Manchester City Council has defended proposed pay rises for its senior managers despite accusations that the above-inflation increases come at a time of “savage cuts”.
The council proposed that the changes to the Strategic Management Team (SMT) pay, which would cost just over £50,000, were due to role changes to support key priorities.
The above-inflation pay rises come after an external benchmarking exercise had been carried out to compare the salaries of the SMT and support to SMT roles against other Core Cities comparators.
However, Simon Walsh, GMB regional organiser, said: “To say we are disappointed that senior officers have moved to bump strategic management team pay is an understatement. Senior officers have regularly seen their pay packets swell in the last six years whilst our members have faced below inflation pay awards and job insecurity while their jobs are outsourced.”
He added that Manchester City Council, which is the first authority to take control of its healthcare budget, has faced savage cuts since 2010.
“We are currently bracing ourselves for further cuts following the council’s current consultation with staff and residents which are to be finalised by November,” said Walsh.
“With an ever decreasing workforce and ever increasing pressure, our members are struggling to cope across all services. We find it inexplicable that Manchester City Council can find this level of funds to address senior officers pay.”
A Manchester City Council report said the additional costs of the changes to senior salaries recommended in this report is £51,467. This can be met from existing budgets.
The proposals include an £8,000 pay bump for the city solicitor (current salary £113,120 with proposed salary at £125,000) and the strategic director of education and skills pay packet increasing by £9,000 (current salary £111,100 with proposed salary of £125,000).
Cllr John Flanagan, the council’s executive member for finance, said: “The council’s senior officers are responsible for multi-million pound budgets and decisions which affect the lives of people who live and work in Manchester.
“They are also charged with developing the strategies which will shape the future direction of the city. As such, it is essential that we can keep and attract the right quality of senior staff by having salaries which reflect the levels of responsibility they have and are in line with those available in comparable cities.”