Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fair Pay Ratio Test for Senior Council Officers

'Fair Pay Ratio Test for Senior Council Officers Promised by Christian Peoples Alliance

Local councils will be pressed to adopt a fair pay strategy for their employees
if the Christian Peoples Alliance succeed in winning control of local authorities
in elections on May 6th. Under plans outlined by the leader of the party, all
senior Council officers will have their pay linked in the range of 8 to 16 times
the lowest employee salary, set according to local circumstances. The party
will also set-up new forums to bring together workers from the top and bottom
of local authority officer pay-bands during negotiations over salary levels.

Opposition Leader on the London Borough of Newham, Cllr Alan Craig, who
also leads the Christian Peoples Alliance nationally, told local activists:

"Leadership comes from the top. With many local authorities having to cut back
on budgets, sack staff and impose above-inflation council tax rises on a hard-
pressed public, we need fairness and justice in the wage structure. That means
excessive senior officer pay has to be curbed.

"This policy will generate a powerful link between the best paid and those at the
bottom of the pay scale - who are often those dealing on a day-to-day basis with
the public. It will create solidarity and fresh incentives to improve performance
across the organisation."

The CPA is pointing to findings last year from the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure
group which showed the number of local authority chief executives earning more
than £100,000 a year had soared by 27% since 2008, with 1000 receiving six-
figure salaries.

The Christian Peoples Alliance ran candidates in 17 local authorities in 2006 and
is looking to win more seats this year in London. The party is committed to tackling
social inequality and the excesses of boardroom pay. It is also pointing to
international evidence that Britain is out of step in both the private and public sector in the ratios between the highest and lowest paid.

Former chief executive of an international group of manufacturing companies
employing 2,500 people, Alan Craig said the public and private sector in Britain
should learn from Warren Buffett, chief of Berkshire Hathaway, who is an outspoken
critic of executive pay. Despite being worth over 60 billion dollars, in 2008 he drew an annual salary of $200,000. Assuming a minimum employee salary of $25,000 per
year, this made his pay ratio 8-to-1. As a contrast to the United States, the CPA is
pointing to figures which show that average chief executive pay ratios were about
11-to-1 in Japan, 15-to-1 in France, 20-to-1 in Canada and 22-to-1 in Britain in 2006.

As part of its Fair Pay Policy for Local Authorities, the CPA is drawing on Christian Democratic principles of workplace councils, which are popular in Germany and which bring together representatives of all the main grades of employment throughout a company structure.

Under CPA plans, local authorities would have to convene a round-table meeting at
least once a year, to discuss pay increases for all sections of the workforce from the bottom to senior Council officers at the top. Each main group would present its own case for a rise and the reasons to justify it and be subject to cross-questioning by other groups.'

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