New salaries for Sunderland City Council: Who earns what?

Sunderland Civic Centre.
Sunderland Civic Centre.
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Next year’s salaries for Sunderland City Council staff have been agreed.

The lowest-paid local authority workers have received a boost after the introduction of the Living Wage – while top level management have also got a pay rise as part of the 2017/18 pay structure.

Sunderland Conservatives leader Peter Wood.

Sunderland Conservatives leader Peter Wood.

Lowest-paid employees currently earn £13,500 per year but from April this will rise to £16,191 for those working a full-time 37-hour week.

This grade has the lowest salary paid to employees other than apprentices, which depend on age.

The chief executive’s post – filled by Irene Lucas as of this week – will command a salary of £177,456. This represents an increase of £1,757 per year from the current salary of £175,699.

The salaries of the authority’s Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Directors – including Executive Director of People Services; Executive Director of Economy and Place (vacant); Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services; and Director of Children’s Services, will jump from a range of £107,573 to £128,063 in 2015/16 to between £100,267 and £118,996 – or £130,000 with a market supplement uplift.

We have to pay competitive salaries if we want to attract officers, but it is important to keep local government pay in context – It is onerous that the chief executive of Sunderland City Council is paid more than the prime minister

Coun Peter Wood, leader of Conservative group

Corporate Directors and Chief Operating Officers will go from £83,599 to £99,274 this year, to £88,393 to £100,267 from April.

Posts include Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Transformation; Chief Operating Officer; Director of Children’s Social Care; Director of Performance and Quality Assurance; Director of Education; and Director of Early Help.

In 2015/16, the designated Monitoring Officer – also the Head of Law and Governance – was paid within a range of £72,343 to £86,666. This will rise to £79,154 to £88,393 in 2017/18.

Heads of Service and other officers reporting directly to one of the statutory or non-statutory chief officers, have been paid according to Band 1 (£73,423 - £87,440); Band 2 (£64,592 - £77,379); Band 3 (£57,280 - £66,413) and Band 4 (£54,337 - £58,796).

Liberal Democrat councillor Niall Hodson.

Liberal Democrat councillor Niall Hodson.

In 2017/18 these scales will be known as Leadership 5 (£78,154-£88,393); Leadership 6 (£67,077-£78,154); Leadership 7 (£56,347-£67,077).

A council spokesman said: “There was a nationally-negotiated 1% cost of living rise for all local government employees in 2016, in line with the Government’s cap on public sector pay.

“During 2016 the council implemented a new grading structure that complies with the recommendations of the Living Wage Foundation and the recent cost of living rise.”

Coun Niall Hodson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “Sunderland Labour needs to stop ignoring what residents are saying. They carried out an expensive public consultation on the budget last year – and the public said very clearly they wanted to see councillors and managers at the Civic Centre share the burden of cuts.

“Labour’s response has been to protect councillors’ allowances and the inflated salaries of senior managers. It is shameless.”

Conservative group leader Coun Peter Wood said: “We have to pay competitive salaries if we want to attract officers, but it is important to keep local government pay in context.

“It is onerous that the chief executive of Sunderland City Council is paid more than the Prime Minister.

“At the same time we have to be competitive in the marketplace because we need to get the best officers in the country.”