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Flat Chat

A cup of tea and (big) bikkies

Flatchat was invited to speak at the Institute of Strata Titles Managers' annual conference a couple of weeks ago and among the ideas we floated was that Executive Committee members be paid for the work they do - provided they've had some basic training on strata law and how buildings run.

This prompted an email from Lance O'Loughlin of Absolute Strata Management, pointing out that Section 25 of the Strata Schemes Management Act allows this already, although it is in arrears.

The act says: "An owners corporation may pay to a person who is the chairperson, secretary, treasurer or a member of the executive committee such amount as the owners corporation determines at an annual general meeting in recognition of services performed by the person for the owners corporation in the period since the last annual general meeting."

Lance is absolutely right but, as he himself pointed out, it's done in arrears. That would make it very hard for an executive committee to ask for a payment when they've just had a fight to raise levies or, even worse, a special levy.

However much it may hurt at the time, you want an EC that's prepared to make the hard decisions on your behalf - not a bunch of suck-ups who want to keep you sweet so you give them an end-of-year bonus.

Also, I don't think payments should be allowed simply on a vote - they should have to have passed some sort of basic training like the frequent courses run by the ISTM. And I think there should be benchmark figures to prevent ECs awarding themselves ridiculously high payments, for instance, on a scale based on the number of lots in their strata.

I don't think anyone would join an EC just because they'd get paid but it would make them feel a bit more appreciated if they didn't have to hold out the begging bowl at the end of the year.

Oddly enough, the only occasions on which I hear about ECs being paid is when the office bearers swap their fistfuls of proxies to award each other $25,000 (as per one case whispered in my ear recently). And to think most people do it for a cup of tea and a Chocolate Monte.

Do you think EC members should be paid? Should it be dependent on them receiving basic training? Email us on or post a comment below.

First published SMH September 2006