In times of austerity everyone has to tighten their belt, so we are told. Cuts are being made at Barnet Council and lots of staff, including many in the libraries, have been made redundant. Every month Barnet publish the salaries of senior staff. Checking the October figures I noticed a few that seemed different and at first I thought it was a mistake so I looked back through the figures for each month. In August 2017 a number of staff appear to have received a very nice pay rise maybe sneaking it in while councillors were on holiday. The Government has been holding public sector pay rises down to 1% so imagine my surprise when I saw some of the huge rises which have been introduced. The comparison is based on the same staff between July 2017 (before the pay rise) and October 2017. Some staff have left or joined the council in the intervening period so I have excluded them from this analysis to ensure it is a straight, like for like, comparison. The analysis is below:
Now a couple of staff seem to have had a change to their job title. The biggest pay rise, 45% has gone to the former Strategic Lead Clean & Green who is now Street Scene Director. Same person different title. The Chief Operating Officer has now become the Assistant CEO although their pay rise is a much more modest 2%. There are a few senior officers who have had no change of title but substantial pay rises. The Strategic Director of Commissioning has had a 10% or £13,594 pay rise. The Head of Hospitals and Health has had a rather attractive 19% pay rise while the Director of resources has had a whopping £23,154 pay rise or 22%.
In the interests of balance I would also note that there are a number of staff who have had no pay rise at all including the Chief Executive. I have also used job titles only to save staff some embarrassment although all of the staff above are named in the data published here.
I hear all the time how front line staff are struggling to manage following so many years of below inflation increases, pay freezes or, in the case of Your Choice Barnet staff, a pay cut, yet when I see pay rises of this magnitude I can see that the people at the top are certainly very comfortable. When Richard Cornelius attends the Question Time with the Leader event next week I for one will be asking how he can justify these massive increases. I hope lots of other people ask him similarly probing questions about how the council is being run - make sure you book your tickets here.