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Leading devo council defends pay rise for senior managers

Manchester City Council has defended proposed pay rises for its senior managers despite accusations that the above-inflation increases come at a time of “savage cuts”.

The council proposed that the changes to the Strategic Management Team (SMT) pay, which would cost just over £50,000, were due to role changes to support key priorities.

The above-inflation pay rises come after an external benchmarking exercise had been carried out to compare the salaries of the SMT and support to SMT roles against other Core Cities comparators.

However, Simon Walsh, GMB regional organiser, said: “To say we are disappointed that senior officers have moved to bump strategic management team pay is an understatement. Senior officers have regularly seen their pay packets swell in the last six years whilst our members have faced below inflation pay awards and job insecurity while their jobs are outsourced.”

He added that Manchester City Council, which is the first authority to take control of its healthcare budget, has faced savage cuts since 2010.

“We are currently bracing ourselves for further cuts following the council’s current consultation with staff and residents which are to be finalised by November,” said Walsh.

“With an ever decreasing workforce and ever increasing pressure, our members are struggling to cope across all services. We find it inexplicable that Manchester City Council can find this level of funds to address senior officers pay.”

A Manchester City Council report said the additional costs of the changes to senior salaries recommended in this report is £51,467. This can be met from existing budgets.

The proposals include an £8,000 pay bump for the city solicitor (current salary £113,120 with proposed salary at £125,000) and the strategic director of education and skills pay packet increasing by £9,000 (current salary £111,100 with proposed salary of £125,000).

Cllr John Flanagan, the council’s executive member for finance, said: “The council’s senior officers are responsible for multi-million pound budgets and decisions which affect the lives of people who live and work in Manchester.

“They are also charged with developing the strategies which will shape the future direction of the city. As such, it is essential that we can keep and attract the right quality of senior staff by having salaries which reflect the levels of responsibility they have and are in line with those available in comparable cities.”

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Dennis   08/08/2016 at 11:33

I am sick and tired of this old excuse - "we need to keep and retain the right quality of senior manager" - bunkum! In the current market, if a senior manager left because he wanted more than his £111k pay, I'm sure Manchester could get someone else who could do a fine job for the same money. At my place, when our previous CEO left, we advertised the job at a lower salary and still got a strong field from which we were able to recruit a very good person. Councils and other bodies pay far too much attention to the views of headhunters who of course have a vested interest.

Malcolm   08/08/2016 at 12:55

The NHS uses the same excuse but the reality is the people they get are not above average. If they were the NHS would not be bankrupt and so badly mismanaged. administrators naturally think they are indispensible yet the Brexit vote ought to be a wake up call since they clearly are not.

Andrew   08/08/2016 at 15:11

Typical of the greed, mutual back scratching and incompetence which seems rife in the upper echelons of publicly funded bodies. Every change whether more staff, less staff, changing roles etc.. is used as a reason for higher and higher pay for senior staff who are understandably completely detached from the real issues facing the majority of the workforce and despite the fact that these people were already well rewarded for no doubt challenging full time positions.

Norman   09/08/2016 at 14:28

Here we go again already overpaid, underworked, would not be able to hold down a proper job in the private sector, they want more. I think that you should not be allowed into top job in public sector until you experience in the private sector. They are never answerable to anyone shareholders etc.

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