Salford Council's draft accounts for 2012-13 are released today and show that the Fat Cats are still lapping up the financial cream. While the Council was busy cutting budgets to their departments, three of the highest paid senior officers got pay package rises of up to £10,000 each.
Martin Vickers, Strategic Director of Customer and Support Services, saw his total package rise from £124,346 in 2011-12, to £134,194 in 2012-13 (includes pension and expenses).
Ben Dolan, Strategic Director of Environment and Community Safety, also saw his overall package rise from £124,038 in 2011-12, to £134,616 in 2012-13.
Nick Page, Strategic Director of Children's Services, saw his overall package rise from £125,766 in 2011-12, to £134,587 in 2012-13.
While the total packages include pensions, expenses and small extra bungs for working on the Police Commissioner Election last December, all three had really hefty rises in their basic wages.
The Council would argue that having ditched the Assistant Chief Executive and his £115,700 basic salary, those left at the top are entitled to trough up the financial entrails because of the `increased workload' – but try telling that to any normal Council employee now doing extra work, with no extra dosh, to cover colleagues who have had their jobs axed.
Meanwhile, a newcomer into the top seven earners at the Council is Chief Financial Officer, Neil Thornton, on a basic salary of £90,000 plus a pension that will take his total package well over £100,000 (this doesn't show up in the accounts as he missed a few months of the financial year).
The only two top earners who didn't receive a huge pay rise were the Development Director (who?) on a package of £117,341, and Sue Lightup, Strategic Director of Community, Health and Social Care, who was already the second highest earner at the Council, once the Assistant Chief Exec had been binned. She picked up a total package of £133,477 in the year 2012-13.
Which just leaves the Council's top earner, Chief Executive Barbara Spicer, who handbagged a total package just shy of £200,000 in the financial year 2012-13.
On the accounts it looks like Babs was down by over £11,000 on her total of £211,607 in 2011-12, but a small note in the accounts adds that she was paid £8,216 from the Electoral Commission for work during the Police Commissioner Election, on top of her £199,867 Council package during the year. This appears to be a final bung as she's now lost 20% of her salary that was formerly paid by the Greater Manchester Police Authority.
So, while the Fat Cats were still raking it in during the year that they were scheming over almost £24million of cuts, lots of the lowest paid people who work for the Council were picking up redundancy payments.
The accounts show that 177 school and non-school staff who work for the Council and earn under £20,000 left employment - that's 86% of the total axed posts. They left with average `exit packages' of just over £9,000. This compares to the binned Assistant Chief Executive, who got a `loss of office' pay off of almost £20,000 – plus over £91,000 as a pension pot `capitalised cost of early retirement'.
Yep, we're all in this together!
See the full draft accounts, all 169 pages of them - click here
UPDATE: 4th July 2013:
Salford City UNISON Branch Secretary, Steve North, has issued the following statement:
“Following yesterday’s revelations about senior officer pay rises, our members and no doubt the wider population of Salford will be astonished to hear that our local authority believes it is appropriate to spend £72k a year on a spin doctor. How can this be justified to the low-paid home care workers who found out last week that the Council could no longer afford to keep their service, or to the parents of disabled children who might lose respite care? It’s shocking and the Council should change its mind. You don’t improve your public image through spin – you do it by supporting the needs of the people who elected you.”
For previous Salford Star article on the spin doctor click here