Labour's bumper pay rises go behind closed doors as scrutiny stripped away


Decisions about whether to award bumper pay rises to senior staff will be taken behind closed doors and no longer be subjected to scrutiny.

The change in the Council's Constitution means that more than 40 separate pay rises on different posts since 2016 would have been waved through without scrutiny — including a position which saw a 60% increase.

Former Liberal Democrat MP John Leech joined the personnel committee, which scrutinised pay rise decisions, in 2018.


But in today's full council meeting [03/02/21], Labour removed the ability to scrutinise these pay rises. Instead, they will be decided behind closed doors.
 
The decision follows a series of heated rows over pay rises for senior staff in the town hall.

In 2017, Labour waved through pay rises of up to 60% for 11 posts, most of which were already being paid in excess of £100,000 a year. The Council's spin-doctor got a whopping 52% pay rise by the end of 2018.

But the largest increase of 60.2% for Head of Children and Families came despite being landed with an 'inadequate' Ofsted rating, and a damning report that saw Manchester areas among the worst-performing local authorities in England.

The Head of City Centre Growth and Regeneration saw a 20% increase, whilst a 35% pay rise was handed out to Director of Commercial and Operations

The raises totalled more than £150,000 per year — enough to hire four full-time members of staff on the yearly average wage.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Manchester, Councillor Richard Kilpatrick said:

"Labour in Manchester have a long history of handing out indefensible pay increases which are both out of line with the rest of the council and the rest of the country.

"Now they are removing the only level of scrutiny about whether to dish out hundreds of thousands of public money. Instead, they will sneak out their bumper pay rises without transparency, without scrutiny and without anyone knowing why.

"This is not the kind of transparency that Manchester Council should be aiming to provide. It is just another example of the Labour one-party state waving through decisions without scrutiny or accountability. Only the Liberal Democrats can hold this Labour council to account and provide the opposition this city desperately needs."


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