Friday, 25 January 2013

Gwynedd joins Top Brass pay row.

News that its not only Labour Councills, giving pay rises to their Top Brass while the lower payed suffer

About 200 staff working for Plaid led  Gwynedd council staged a lunchtime walkout over pay increases of up to 7% for senior staff, according to a trade union. Unison says its members are angry about the rises when they are "making sacrifices to save jobs and services".

Three of the most senior officials were given a rise of £5,839, while heads of service received from £1,042 to £5,094.

The council said the managers' pay was still comparatively low when compared to other local authorities.

Silyn Roberts, Unison's branch secretary for Gwynedd, said the rises were "grossly unfair and insulting" to council workers who have had a three-year pay freeze.

Gwynedd's three corporate directors - among the most senior managers in the local authority - will receive an increase of £5,839 from £83,121 to £88,960.

For the 11 other heads of service, the increases ranged from £1,042 to £5,094. For example, the heads of social services and education received an increase of £3,311 from £72,200 to £75,511.

The pay of the chief executive has not been affected and remains the same as it was in 2008, a maximum of £108,26

In response Gwynedd council leader Dyfed Edwards, told BBC Radio Wales the authority was contractually obliged to honour the pay rise agreed in 2009.aid the increases relate to a pay policy it first established in 2009 when it was advised to "follow the practice of other authorities and link senior manager pay to an independent public sector benchmark".

He said he did not feel the pay was too high but that the "gap between the lowest paid and the highest paid is too great".

The councillor said there was a danger senior officers' pay "may be spiralling upwards due to competition by 22 local authorities".

He called for changes "to get out of this competition where if a neighbouring authority sets pay at 20% then what are we supposed to do?"

So this may not be the same as the row in Caerphilly,  but it reflects the difference in power of those in senior positions and those at the bottom

Anyone familiar with Private Eyes 2Rotten Boroughs " will be aware of how senior council executives leave one Council with a lucrative pay of even afire only a few years  and then get a similar position. Or retire on a lucrative pension only to be employed by a council on a advisory capacity . Which is in fact only a way of employing them to prevent any legal restrictions

Gwynedd may have been caught in a legal trap which it had set but it looks more like we have a class  of public employees who can set their own pay and terms of conditions.

Perhaps it s time to adopt the Irish system of "The County or City Manager"  who performs the executive functions of the County or City Council. He or she supervises, co-ordinates, manages and pays the employees and officers of the Council.

County or City Managers are recruited through a competitive recruitment process organised by the Public Appointments Service. Once appointed, the County or City Manager will remain in office for a term of 7 years (although this can also be extended by an additional three years). The retirement age for County or City Managers is 65.

This can prevent the symbiotic relationship between the Chief Executive and the Leader of the ruling party where both have a mutual interest in keeping the other in his or hers position.

Otherwise we will find that vital services will be cut because we are giving senior management far to lucrative  pay packages and finding there's no way we can prevent it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem is councils don't control worker pay rates, but they do control officer pay rates. There is then a competitive market in officer pay across Wales and indeed the UK, and this drives pay up. Although in Gwynedd it traditionally hasn't driven pay up in the same way because they've decided to keep officer pay low.

But the nuances of this will be lost on local government workers who are understandably pissed off with their national pay freeze.