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Chief's pay linked to living wage

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Bristol City Council is to link its next chief executive’s pay to the national living wage, although they will only be in the post for four years.

The next appointee will be on a fixed term contract paid 10 times the national living wage but with a performance-related bonus available at the end of their tenure, the council’s human resources committee has decided.

Former Birmingham City Council chief executive Stephen Hughes is filling the job on an interim basis following the departure in July of Nicola Yates after Marvin Rees (Lab) became elected mayor.

The committee’s report recommended to full council that the next chief’s pay would be 10 times that set by the Living Wage Foundation, inclusive of any increases agreed by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Local Authority Chief Executives.

This would at present give a starting salary of £160,000, the same as Ms Yates received.

A retention and performance incentive bonus equivalent to 10% of gross salary over the term of the chief’s employment could be agreed by performance management panel.

The next chief would be appointed only until 2020. The committee said this was because “the fixed term contract will be linked to the council’s immediate and short-term needs. The focus of the job of chief executive is likely to be different post-2020.”

Bristol Unison branch secretary Steve Crawshaw said: “It’s good to see the new mayor getting a grip on high pay. When staff are facing a thousand redundancies and services are under threat, restraint at the upper levels is needed.”

But he said past chiefs had additionally been paid as directors of council-linked companies and “there’s nothing in the policy to prevent this happening again, and we want to discuss this issue with the council.”


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