Thursday, 29 October 2009

Public sector chief execs shiver at fall-out from Kelly

Top managers in the public sector have done extraordinarily well under Labour; in 1997, chief execs earned about six times their organisation's average admin salary, but by 2007 this had doubled - with a wedge of 10 - 12 times the admin wage for top managers. Council bosses played musical chairs with a difference - none of the chairs were ever removed. Instead, each time a council boss' post was vacated, the salary was raised by another £30k and their mate from down the road would spend a few years doing the job. Spurious 'bonuses' were another way in which these top troughers lined their pockets - bonuses unrelated to any measure the public would equate with management success.

Transport for London is stuffed with scores of senior managers earning up to £200k each; in the Met, 49 civilian senior managers outnumber the police Commanders, ACs and DACs running the bureaucracy that our Police Force has become. The NHS has more managers than nurses, at salaries that make the GPs' £100k average seem like chickenfeed. Even our degraded, corrupt and politicised top civil servants have wangled themselves bonuses these days. The quangos are stuffed with mediocre managers each earning more than the Prime Minister, and even the incompetent placeman who failed to check MPs' receipts, a job my £27k a year accounts supervisor could do with her eyes closed, a fellow called appropriately Malcolm Jack - earns £150k plus use of a £3.8m grace and favour house in Westminster. Not only have they all stuffed their mouths with gold at the public expense, but the cost of their pensions is outrageous, and many will still contrive, with the corrupt connivance of fellow top troughers, to take early retirement with substantial lump-sum bungs.

For MPs, who will see their own wedge dramatically reduced as a result of Kelly's recommendations, this will prove too much. You see, as anyone who has designed an office remuneration structure will know, it's never so much about absolute salary as about relativity. Employees have a finely-tuned sense of relative worth, and an extra £500 a year and a job title can make the difference between a happy and effective office and a resentful and poorly disciplined workforce. MPs will look at council chief executives and public sector top managers in relation to their own reduced circumstances and conclude it's not fair. And at a time when it would be suicide for MPs to campaign to double their salary, that leaves only one way for them to go - to put the pay of public sector bosses under the spotlight, and to cut it as savagely as Kelly has cut theirs.

Expect a massive whinge from organisations representing the public sector's top troughers, and don't be surprised if they spend a few millions more of our taxes on a publicity campaign 'because I'm worth it ..'


banned said...

Excellent Raedwald. I have been wandering for some while how these public sector troughers could be brought to heel since they were all playing the same game.
As you say "MPs will look at council chief executives and public sector top managers in relation to their own reduced circumstances " and they won't like it one little bit.
Imagine now the calls for cut backs, sharing the pain and all in the name of saving the economy.
I don't suppose the Councils Voters or Quangos 'clients' will show much sympathy.
Love it but will Dave be brave enough to swing the axe where it is obviously needed ?

Gareth said...

It is surely a doddle this wage issue - savage but proportional cuts for the public sector whereby the frontline staff lose nothing and the top staff see the biggest per cent cut. Plus get shot of whole levels of bureaucracy.

They've been taking the piss for a very long time.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Bring it on!

The sooner these money-grabbing sinecure-holders are turned back into respectable, ordinary, and modestly-paid Town Clerks (for that is what they are), the better.

banned said...

My first thoughts on hearing today about the BBC semi-decimating ( 5% cull ? ) their Senior Management led me to think that perhaps the Beeb were getting their cuts in first if only to look good to the incoming Tory Administration and get MPS off their backs.
Second thoughts were that the Redundancy Monkeys were just those who did not want to move to Manchester. No doubt their contracts stipulated working in any part of the country so they would not have been able to claim 'Constructive Dismissal' as a shopfloor worker might.

This way way they get blamelessy made redundant and pockets shedloads of cash accordingly.

Mark Wadsworth said...

It would be lovely if any of this actually happened.

My current thinking is that any public sector 'worker' who earns more than (say) £60,000 (MPs' basic salary) has to be publicly elected, with the option 'This post is unnecessary' at the bottom of the ballot slip.

Bill Quango MP said...

MW. That's brilliant.
That should see the end of the l'Oreal sector.