Headlines: September 3rd, 2010

A report from a leading union says it is no wonder that the most senior jobs in local authorities are seen as ‘the best of all gravy trains’. In a new study of the most recent published accounts of local councils the GMB has found that 129 Chief Executives in England were paid more than 150,000 pounds a year in 2009-10. Its findings are based on a review of published accounts for 151 County councils, unitary authorities, London and metropolitan boroughs. It shows two Chief Execs earning more than 300,000 pounds, although for one, Cumbria’s Peter Stybelski, much of this was in pension contributions. His actual salary was 170,000 pounds. Fourteen council heads earned between a quarter of a million and 300,000 pounds and 62 were in the 200,000 to 250,000 pound bracket.

Brian Strutton, the union’s National Secretary for Public Services said council workers would be sickened by the levels of their bosses pay. “This is at a time when councils say they are hard up and are slashing jobs and services while telling staff to put up with a pay freeze,” he said.

He said the figures raised questions over what elected councillors were doing in voting through such ‘obscene remuneration packages’ and added: “When you add the ever growing number of council chief executives being made expensively redundant one day and popping up in another job the next, it’s no wonder that the top council jobs are being seen as the best of all gravy trains.”