Scots town hall chiefs need 18% pay rise, says review

6 Sep 01
An independent review commissioned by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) has proposed increasing chief executives' pay by up to 18%.

07 September 2001

This would raise salaries from £114,000 to £135,000 in Glasgow and from £110,500 to £129,000 in Edinburgh.

The recommended pay hikes for Scotland's 32 council bosses were proposed by Sir Neil McIntosh, former chief executive of Strathclyde region, on August 31. McIntosh's report marks the first review of top-tier pay since Scottish local government reorganisation in 1996.

The potential salary changes would head off a future anomaly in Scotland's public sector pay structure. McIntosh highlighted the effects of the McCrone package for teachers, which guaranteed a 10% rise from last April and a further 11.5% over the next two years. This means that head teachers of large secondary schools could earn more than directors of education or chief executives.

Tricia Marwick MSP, the Scottish National Party shadow local government minister, told Public Finance that the education pay package should not have influenced the McIntosh review: 'One of the factors McCrone looked at was recruitment – the difficulty in retaining and recruiting teachers and head teachers. I've seen no evidence that there are difficulties in recruiting chief executives and directors of education, which suggests to me that salary levels at the moment are just right.

'We're also concerned at how this will affect other council workers currently going through pay negotiations. It could go all the way down the line.'

A Cosla spokesman said: 'The timing of these things is never ideal. The review needed to be carried out in time to influence the content of the pay negotiations to come into place by April 1.'

The Joint Negotiating Committee will consider the recommendations within the next month.

Unison Scotland's Joe Di Paola said: 'We'll examine the recommendations very carefully and look at what it means for the 32 people directly involved in the review and how it could affect the rest of our members.'


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