A happier new year for some rather than others is heading for the senior staff at WLBC . Readers may recall that early last month it was disclosed the majority of council employees, the lowest paid, will receive a 2% pay increase in each of the next two years under a proposal being considered by unions.
Not to be outdone by the offer, the union representing council chief executives and senior managers has submitted a pay claim that matches the 2% pay offer made to general council staff. The Association of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers (Alace) chair Tracey Lee said the increase was necessary due to “increasing pressures” on senior managers caused by austerity and Brexit.
Brexit? Seriously, how in hell can Brexit have put “increasing pressure” on the Chief Executive and Senior managers of WLBC? Ms Lee said “Given this context, Alace does not believe that chief executives should receive less generous treatment than other local government staff”. The National Employers are expected to respond to Alace’s claim, submitted on 21 December, early in February.
Ms Lee said “The pressures facing heads of paid service in leading their organisations through very challenging times continue unabated. Local government is widely accepted to be the most efficient part of the public sector. Leadership of the highest quality and resilience are demanded from chief executives in transforming councils, delivering public service reform and securing economic and housing growth”.
Conservative councillors attempted to block the 2% offer for the majority of council staff last month, warning that the increase would lead to further cuts to services. WLBC terminated the contracts of 5 employees in 2016-17 in different service areas incurring liabilities of £0.247m (£0.354m in 2015-16). Four of these cases related to voluntary redundancy (compared to 4 in 2015-16) and the other related to the end of a fixed term contract.
The current Statement of Accounts shows the WLBC Chief Executive in receipt of a total Salary plus Pension of £124,186, and as the 2% is likely to also increase the pension element it means an increase of almost £2,484. The lowest paid Senior Officer is likely to receive an additional £1,327.