On Tuesday morning, Rev. Earle Treptow, chairman of the Compensation Review Committee and a professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., detailed the recommendations of the Compensation Review Committee. The group is a standing committee of the Synodical Council, but it took on a more active role after the 2015 synod in convention approved a resolution calling for a “thorough review” of the WELS Compensation Guidelines.
“In the early stages of the project, the committee envisioned a radical reworking of the guidelines currently in place,” says Treptow. “The more we wrestled with the issues, however, the more we recognized the excellent work that had been done in putting together the current compensation guidelines. The problem has been that calling bodies haven’t consistently applied the guidelines.”
Once the committee arrived at that realization, the focus shifted away from a complete revision toward a modification of the current guidelines.
As Treptow notes, “Much of the inconsistency in applying the guidelines stemmed from a lack of understanding. So, the Compensation Review Committee committed itself to repackaging the compensation guidelines in such a way that calling bodies would find them easier to apply. Only slight modifications were made to the current guidelines, so the financial impact on the work we do together as a synod should be minimal.”
During his presentation to delegates, Treptow showed delegates the new web-based calculator that can help calling bodies to determine a fair and equitable compensation package for their called workers. WELS Technology created this calculator to replace the existing Excel worksheet that Human Resources provides to calling bodies working on called worker compensation. This new called worker compensation calculator automates many of the tasks that previously required research and data entry by calling bodies.
Treptow emphasized to delegates, “What the Compensation Review Committee desires, above all else, is that calling bodies would approach compensation matters prayerfully, thoughtfully, and carefully. We want calling bodies, through their leaders, to think about the gospel ministry being carried out in their midst. More specifically, we want them to reflect on the responsibilities entrusted to each worker, the time that is being invested in carrying out those responsibilities, and the additional education the worker has pursued. Then the calling body can determine a salary based on knowledge of, and appreciation for, the important work the Lord’s servant is doing in its name.”
Floor Committee #8: Compensation Review is discussing the Compensation Review Committee’s recommendations and will present one or more resolutions later in this convention for consideration by all the delegates.
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