Thursday, March 03, 2011

"Highland Council increases top earners whilst making redundancies"

Councillor Drew Hendry (Aird and Loch Ness) has claimed on his blog that Highland Council are now employing nearly 150 more senior staff in the top 2% of wage earners. Here's a little more from Drew:

"A report due to go to the full meeting of Highland Council this week will show that over the past year Highland Council are now employing nearly 150 more senior staff in the top 2% of wage earners – an increase of about 75%.

This is against a background of cuts in front line services including people employed in gritting and maintenance operations and planned redundancies for hundreds of classroom assistants."

More here. It looks as though the Press and Journal has followed up Drew's new information too. This morning they state:

"The total number of Highland Council staff last month was 12,633, compared with 12,726 in December 2008.

During that period, the number of staff paid £40,000 to £49,999 rose from 715 to 920. The number paid £50,000 to £59,999 increased from 119 to 193.

The £60,000 to £69,999 bracket was static at 35, while the £70,000 to £79,999 bracket increased from five employees to 22."

Drew Hendry is also quoted in the P&J: "There has been very little regard by the Liberal Democrat-led administration for those at the sharp end of service delivery."

The administration are fighting back however claiming that most of the increases are in teaching posts and that the increases were agreed prior to the recession. The Press and Journal article is available here. One wonders, 920 folk on between £40-50K are they all teachers, is that the normal salary for teaching?


Anonymous said...

I am a Teacher in the HIghlands and I definitely don't earn £40,000!! Perhaps Head Teachers are in the £40 - £50,000 bracket but those at the 'chalk face' certainly are not!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that all those who query the salary of a teacher should live a week in their shoes....I can guarantee that those who actually last the full week will change their ill informed opinions!

Anonymous said...

For teacher salaries see link at careers in local gov site below

To look at the details for all types of local gov career see link

For details of employment at THC

Current job vacancies at THC

Does anyone have a link to the council report to check how it relates the facts? Would be interesting to see.

It is difficult to understand the significance of this type of comment/article without seeing precisely which kinds of occupations are awarded the different salary levels and through what kinds of agreements. Then you have take into account market forces and difficulties in recruitment and retention of staff.

Then of course there's the moral argument which lies within a broader social context as to what kinds of financial rewards differing kinds of occupations deserve (or what remuneration our own personal life experience leads us to believe they deserve based on what we do or do not understand about the responsibilities of their employment and our own prejudices as to how other people should be living their lives)

It seems to me this is a little dance that all poticians do with the steps varying depending on whether they are in gov or opposition.