Senior council staff’s 9% rise during cuts

Senior council staff’s 9% rise during cuts

Senior council staff’s 9% rise during cuts

First published in News

SENIOR staff at Basildon Council have been handed a 9 per cent pay rise – despite management restructuring aimed at saving cash.

The Echo can reveal austerity measures, which saw chief executive Bala Mahendran move to a three-day week, have hit lower-paid staff hardest, with 46 losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, the top 18 officers were paid a total of more than £1.5million in 2013/14, an increase of more than £107,000 from the year before the changes.

“Promotional” pay rises of between 3 and 9 per cent for senior staff saw the overall payout soar with “golden handshakes” of up to £86,000 for managers who left in 2013/14, boosting the bill further.

Despite this, council bosses insist the overall restructure, which also affected lower pay bands, saved the authority £302,490 in the last financial year.

Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together.

“Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent.

“These are the people who crossed the picket-line to keep services going during the strikes.

“We have a self-indulgent highpaid culture and large numbers of quite low paid people they have got rid of. We have 18 people who must feel like they have won the lottery every year and everyone else who has had a small win on a scratchcard.”

Top earner remained chief executive Bala Mahendran, despite him going on a three-day week.

From April 2013 to March 2014, he pulled in a total of £190,886 including bonuses, expenses, benefits and pension contributions, despite going part-time last August.

This was just £35,000 less than his total earnings for 2012/13 when he was full-time.

Consultant Cormack Smith was hired on loan from Westminster City Council for £117,000 to act as a council spin doctor. According to the report, a further 29 officers at the council were paid between £50,000 to £80,000 in 2013/14.

Kerry Smith, leader of the Ukip group on the council, said the figures showed councils believed if they did not pay top money, officers would go elsewhere.

He added: “I am a firm believer we should go back to the good old days of having a town clerk and recruiting young people in the borough for junior roles and promoting them to senior roles.

“Why is the taxpayer paying the pensions of people earning more than £100,000? This should be for dustmen and teachers, who give decades of service to local taxpayers.”

Golden handshake payments to staff made redundant through the changes came to £461,834, which is £350,000 more than the previous year.

The biggest, £86,448, went to former executive director Chris White who was made redundant on August 31, 2012.

Labour group leader Byron Taylor added: “In our last manifesto we said we wanted to see a reduction in topend officer pay. We believe there is a culture of high pay in Basildon with top officers taking a big slice of the pie. At the same time, we have 20 people at the council being paid below the living wage and that is not acceptable.”

Simon Gardner, secretary of Unison’s Basildon local government branch, said: “It is not right if employees are offered 1 per cent.

How can it be justified that people get 9 per cent?”

 

 

BASILDON Council said its accounts gave the “false impression” senior managers had  eceivedwhopping pay rises, when in fact they had been promoted.
Dawn French, commissioning director for corporate support, whose basic salary rose by the equivalent of 9 per cent, said: “As a result of the restructuring, some senior managers were promoted.
“A requirement of the code of practice on local authority accounting is the previous year’s salary is shown, therefore it gives a false impression of a pay rise for the same management positions when in fact this was a promotion.”
The council insisted it had saved £300,000, when changes to staff below the senior managers were also taken into account.
Mrs French added: “The statement of accounts for 2013-14 now shows an increased number of senior managers as a result of the reclassification of senior management positions,
where the council has decided to reduce overall management costs by having a flatter overall management structure.
“This has increased the number of staff who fall within the new senior manager classification, while reducing management positions overall.
“Positions now identified as new senior management positions were either filled as a result of a promotion, on a interim basis, or through recruitment which also results in an overall reduction in the total spend by £302,490.”
The council plans to save a further £200,000 in 2014/15.
She added Mr Mahendran’s bonus was paid a year in arrears, so the higher level had been for the previous full-time service.

Comments (18)

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7:34am Mon 28 Jul 14

John Right says...

Foot soldiers at the bottom of the structure cannot and never will be paid on an even keel, with their glorious masters
Foot soldiers at the bottom of the structure cannot and never will be paid on an even keel, with their glorious masters John Right
  • Score: 7

7:52am Mon 28 Jul 14

R Souls says...

Snouts in the trough. These executives are not fit for the job.
Snouts in the trough. These executives are not fit for the job. R Souls
  • Score: 8

8:19am Mon 28 Jul 14

billybloggs says...

are they not council employees they only entitled too 1% like all other council employees
are they not council employees they only entitled too 1% like all other council employees billybloggs
  • Score: 10

8:52am Mon 28 Jul 14

kyprman says...

billybloggs wrote:
are they not council employees they only entitled too 1% like all other council employees
Billy, you would have thought so. But no, whilst those of us working in the trenches of public service have effectively had a 10% pay cut over the last five years, the greedy piggy-wigs continue to push their snouts ever deeper into the trough.
[quote][p][bold]billybloggs[/bold] wrote: are they not council employees they only entitled too 1% like all other council employees[/p][/quote]Billy, you would have thought so. But no, whilst those of us working in the trenches of public service have effectively had a 10% pay cut over the last five years, the greedy piggy-wigs continue to push their snouts ever deeper into the trough. kyprman
  • Score: 12

8:52am Mon 28 Jul 14

BasildonDond says...

How many directors and managers does a company need ?? I genuinely believe they make these jobs up just to keep certain people happy.
How many directors and managers does a company need ?? I genuinely believe they make these jobs up just to keep certain people happy. BasildonDond
  • Score: 12

9:58am Mon 28 Jul 14

n-unknown says...

Same old thing every year. People will throw their toys out of their pram for a week and then forget all about it.

People at the top are in it for themselves and will do anything to the people below them in order to maintain their own progression and salary. It's a cut throat culture but people of a 'higher level' of a business, regardless of being in the public or private sector, will play the politics game and help other equally senior members of staff.

Nothing will change within the councils and parliament unless the whole political and payment structure changes. Salaries within councils and parliament should be only approved after a decision is made by the public. Much like shareholders can agree or reject a bonus package for corporate bosses. We all pay taxes in one way or another, we are all shareholders of this country.
Same old thing every year. People will throw their toys out of their pram for a week and then forget all about it. People at the top are in it for themselves and will do anything to the people below them in order to maintain their own progression and salary. It's a cut throat culture but people of a 'higher level' of a business, regardless of being in the public or private sector, will play the politics game and help other equally senior members of staff. Nothing will change within the councils and parliament unless the whole political and payment structure changes. Salaries within councils and parliament should be only approved after a decision is made by the public. Much like shareholders can agree or reject a bonus package for corporate bosses. We all pay taxes in one way or another, we are all shareholders of this country. n-unknown
  • Score: 8

11:31am Mon 28 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

'We're all in it together' but obviously some of 'us' are more in it than the others.

Still no real surprise here except maybe that the pay rise is as 'low' as nine percent for the already overpaid fatcats.....
'We're all in it together' but obviously some of 'us' are more in it than the others. Still no real surprise here except maybe that the pay rise is as 'low' as nine percent for the already overpaid fatcats..... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

12:13pm Mon 28 Jul 14

pembury53 says...

R Souls wrote:
Snouts in the trough. These executives are not fit for the job.
maybe not, but lets face it, what a touch for those fortunate to take it..... massive house, buy to lets everywhere, holidays in the Maldives, kids in private school, being prepared as the next batch of boardroom incumbents...... all while laughing at the servant classes, noses to the grind stone day after day, to pay for it all...... just what you need to cheer you up on a monday
[quote][p][bold]R Souls[/bold] wrote: Snouts in the trough. These executives are not fit for the job.[/p][/quote]maybe not, but lets face it, what a touch for those fortunate to take it..... massive house, buy to lets everywhere, holidays in the Maldives, kids in private school, being prepared as the next batch of boardroom incumbents...... all while laughing at the servant classes, noses to the grind stone day after day, to pay for it all...... just what you need to cheer you up on a monday pembury53
  • Score: 5

1:34pm Mon 28 Jul 14

emcee says...

If these "pay rises" were due to "promotions" or because some staff have to take on extra work/extra responsibility due to the cost cutting restructure of roles (as the council has alluded) then I have no problem with it. However, these pay enhancements have to happen all the way down the chain, not just for senior staff but for those more junior positions where they have to take on extra work because of their collegue's redundancies.
If these are pay rises "cost of living" rises or are "increment" rises then it is abosolutely wrong.
If these "pay rises" were due to "promotions" or because some staff have to take on extra work/extra responsibility due to the cost cutting restructure of roles (as the council has alluded) then I have no problem with it. However, these pay enhancements have to happen all the way down the chain, not just for senior staff but for those more junior positions where they have to take on extra work because of their collegue's redundancies. If these are pay rises "cost of living" rises or are "increment" rises then it is abosolutely wrong. emcee
  • Score: 2

2:21pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Devils Advocate says...

Oh come on be fair! You knew it, I knew it, in fact everyone knew it. You get what you vote for, it's in every history book, and now people act surprised? Your great grandad could have told you. When they were last voted out, it was not long after the "We'll all be better off, because better scraps fall from the table of the rich." They have been laughing at us for centuries!
Oh come on be fair! You knew it, I knew it, in fact everyone knew it. You get what you vote for, it's in every history book, and now people act surprised? Your great grandad could have told you. When they were last voted out, it was not long after the "We'll all be better off, because better scraps fall from the table of the rich." They have been laughing at us for centuries! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 4

2:49pm Mon 28 Jul 14

ThisYear says...

Will they be given bigger belts as well... to accommodate the extra bellies soon to be acquired
Will they be given bigger belts as well... to accommodate the extra bellies soon to be acquired ThisYear
  • Score: 3

3:37pm Mon 28 Jul 14

VeteranOfMany says...

billybloggs wrote:
are they not council employees they only entitled too 1% like all other council employees
The generous 1% is for the shop floor workers, please don't get confused .
[quote][p][bold]billybloggs[/bold] wrote: are they not council employees they only entitled too 1% like all other council employees[/p][/quote]The generous 1% is for the shop floor workers, please don't get confused . VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 2

10:01pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Devils Advocate says...

Trouble is, they don't need us anymore. Plenty of cannon fodder here now, we don't make anything worth a mention. Just a matter of running up the grinders I am afraid!
Trouble is, they don't need us anymore. Plenty of cannon fodder here now, we don't make anything worth a mention. Just a matter of running up the grinders I am afraid! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 0

10:55am Tue 29 Jul 14

Kim Gandy says...

"Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together.

“Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent."

Says the man whose wife collects £300 each time she attends the House of Lords. None other than "Baroness" Basildon, the failed Socialist MP who wanted the House of Lords abolished... but has managed to hold on to a nice fat income despite that she's never around Basildon that much anyway. And then there were the wrongly claimed expenses that had to be repaid....

Thou speaketh with forked tongue....
"Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together. “Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent." Says the man whose wife collects £300 each time she attends the House of Lords. None other than "Baroness" Basildon, the failed Socialist MP who wanted the House of Lords abolished... but has managed to hold on to a nice fat income despite that she's never around Basildon that much anyway. And then there were the wrongly claimed expenses that had to be repaid.... Thou speaketh with forked tongue.... Kim Gandy
  • Score: -2

9:46pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Devils Advocate says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
"Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together.

“Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent."

Says the man whose wife collects £300 each time she attends the House of Lords. None other than "Baroness" Basildon, the failed Socialist MP who wanted the House of Lords abolished... but has managed to hold on to a nice fat income despite that she's never around Basildon that much anyway. And then there were the wrongly claimed expenses that had to be repaid....

Thou speaketh with forked tongue....
And so the hounding of our Labour councillors by Ms Gandy continues. Come on Echo, why are you allowing Ms Gandy's personal vendetta's to flourish here? Only you can stop this. We, the readership try but to no avail. This is surely for readers comments, not Ms Gandy's war on anyone other than Right wing ravers. Or raveresses!
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: "Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together. “Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent." Says the man whose wife collects £300 each time she attends the House of Lords. None other than "Baroness" Basildon, the failed Socialist MP who wanted the House of Lords abolished... but has managed to hold on to a nice fat income despite that she's never around Basildon that much anyway. And then there were the wrongly claimed expenses that had to be repaid.... Thou speaketh with forked tongue....[/p][/quote]And so the hounding of our Labour councillors by Ms Gandy continues. Come on Echo, why are you allowing Ms Gandy's personal vendetta's to flourish here? Only you can stop this. We, the readership try but to no avail. This is surely for readers comments, not Ms Gandy's war on anyone other than Right wing ravers. Or raveresses! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 2

5:23pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

Shut it morons and swallow what is right in front of you.. I am not taking money from the public purse.

Concentrate on the above story and see how much you mugs are paying.

Attacking me does nothing to change this does it? Save your venom for those who are robbing you, not a member of the public who wants to see justice done..

Mouthing off at me shows how thick and uneducated you really are - and how afraid you are to come out from behind your pseudonym.
Shut it morons and swallow what is right in front of you.. I am not taking money from the public purse. Concentrate on the above story and see how much you mugs are paying. Attacking me does nothing to change this does it? Save your venom for those who are robbing you, not a member of the public who wants to see justice done.. Mouthing off at me shows how thick and uneducated you really are - and how afraid you are to come out from behind your pseudonym. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

9:21am Thu 7 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
"Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together.

“Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent."

Says the man whose wife collects £300 each time she attends the House of Lords. None other than "Baroness" Basildon, the failed Socialist MP who wanted the House of Lords abolished... but has managed to hold on to a nice fat income despite that she's never around Basildon that much anyway. And then there were the wrongly claimed expenses that had to be repaid....

Thou speaketh with forked tongue....
You can minus my comments all you like. This is FACT and only the thick and stupid and gullible would advocate the spending of THEIR money on somebody who abhors the idea of peerages but has accepted one.

Grow up. Morons.

But only two morons it seems...!
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: "Nigel Smith, Labour deputy group leader, said: “So much for all being in it together. “Frontline jobs have gone and senior staff have got eye watering pay rises of up to 9 per cent." Says the man whose wife collects £300 each time she attends the House of Lords. None other than "Baroness" Basildon, the failed Socialist MP who wanted the House of Lords abolished... but has managed to hold on to a nice fat income despite that she's never around Basildon that much anyway. And then there were the wrongly claimed expenses that had to be repaid.... Thou speaketh with forked tongue....[/p][/quote]You can minus my comments all you like. This is FACT and only the thick and stupid and gullible would advocate the spending of THEIR money on somebody who abhors the idea of peerages but has accepted one. Grow up. Morons. But only two morons it seems...! Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Devils Advocate says...

Strange comments Ms Gandy. Not a word whilst your right wing friends held all the seats in "The Cabinet" but now the venom moves because of the new members? You are always commenting on left wing people and politics, little realising how much of your cherished freedom of speech was won for you, along with equal pay and free health for all, by that same left wing you abhor so much. Yes, us mere mortals may be poorly educated, but at least we did take a little glance at our history!
Strange comments Ms Gandy. Not a word whilst your right wing friends held all the seats in "The Cabinet" but now the venom moves because of the new members? You are always commenting on left wing people and politics, little realising how much of your cherished freedom of speech was won for you, along with equal pay and free health for all, by that same left wing you abhor so much. Yes, us mere mortals may be poorly educated, but at least we did take a little glance at our history! Devils Advocate
  • Score: 0

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