sector is closing, according to the latest comprehensive salary survey
for the Society of IT Management.
authorities taking part, shows that the salary gap is receding in many areas,
particularly at senior management level. While in previous years salaries
of ICT directors in local government were typically only 60% of their
private sector equivalents, ICT directors in London and the south-east are
now being paid up to 86% of their equivalents in the private sector.
Average salaries in the police and fire sectors are showing a particular
increase over last year, with police salaries increasing by 6.8%(1.7% in
2003) and fire service salaries increasing by 10.2%(4.4% in 2003). Across
the whole sample, salaries have increased by an average of 5.9% compared to
5.1% last year.
The survey, now in its fourth year, also demonstrates an on-going, pleasing
trend with respect to recruitment and retention of staff at all levels.
Whereas 25% of organisations reported retention problems in 2003, the figure
has reduced to 17% in 2004. Similarly whilst 34% reported recruitment
problems last year, this years figure is 27%. Recruitment problems in the
London area, in particular, have eased, falling from over 50% reporting
problems in 2003 to 27% this year.
The survey analyses the salaries of all ICT staff in participating
authorities. This year's results are based on returns from over 140 local
authorities (around 30% of the total) covering more than 6,000 staff, seven
job levels, five job functions, and a total of 105 key skills.
The survey presents a range of data by type of authority, job type,
geographical location, gender, and age, and compares local authority ICT
salaries with those across all industries, using data from CEL's much larger
Computer Staff Salary. It additio nally provides information about staff
turnover, recruitment and retention, and details of the special efforts
taken by local authorities to attract and retain staff, including payment of
bonuses, and benefits such as flexitime, job sharing and home working.
The use of fringe benefits and more flexible ways of working is seen as very
important for authorities unable to compete with the private sector on
salaries alone. The 2004 survey shows increases in key indicators and that:
- 94% offer flexible working hours (up from 92% in 2003)
- 27% allow selected staff to work from home (up from 25% in
- 85% offer job sharing (up from 75% in 2003)
- 71% have a structured training and development plan for all staff
(same level as 2003)
However, according to Andy Roberts, chair of Socitm's member services group
which commissions the annual survey: 'Local authorities and other public
sector organisations must not be complacent - whilst currently they are able
to compete effectively in the ICT skills market, they are likely to face a
stiff challenge once recruitment picks up again and competition drives up
private sector salaries.'
Socitm is keen to support it's members in their development, and is
introducing a Continuous Professional Development scheme. It is also
part funding MBA courses for a number of it's members.