'Councils must be fair on pay' - First Minister on Caerphilly pay row
3:04pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
WALES’ first minister said there should be transparency on senior management pay in Welsh councils and big pay hikes are difficult to explain.
Carwyn Jones spoke at First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd after a Tory AM raised the issue of senior pay increases at Caerphilly council.
This follows an Argus exclusive which revealed that council bosses are set to get inflation-busting pay rises which would take £384,000 out of the local authority’s general fund in the next 12 months.
Four of its high earners will get five-figure increases, including chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan, who will see his annual salary of £120,000-plus shoot up by as much as £27,000, and another 16 staff will get massive pay rises way above inflation.
Janet Finch-Saunders, shadow minister for local government, asked if he would support calls for transparency, accountability and fairness across local authority senior management pay.
He said: “Of course there must be transparency and fairness. These are ultimately matters for local authorities.
“All will bear in mind at a time when so many publicsector workers are having pay frozen, it is very difficult to explain substantial increases for senior officers in any organisation.”
The Welsh Tories have demanded a Welsh Government review of pay for senior Welsh council staff in the wake of the Caerphilly salary increase scandal.
The move proved so controversial it prompted a walk-out by workers at the council.
Ruling Labour councillors have apologised.
Ms Finch-Saunders said it was scandalous that some of the highest-paid executives in Welsh council are getting massive pay rises at a time of public spending constraints.
She claimed that half the chief executives in Welsh councils are paid more than the prime minister.