Anger as salary increase goes to council’s top staff

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Councillor Luke Stubbs

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THE decision to include a council’s chief officer in a pay increase has been criticised.

It comes after national negotiations saw council staff, except chief executives, being offered a one per cent increase – the first since 2009.

But a proposal to apply the increase to all staff at Gosport Borough Council has now been approved.

Lib Dem opposition leader councillor Peter Chegwyn at the council said the chief executive should not receive the increase.

He said: ‘One per cent doesn’t sound much.

‘But for the chief executive that’s an extra £1,000.

‘I’d be much happier if they’d just given the lower paid people who need the money something, rather than an officer who’s earning already over £100,000.’

The council’s decision back in June pre-dates the conclusion of national negotiations, according to Cllr Mark Hook’s report.

He tabled the report at the end of last month’s policy and organisation board under any other business.

The pay award will cost the council £80,000 and is back-dated to April 1 this year.

The cost has already been allocated in the council’s budget.

Cllr Hook, council leader, said: ‘I believe that all staff work hard, that’s all staff from the top to the bottom.

‘We should recognise that as a local authority and they should all be rewarded.

‘It would be unfair to reward some for their efforts and not others.’

The award was offered to 350 local authorities back in April, exclusive of senior staff and chief executives.

Mike Wilson, south-east organiser at Unison, said the union had worked hard to make sure lowest earners received more.