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Pay review shake up at Bournemouth council
A PROPOSED shake-up at the top of Bournemouth council could see bosses forego a small proportion of their pay if the council’s customer satisfaction score doesn’t improve.
New chief executive Tony Williams is planning to alter the council’s senior management structure, axing an executive director post and two service director posts to save £450,000 a year.
He is also proposing a new “earn-back” scheme, where one per cent of senior managers’ salary is retained until the council’s customer satisfaction score – currently 51 per cent – improves annually.
A report going to cabinet next Wednesday said this will demonstrate the council’s “commitment to improvement in customer satisfaction” and will foster team spirit amongst managers, who will succeed or fail together.
But as the chief executive post comes with a basic salary of £125,481, critics question how strong an incentive the potential loss of £1,254 will be. Executive directors are paid around £103,000 – a potential loss of £1,030 – and service directors are paid between £75,000 and £80,000 and so could potentially lose £750 to £800.
Cllr Carol Ainge, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It’s a little bit of a farce. I can’t believe that one per cent is enough of an incentive to people who are earning an awful lot per month.
“But in any case, council officers should not need any sort of incentive to try and improve the council’s performance; that is their job and it should be their number one priority.”
And Cllr Anne Rey, leader of the Independents, said: “You can’t compare different departments of the council and it seems unfair to try and do so.
“I think this will have an adverse effect on staff morale, which is not very good anyway.”
She said she was also concerned about Mr Williams’ plan to merge adult and children’s services into a single directorate.
“The Munro Review of Child Protection has urged caution to councils doing this, warning it could mean a loss of focus on children’s services.
But Mr Williams said the merger would create a seamless service between children’s social care and adult’s social care, increase efficiency and flexibility and strengthen the directorate’s commissioning capability.
A VOLUNTARY redundancy trawl is one of a raft of proposals aimed at saving Poole council £750,000.
Other suggestions approved by full council on Wednesday include a staff pay freeze, using fewer agency workers, charging staff for car parking and reviewing and cutting standby, call-out and unsocial hours payments for the last few cases of contractual overtime.
There is also a proposal to pay overtime “at plain time” under the cost-cutting methods drawn up by strategic director Andrew Flockhart.
The trade unions put forward a voluntary redundancy ‘trawl’ and the sale of the number plate on the Mayor’s official vehicle. It is hoped the unions and the council can reach a collective agreement by the end of July and for the Cabinet to hear a report in September.
Mr Flockhart said: “It is hoped that staff will appreciate the reasons for these changes, particularly as the need to make savings in these areas remain and is becoming more acute as restrictions on public finances increase and demand for services grows.”