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AS SALFORD COUNCIL CUTS WAGES FAT CATS ESCAPE
 

Star date: 26th January 2013

`BLAME THE SYSTEM' SAYS STEWART – BUT WHO SET THE BUDGET?

Salford Council has finally put the results of its Pay and Grading Review on the table, which, as the Salford Star predicted last October, included no pay reduction for Council fat cats - but up to £2000 slashed off the wages of hundreds of middle earning employees.

On local radio last night, Mayor Ian Stewart blamed the Review system but Steve North, who represents Council workers as branch secretary of Salford City UNISON says "Our initial view is definitely one of anger…"

Full details here…


Rank hypocrisy is the only way to explain Salford Council's attitude to its own workforce. Over the last three years most of its employees have been subject to a pay freeze, while its top earners have been getting huge pay rises…

According to the last Salford Council accounts, for instance, Chief Executive, Barbara Spicer, got a financial hike of over £1000 in the year 2011-12, to take her total package to £211,607.

Martin Vickers, Strategic Director for Customer and Support Services, saw his total pay package rise by over £20,000 - from £104,124 in 2010/11 to £124,346 in 2011/12.

Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart, pocketed a £69,000 allowance – an increase of £30,735 on the previous allowance for the Leader of Salford City Council. And Deputy Mayor, David Lancaster almost doubled his allowance picking up £44,850, as opposed to £24,717 for being Deputy Leader of the Council (see Salford Fat Cats feature – click here).

The excuses are always the same – an `independent review panel'`an independent system' `we don't have the power over it'…  `I don't have a magic wand' etc etc. So it was that last night, Ian Stewart went on local radio repeating the mantra for the latest `Pay and Grading Review'…

"I wish I had the power to make sure nobody was losing" he said "I don't… Give me the power and I'll change it…"

Stewart wombled on and on in the interview with Radio Manchester's Andy Crane (see BBC iPlayer here and go to 1.06.51) about the "fair and equitable" pay review that will see 629 Council staff earning between £21,000 and £42,000 having to take pay cuts of between £200 and £2,000, while the highest paid Council officers, like Barbara Spicer, have their wages untouched.

In a separate sop to workers, it was announced last week that, as part of the budget cuts for next year, thirty of the highest paid officers will be subject to the same pay freeze that lower paid workers have been subject to for three years.

However, within that budget, Ian Stewart did have the power to impose wage cuts for the likes of Barbara Spicer – but chose not to. Nor did he cut his own wages and those of his Assistant Mayors… it's "not fixed to this" he said.

As Stewart said in the radio interview, nobody wants to see anyone having pay cuts, but, given that they are being imposed, surely those at the top of the earning tree, including the Mayor*, should bear some of the burden.

On the positive side, Council employees earning below £21,000 will have their wages protected, while those currently earning the minimum wage will now get a `Living Wage' of £7.45 an hour. The majority of the workforce will see no change to their wages, while some will see an increase as part of the Review.

 "We accept that there are some positive aspects to this offer" says Steve North Salford City UNISON branch secretary "but our initial view is definitely one of anger that Senior Officers at Salford Council are expecting hundreds of staff to take a pay cut, especially while they themselves are prepared to offer nothing more than a pay freeze."

"Before we decide where to go next we will be meeting with our members, including at a mass members meeting at 5pm on Thursday 31st Jan at Swinton Legion" he adds "At this point, we certainly can't recommend that staff take this offer."

Meanwhile, according to a leak from inside the Council, Barbara Spicer has been spending time finding out which employees have been looking at the Salford Star site (nearly 1000 by the way!). If this is true, surely she could be doing something more useful to earn her £211,000 wages?


• In the Mayoral briefing on the budget, Ian Stewart hinted that he might take a pay cut…

So why aren't you and the Assistant Mayors not taking a cut in wages?

"What makes you think we're not?" Stewart responded "What I do in relation to my own terms and conditions is something that's not fixed to this but may be of interest to you in the future…"

When is that `future' if not now? (see full article here)

See previous Salford Star features...

Salford Council To Impose Wage Cuts - click here

* Salford Fat Cats Increase - click here

Reg Howard wrote
at 10:04:59 on 04 February 2013
I have been reading the comments on this site regarding the council and the way the city is run,many people are calling for change,and, to this end, I and others have formed a new political party, this is a completely new concept in local government and, if,as i hope it will,it gets the backing of the people ,then we can win,The party is called "Salford City Party" and, as the name says, it is for Salford and its people, the idea is quite simple, we rally all of the activity groups in each ward and get them to name their own candidate,this will then motivate them to get out and drum up support for their candidate in their ward,there will be no interest in national or international politics, only issues which concern this city, and the candidates will push issues relating to their own ward.if you are interested in learning more about us, please feel free to come along to our next meeting on Thursday 7th February,at Salford arts theatre, liverpool street Salford,at 7-30pm Reg Howard
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 09:46:00 on 02 February 2013
Reg, excellent initiative, I pledge not to oppose the candidates in 2014 who stand in the name of "Salford City Party". New ideas are the only way we will get reform and change to replace Salford's stagnant pool of politics. I wish you well.
 
wrote
at 06:50:21 on 31 January 2013
Based on Barbara Spicers salary of £210K per annum, Im not a great mathematician, but that would make her net WEEKLY take home pay AFTER tax and insurance on average a WHOPPING £2200 PER WEEK. I ask you, TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED POUNDS A WEEK-please, can someone tell me what we are paying out that kind of money for?
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 14:38:09 on 29 January 2013
and to think I use to be a Labour Party Constituency Secretary back in my twenties when we fought for the rights of workers. Oh how the Party has slid down the bile pile on local politics.
 
Socialist wrote
at 04:55:48 on 29 January 2013
Is there any truth in the rumour that Salford council have offered Alexi Sayle a job? They have employed so many bleedin Scouse comedians that one with socialist views would be a novelty. What's the funny little guy Degsy Hatton doing these days?
 
wrote
at 13:10:34 on 28 January 2013
@ curious & polite person, I don't like the BBC so turn it over to an other side, if you don't like what's on here don't look, you could read life in Salford written by the bullshitting Salford labour council, or other wise known as sticking your head the sand whilst they bankrupt the city
 
wrote
at 13:10:17 on 28 January 2013
@Winston Smith-I agree, a little bit of strategic planning is needed....plus some young mobile politico warriors who are willing to travel . source the intel re ward membership...any ....disillusioned ex labour party member up for it? Maybe concentrate on the wards with the fewest members first-but deffo saturate the wards when the old guard are up for re election. Lancaster/Hinds/Warmisham etc.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 11:31:24 on 28 January 2013
@Wrote - I like the idea a lot (ousting the anti-democrats from *within* the local Labour Party), but how many pro-democratic people would be needed to tip the balance? And how many councillors would need to be replaced before we have a pro-democratic majority? A bit of planning is needed I think...
 
wrote
at 06:38:44 on 28 January 2013
Ive just been chatting with my mate-he has a plan!!How to change the power base in Salford...would be for everyone who doesnt like this Labour council to join the party (free if youre unemployed and approx £3.00 per month for workers)and smash its grip from within. In the local elections they could make important decisions -like who will be their ward cllr..insist they have open selection lists so candidates who are up for re election and a fresh,new candidate of your choice with no ties or allegience to the old guard- are given an equal chance of selection- then all your new members vote for them-its a way of getting rid of the clingons that do their own thing instead of the will of the people. The labour party membership is so depleted in Salford, it wouldnt need many new recruits to tip the balance-imagine if that happened all across the wards? Yay, bring it on-
 
Polite person wrote
at 06:37:49 on 28 January 2013
I agree, there is so much hate on this site.
 
Sideliner wrote
at 18:51:38 on 27 January 2013
@Curious, it just goes to show the stength of feeling in Salford against these cuts and those who govern us. The only outlet for anger by people affected by these cuts is this website, the Advertiser would not dare print any letters which portray such strong feelings, i think the fact that this website are willing to do so should be praised. Unfortunalty with the stucture of the council how it is people are often not heard, and when they are, they are often ignored, for that we can only blame the councillors and others who do the ignoring and distance themselves from public opinon in order to follow the leader.
 
salford pimpernel wrote
at 18:51:34 on 27 January 2013
@Curious. it's what happens when a council becomes corrupt and stops listening to it's electorate and deems it's self unanswerable to us, may be you can tell us what this council has done for it's residents that benefits them. look at the turn out at election time around 60% and how many of them vote labour? if this labour council was on a life support machine, there would be a cue round the hospital ready to pull the plug ps all this bile you call it, will probably soon stop when this labour council can find a way to shut the star down, censorship and dictatorship is not far away , just look at spicer looking at council workers visiting star web site, what are they afraid of, freedom & democracy.
 
Pay peanuts wrote
at 18:51:01 on 27 January 2013
They say that if you pay peanuts that you get monkeys. We have monkeys at the top so how about paying them peanuts? On a slightly different issue, the figures of £21,000 to £42,000 are way beyond the wages that most people in Salford earn. I,d like to know what those people do to earn their money?
 
Andy Bean wrote
at 18:50:23 on 27 January 2013
Curious ! Are you really Spicer , Stewart , Merry or Lancaster ? Or just a clowncil toady ? The avaricious clowncil cretins deserve all they get , and more .
 
Salford Star wrote
at 15:31:15 on 27 January 2013
See Curious comment below - we don't write the comments! You should see the ones we block every day...Anyone is free to write anything, including councillors - the only ones blocked are those that accuse corruption etc without being able to prove it, and ones that incite violence, racism etc, everything else goes up.
 
Curious wrote
at 15:27:57 on 27 January 2013
does every comment on here have to be so hate-filled and full of bile, or is that just your natural personality Steve?
 
Tim nice, not dim wrote
at 07:16:40 on 27 January 2013
No chance of Stewart and co ever giving themselves a pay cut, they know all the d1ckheads in Salford will vote them back in next time anyway, so they don't give a fook. Makes me feel sick that these bastards that are ruining this city are lapping up the cash and pissing in our faces.
 
Gareth L wrote
at 18:08:00 on 26 January 2013
Wouldn't it be nice if the Fat Cats who have had pay increases and say they have to accept them, donate these increases to charities within the city.
 
joseph.oneill@virgin.net wrote
at 14:48:04 on 26 January 2013
Salford Pimpernel makes a fair point who keeps Labour alive? beside the fortunes they take from us in allowances the Unions keep them afloat. Was it not unite who pulls the strings on the Labour national guard and in Salford Stewart. I sit and listen at meetings arranged by the unions who cry shame on Salford's Labour, perhaps we should be looking a little deeper at their masters. Like any party without the funds to fight there is no party, if the unions believe they have issues then perhaps it's time they came out and used the tools they have to force Labour to the table, talk is cheap action takes a little more nerve.
 
salford pimpernel wrote
at 09:34:43 on 26 January 2013
Spicer the shister, looking at council workers looking at Salford star web site, is Salford city labour council trying to bring in censorship and dictatorship didn't the east Germans do that during the cold war with the Stasi. to all SALFORDIAN'S this is what happens when you don't vote..... famous quote, for evil to prevail, it takes good men to stand by and do nothing. ....on the unions in Salford council, do they still pay towards the Salford labour party, if so then stop these payments, money that helps them to keep getting re-elected, in to their cushy gold plated jobs.
 
Not a LIAR wrote
at 09:33:03 on 26 January 2013
JUST PATHETIC , AND SO TYPICAL . THE PEOPLE OF SALFORD MUST ENSURE THAT THESE AVARICIOUS , GREEDY , SELF-SERVING POLITICIAN-SCUM ARE BOOTED OUT , BACK INTO THE SLIME THEY CRAWLED FROM , AS SOON AS POSSIBLE .
 
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