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CHIEFS' RISES OUTSTRIP NATIONAL AGREEMENT

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The average chief executive's salary increased by 3.2% in the year to April 1996, according to a Local Government M...
The average chief executive's salary increased by 3.2% in the year to April 1996, according to a Local Government Management Board Survey. The average increase for chief officers was 3.7%.

The figures show top pay in local government in England and Wales is increasing faster than allowed for in nationally negotiated settlements. The negotiated increase for the same period was around 2.3% for both groups of officers.

Figures for 1995 show nearly half of councils paid their chief executives above the nationally negotiated ranges. Nearly a quarter of chief officers were paid above the top of their scale.

The highest paid senior town hall staff work in county councils and London boroughs, where LGMB figures for 1996 show the average maximum salary is just under£90,000.

The lowest paid chief executives are in non-metropolitan districts, where the maximum is just under£60,000. Chief finance officers' salaries reach£46,000.

Chief finance officers are consistently the highest paid chief officers, earning a maximum average of£67,000 in county councils and£64,000 in London boroughs.

Personnel officers are among the lowest paid chief officers. They earn between a maximum of£41,000 in district councils and£56,000 in county councils.

'Research shows there isn't much relationship between big rises and performance,' said CIPFA chief economist Chris Trinder. He believes the major pressure on pay in the public sector is a drive to catch up with senior salaries in the private sector.

Mr Trinder said: 'Under a Labour government the signs will be very different. It won't be comparing the shortfall to the private sector but everyone defending getting higher pay rises compared to those in the middle and the bottom.'

Public sector directors are at the bottom of the pay scale, according to a report by salary survey company Remuneration Economics published on Monday. They earned on average£58,000 last year, compared with an average£120,000 for utilities directors, who were the highest earners.

Public sector pay is also increasing more slowly than pay across the economy as a whole. Chief executives working in all sectors averaged an 8.2% pay rise last year, and directors' pay went up by 9.4%.

The following are average salaries (based on the figure councils gave for the top of the salary band) and the maximum allowed by the salary bands negotiated nationally:

Counties£

Chief executives pay: 89,394

Chief executives maximum in band: 69,486

Chief finance officers pay: 67,227

London

Chief executives pay: 89,352

Chief executives maximum in band: 71,514

Chief finance officers pay: 63,956

Metropolitan districts£

Chief executives 73,875 Chief executives maximum in band: 71,514

Chief finance officers pay: 54,281

Unitaries

Chief executives pay: 68,660

Chief executives maximum in band: 71,514

Chief finance officers pay: 52,771

Shire districts

Chief executives pay: 59,386

Chief executives maximum in band: 59,469

Chief finance officers pay: 46,035

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