Unable to make much progress on bankers’ remuneration, national politicians and the media are targeting public sector senior pay. But vote-winning talk of capping salaries at £150,000 risks serious implications for the leadership of councils and local public services.
LGC’s exclusive survey quantifies for the first time how senior officers would react. Only a third of chief executives said their career plans would not change.
The rest face a stark choice: 40% would think of abandoning local government; 51% said they might stay put to avoid a pay cut. So: an exodus followed by a static period.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance may rejoice over “fewer senior managers” but residents won’t when services suffer
Emma Maier, editor of LGC
Particularly worrying is that 42% of directors and senior managers said they’d be reluctant to move (why take a promotion and extra stress without a pay rise?) and 60% would consider leaving, adding to fears over succession planning.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance may rejoice over “fewer senior managers”, but residents won’t when services suffer. It would be a mistake to pursue a cap without considering how it could distort the job market and affect public services.
Meanwhile, it is vital for members and senior officers to engage in the debate about an appropriate level of pay and to explain senior roles and council services to residents.
LGC applauds Katherine Kerswell’s courageous approach and backs the position of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers on salary transparency and explaining what chief executives do.