Shrimp here, with a follow-up to "Nice Work If You Can Get It." That was the news story about the Lower Susquehanna Synod Assembly resolution questioning the compensation of the top executives of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, an ELCA-related social service agency that operates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. The York Daily Record reports today,
A Lutheran-affiliated social services agency defended its executive pay in a letter to the regional governing body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) last month.

The board of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries said in a Sept. 4 letter that its CEO and president, the Rev. Dr. Daun E. McKee, is "well paid" but his salary is also fair and competitive.

McKee's salary is based on recommendations from consultants who place his $385,947 salary midway on the salary range for executives with similar responsibilities at similar organizations.

"Diakon's compensation policies are very fair and do not represent unjust disparities among varying levels of staff members," the letter says.

The Diakon board sent the 10-page letter in response to a resolution approved at a June assembly of the Lower Susquehanna Synod.

The resolution asked the nonprofit agency to explain its philosophy on executive pay in writing by Sept. 30.

The resolution -- drafted by the York Conference -- cited the Lutheran confessions, Scripture and church social policy, which calls for lessening the disparities between pay for top executives and those under them.

The main concern was that McKee and two other Diakon executives ranked among the top five earners in a report of midstate nonprofit groups. In addition to his salary in 2006, Daun McKee collected $582,925 in benefits and a $63,591 expense account for a total $1.03 million, according to tax records.

Members of the Synod Council, which governs the nine-county body between church assemblies, received the Diakon response at their Sept. 27 meeting but did not act on it.

"It was noted that Diakon board members had offered to discuss this report with the Synod Council as well as the Committee of Deans," the Rev. Thomas E. McKee, synod secretary, said by e-mail.

"There was no discussion and no response to either Diakon's response or to the invitation to come to a Synod Council meeting."

The council could discuss this further at its Nov. 15 meeting, said McKee, who is of no relation to Daun McKee.
Read it all here. Shrimp, thinking that's quite a compensation package for pastors, out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow...that would pay good wages for about 6-7 pastors!

Tell me, why should anyone donate to this "social ministry?" That's huge overhead!

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...