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UNISON criticises pay level for chief executive post at Trafford Council
12:00pm Friday 25th May 2012 in News
CASH-strapped Trafford Council has defended its decision to offer a salary of up to £165,000 to recruit a new chef executive - but unions have condemned the move as 'unacceptable'.
The council is advertising the vacant post with a salary range of between £150,000 to £165,000.
Previous chef executive Janet Callender left the £170,000 post for health reasons last August, after being on sick leave for five months. The job has been carried out by acting chief executive Theresa Grant during that period.
In February, Trafford Council cut 103 jobs as it cut spending by £16m.
Council leader Matt Colledge claimed the salary had to be set at a level that would attract the best candidates.
He said: "Careful consideration has been given to the salary of the chief executive post and as such its starting point is some £20,000 less than it was two years ago.
"It has been a balancing act to ensure that we maximize the chance to get the very best candidate but at the same time start to reduce the pay level of this grade. Ultimately, at a time of vastly reducing budgets it is essential to attract an individual who can maintain our valued front line services and create an environment to foster economic growth in our borough.
"This is a critical role in a tough environment and the remuneration arrangements need to reflect this and ensure we are able to appoint the right person for the role. The Council is a complex multi-million pound organisation and I am clear that in relation to the demands, accountability, resources and expectations of this role compared with similar organisations that this salary range is appropriate.
"We believe whoever is appointed will be the right person to guide the council through what everyone accepts will be a very challenging time for all local government.”
But Paul McDermott, the branch secretary of Trafford Metropolitan UNISON, hit out: " At a time when volunteers are needed to keep libraries open, and residents are asked to litter pick the streets and maintain parks and green spaces - all jobs which have been lost through 'austerity measures' - for Trafford to offer this level of salary for the post of chief executive is unacceptable."