The salaries of the top earners

Whenever I travel through London I take a rather unhealthy interest in the local free sheet published in the area. Last week I came across the Wimbledon Guardian, a paper which I assume from the vast number of adverts and limited news inside of it must be a free sheet delivered to every house or at least available in vast quantities at the train station.

What caught my eye was the front page which had a story about the Chief Exec awarding himself a £16,000 pay rise. I managed to find the story some days later here.

It wasn’t just the Chief Executive but also the other corporate directors who had received the additional money. What surprised me was that both major political parties (Lab and Cons in this case) in the Borough were broadly supportive of the move. This might be because the London Borough of Merton (the local authority in question) has had both major parties in power in the past year.

However, the reason both parties gave was that they needed to pay increased money to attract the quality of staff they needed to deliver the best service possible.

Is it possible that the politicians, who live and die by the results delivered by the senior managers have realised that they need to pay top market rates in order to secure the necessary talent that will help them deliver top notch services and thus win elections? And if this is the case then what does it say for the rest of us in this time of austerity? Are we going to have to be like the bankers and protect the salaries of the best and brightest by being ruthless with the minions? And if so, how can we possibly sell this to members of the public?

As far as I know there has been no uprising on the streets of Merton but were this to become a national picture, justified or not, would local authorities be able to justify their position and Chief Execs their high pay?


Explore posts in the same categories: We love the Council

3 Comments on “The salaries of the top earners”

  1. localgov Says:

    Where does that split actually happen, i.e. that you go from being a minion to a member of the ‘best and brightest’?

    for me that’s always going to sit awkwardly in local government, where in my experience many of the senior managers are only in position because they have survived the longest rather than because they are truly exceptional at their jobs. This is changing and there are superb managers out there, but the fact that they are the exception to the rule proves that there is a long way to go yet.

    I guess it also depends on how much you were earning in the first place – a £16000 raise might double the wages of a bottom tier worker but be not that much for a more senior officer. Still works out at about 10% though (I guess), I know I’d take that kind of a raise tomorrow!

  2. localgovaswell Says:

    Perhaps best and brightest was sort of tongue in cheek… And personally I agree that there are too many average managers out there. Nonetheless, if we do start to see senior managers as particularly important I can only see trouble brewing as politicians once again become divorced from the opinions of the people they represent…

  3. […] and in the public sector we don’t necessarily see things that way. A few weeks ago one of my fellow bloggers mused that possibly local politicians were realising the value of high paid senior managers by awarding […]

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