Compensation Package Gurdwara Employees

We have debated the issue of compensation often written that the that the Gurdwara employees receive in the Diaspora. I have myself often written that among other things, the compensation package of the Bhais/Granthies is inadequate to attract educated persons with college education.

I did have some awareness about the relatively smaller pay packages of those working in the area of Religious services but I admit my surprise at finding how low the pay packages of those with degrees in Theology or Religious Studies are according the 2010 survey by CBS Moneywatch published on Aug 12th.

A degree in Theology brings the 8th lowest paying job with starting salary of $34,700 and mid career salary of $ 51,300. The degree in Religious Studies has a slightly higher ranking of 12 but attracts the same starting salary with the mid career salary of $ 54,400.

Those in the know of numbers and the perks that the Gurdwara employees get would possibly have some degree of sympathy for those who went to colleges to obtain degrees so that they could secure jobs in related fields elsewhere in the American society. In most positions the Gurdwara employees have very limited hours that they have to commit to the Gurdwara and usually are in a position to pick up other part time jobs.

The picture in India is possibly worse. In my conversations with the Faculty at Punjabi University and GND University I was told that the dismal enrollments in their Religious Studies and related programs was because of paucity of employment opportunities.

The view that I am coming to is that the economic lot of the Gurdwara employees is possibly comparable when their perks etc are taken into account. Then why is it that educated youth are not opting for this service? The answer to this may lie in our collective attitude towards them that somehow is not socially accepting, though it is outwardly respectful. The Gurdwara management structures and their methods also may not encourage youth to prefer worknig with them.

Whatever the mix of causes, economic factors are not likely to be dominant. Hope members will weigh in.


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