Top talent to get pay boost as council cuts back

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SALARIES for senior jobs at a cost-cutting Yorkshire council could be increased to attract top private- sector talent, following a review that also recommends the introduction of performance-related pay.

Members of the staffing matters and urgency committee for York Council will next week consider a series of reports on senior officers’ remuneration packages.

They recommend the introduction of performance-related pay from next April, replacing the current system which provides automatic annual pay rises until the employee reaches the top salary within their grade.

The committee will also consider proposals to reduce annual leave for the same staff by four days, from 34 days to 30, rising to 35 days after five years of continuous service.

However, salaries for some posts at the authority could increase through a so-called market supplement.

The council, which has to make £92m of cuts by March 2015 and a further £66m between 2015 and 2019, claims the move would allow it to attract and keep private sector high-fliers.

It said such a step would only be taken if there had been “robust demonstration” that pay for a post or group of jobs was significantly below local or national rates.

Council chief executive Kersten England said: “It is becoming evident that in particular instances, to attract and retain the talent we need to ensure we deliver the best services, we must be able to bring our employment package in line with current market values.

“Let me be clear that while this will be by exception rather than the rule, our senior officers are currently paid below the average rates for comparable posts elsewhere.

“Over the last four years we have reduced senior staff from 30 to 17 and their workloads and responsibilities have increased.

“We must have policies in place to allow us to be competitive when recruiting or in order to retain key staff members.

“The implementation of this policy will not, however, result any increase to the total senior staffing cost to the organisation.

“It is also right that we to move senior staff to a system of performance-related pay – in the same way much of the private sector is already operating – so that progression is clearly linked with our ongoing commitment to improvement.”