Pay checked

More than 9,000 public-sector workers earn more than the prime minister, according to a new analysis of public-sector pay.

Ah, the prime minister’s pay, that great British benchmark. Up there alongside ‘as big as x football pitches,’ ‘the size of Wales,’ and ‘as big as golf balls.’

My local newspaper was indignant at the levels of pay of the various local authority chief executives and so it should be. The head of Wandsworth in London earns a salary of £299,925 including bonuses of £54,000. Many other chief executives are not far behind.

Fair enough for a demanding job in difficult times but it transpires than many of these CEOs have been awarded massive pay rises in the past year, just as many posts are being made redundant and costs are being cut to the bone. There has been a lot of whingeing from them about pensions and bonuses being added in to these salary figures and cost of living and take home pay being reduced but it’s a bitter pill to swallow for the rest of us.

In hard times we look to our leaders and we want them to support us and stand up for us- the drones that don’t receive prime minister-busting salaries. And as for bonuses…obviously we’re not talking banker bonuses here in the public sector but perhaps naively I didn’t realise that council leaders even got bonuses. When you work for the council you accept that you are duty bound to give council taxpayers best value for money and not grab it for yourself. The biggest bonus I got last year was a couple of biscuits left over from a training meeting. And no, don’t worry, tax-payers, we don’t supply tea and biscuits at training any more.

If I earn some consultancy money for the council then it goes into their pocket not mine. Last year I was set some hideous Local Area Agreement targets.  If I reached my targets, I’d be earning the council a great deal of money. I sweated, slogged and struggled but eventually met the targets and the money came flooding in. I had hoped for a tiny bit of this dosh to go into my own budget for use with my schools but it got swallowed into the great melting pot.

Now I can’t help wondering if any of that pot went into the pockets of the executives.

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