POLICIES REGARDING CLERGY CARE
As revised 10/23/09,46th NE Diocesan Assembly, Waterbury, CT
The following standing policies deal
with clergy care. Some are policies of the Orthodox Church in America
established by one or more All-American Councils. [National policies are indicated as such.] Others are diocesan policies. These clergy care
policies are neither goals nor upper-limit targets but are intended to provide
a 'safety net' for clergy compensation. For cash salary the booklet prepared and distributed
by the national office of the Orthodox Church in America, and basing salary on
community median income, is the guide. The diocesan minimum base salary is not a 'living wage' and can in no way be considered even
an adequate entry-level
compensation. It is intended only to
spare clergy who might be so poorly compensated
the further humiliation of having to approach his parish council, hat-in-hand, asking for permission to accept secular
employment so that he can provide for his family's basic care and perhaps survival.
Minimum full-time salary:
diocesan minimum full-time base cash salary compensation is $22,500.00, as of January 1, 2003. This base figure
shall be adjusted upward annually according to the cost-of-living-adjustment,
[COLA] announced at the regular diocesan assembly and effective January 1 following the
shall be understood to mean: • In every case a priest needing and/or desiring
to accept secular employment must ask and receive the blessing of the diocesan
bishop. • In parishes paying less than the minimum salary no parish or parish council
approval is necessary for the priest
to accept full or part-time secular employment. • In parishes paying at or
above the minimum salary level, in addition
to the bishop's blessing, parish council approval is required for the priest to
accept full or part-time secular employment.
cost-of-living adjustments in clergy compensation are required of all parishes. The amount of the
cost-of-living adjustment shall be announced at the annual diocesan assembly. The COLA
is calculated by examining three July Consumer Price Indices issued by the US
Bureau of Labor Statistics. They are the Boston Consumer Price Index (CPI), the
Northeast Region CPI and the US
city average CPI and by approved resolution from the 2007 Diocesan Assembly the
highest percent increase from among those three indices will be used. Merit increases are
at the discretion of each parish.
Since within our diocese, few or none of the clergy salaries are at a professional
level, at the time
of clergy transfers, the salary for the incoming clergy is not based on length of
service but shall
be not less than that of the former pastor.
parish shall provide either parish housing, including all utilities except telephone, or a
allowance adequate to the parish community and adequate to provide housing at
to the average living conditions of parish members.
Social security as required by law- Federal law requires 7.65% of the base salary combined with the value of
the provided housing or housing allowance. Parishes are not required but are encouraged to pay
the entire 15.3%.
• Participation in the OCA pension plan is required of all OCA clergy residing in the U.S. [Canadian law makes other provisions for clergy serving in Canada.] Parishes are required to pay 6% of the base salary to the pension plan. [This is a national requirement.] Parishes are not required but are encouraged to pay the entire 12% amount.
• Participation in
the OCA life insurance plan is required for all clergy. [This is a
Parish priests are
to receive an auto allowance of not less than $50.00 monthly.
• Though not required, parishes are encouraged to provide a continuing education allowance which may be used for books, classes and/or conferences.
Vacation time is determined from date of ordination, not by length of service in a particular parish.
one to seven years from ordination — not less than two weeks paid vacation
seven to twelve years from ordination — not less than three weeks paid vacation
above twelve years from ordination — not less than four weeks paid vacation
In recognition of long and/or outstanding service, parishes may choose to increase vacation allowances.