Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Has council chiefs' pay got "out of hand?"

Today, Communities Secretary, John Denham had a go about council chief executives’ pay, telling the Labour party conference it has “got out of hand”. He re-iterated his pledge to reign in “boomerang bosses”, chief executives who pocket a pay-off from one job before popping up in another shortly after, and said he wanted to limit the “pension entitlements of the very highest earners” in local government.

UNISON have no problem with Chief Executives being well rewarded - many of them are UNISON members and they work hard serving their communities. But if Chief Executives are to be well rewarded, it is only fair that the staff who deliver the frontline services are well rewarded too.
At the end of the day public services are not delivered by well paid managers, but by modestly paid people like home care workers, housing officers, envirnmental health officers, refuse collectors and school meals workers. If managers are getting inflation busting pay rises, then so should the workers who deliver the services.

But over the past ten years the pay of Chief Executives (and other senior managers) has galloped ahead of the rate of inflation, whilst front line workers have struggled to see their pay match inflation.

Do readers of this blog think Chief Executives’ pay has “got out of hand,” as John Denham puts it? Well you will all be able to make your mind up soon as in a few weeks we will be publishing the results of our Freedom of Information requests to all 45 councils in the East Midlands where we asked for the salary of their Chief Executive. Watch this space!

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