There has been much local outcry lately over the inflated salary of the new Director of Education which was raised to a very comfortable £113,000 just months after Labour agreed to variations in terms and conditiuons for lower paid staff which resulted in many of them being worse off.
In an attempt to defend this to the press Council Leader Russell Roberts – who surely knows a thing or two about inflated salaries – stated that
“In such challenging times, strong and capable professional management is more important than ever. “
This may be so, but if Group Directors and senior managers are to continue to be paid such figures then surely the public have a right to expect that they earn that ‘professional’ wage.
Earlier this week I was sent figures which have come from a freedom of information request to RCT Council which asked how much the appointment process cost. It gives the amount spent in total as a little under £19,000. It states that they spent £10,675.80 for advertising – where and how I don’t know, maybe they had it up in lights at Piccadilly Circus. Or given the Labour party’s seeming love of art perhaps they hired a professional poet and artist to design the ad.
They then spent a further £7,671.50 on recruitment consultants. This despite having a substantial HR department at the Council headed up by what one must assume is a ’professional’ manager, strong and capable of providing advice on recruitment???
It is not rocket science after all.
If senior staff are to be paid the substantial salaries that are currently seen to be the norm then they have to earn them. This is only one example of public money being spent on buying in external advice, it is a common occurrence. The legal department in particular seem to call in Eversheds or Morgan Cole for all manner of relatively minor queries.
Now there is a place for specialist consultants in all Local Authorities but surely not for basic advice which should be provided by the 'professional' officers that are being paid handsomely to provide services within this Council.