When Salford Council's £102,000 a year Director of Finance and Corporate Business resigned recently, his post was deleted and the Council claimed a saving of £48,000 – which beggars the question of what was happening to the other £54,000.
Now, minutes from the Council's Workforce Panel show that most of the cash is being spread in the form of pay rises to other senior officers, or "those posts with a
significant shift in focus, changes to key responsibilities and/or a wider remit..."
According to the Panel's minutes, a new role of Assistant Director, Education, Work and Skills will be upgraded to a salary in the band of £77,863 - £85,651, while an Assistant Director, People and Communities will be upgraded to a salary band of £68,130 - £74,944.
The minutes don't state what these roles were titled before, nor what the previous salaries were; but the Star believes the pay rises could be in the region of £15,000, with possibly more rises to come for other senior officers who have taken on 'wider remits'.
Salford Council claims that getting rid of many of its top-heavy chiefs has made significant savings... "£850,800 will have been achieved due to reductions in senior management at Assistant Director and above since June 2014" the Workforce Panel report states. What it doesn't state, is the huge rise in salaries for those who are left.
Last year, for instance, six of Salford Council's highest paid officers got massive pay rises, including the Strategic Director of Children's and Adult's Services who got a rise of over £12,000; from £127,316 in 2015/16 to £139,853 in 2016/17; and the Director of Public Health who got a pay rise of almost £10,000; from £107,504 in 2015/16, to £117,324 in 2016/17 (for full details see previous Salford Star article - click here).
In many cases, it's the well heeled senior officers who recommend cuts for front line services, such as closing the five local authority nurseries.
Jim Taylor, the City Director, or Chief Executive, was the highest paid employee at the Council in 2016/17, trousering £187,503, including pension and £7,677 electoral duties. Watch this space to see if he pockets a further pay rise pending a 'wider remit'...