The Committee received a detailed report from the Director Workforce & Change to consider the Pay Policy Statement (PPS) for 2021/22. It was noted that the Localism Act 2011 required local authorities to agree and publish a pay policy statement annually before the start of the financial year to which the statement related to.
The Committee’s attention was specifically drawn to the following points –
1. The Pay Policy introduced a new pay range to the post of Chief Executive following its creation in May 2020 and a new provision that the pay ratio between the lowest and highest earner must not exceed 1:10.
2. The proposed pay range for the post of Chief Executive was £171.500 to £182,500 with a proposed salary for the existing postholder with effect from 1 April 2021, this would mean an increase in current salary of £2,000.
3. The proposals for the pay of the Chief Executive took account of advice from external pay specialists (Korn Ferry) who highlighted that the Chief executive post should have a different pay scale to other posts.
4. The average pay of a core city Chief Executive was currently £192,000 per annum (excluding Bristol City Council);
5. Korn Ferry had confirmed that the current pay ranges for Executive Directors and Directors were in line with the market rate.
6. The Pay Policy had been updated to reflect the introduction of the Exit Cap to limit exit payments however on 12 February 2021 the Government had revoked this, new legislation would replace this. The Council’s constitutional arrangements in relation to exit payments would therefore continue to apply.
The Committee then received a summary of the report from Korn Ferry representatives Abul Uddin and Matthew Wilton.
Key points highlighted during discussion were –
1. Noted that some members of Council for the last three years had consistently voted against the PPS as it was considered that the bandings were heavily weighted at rewarding senior leaders at the expense of the rest of the organisation.
2. There was currently no cap or restrictions on remuneration for Director posts or external consultants.
3. Concern that the extra pay for the Chief Executive post, whilst modest, could lead to a further increase and this could further lead to increases in senior officers pay generally. It was clarified that the HR Committee would have a role overseeing a further pay rise of the CX post.
4. Senior officers and consultants were consistently in a better position than employees lower down in the organisation in terms of how they were treated.
5. Proper recognition for rewarding staff was appropriate, especially having regard to recruitment and retention, so the proposal to increase the Chief Executive pay was in line with the new pay range for the new post of Chief Executive. Noted that it was a Council decision to create the post of Chief Executive and so the situation was not about a pay rise rather that the role must have the correct remuneration which in this case was the lowest point on the pay scale.
6. Regarding employing consultants, the Council now had a new strategic partner engaged to limit the use consultants to resolve this issue in relation to capital schemes in particular. Regarding employees working outside normal hours, as highlighted during public forum, this was something that the Committee could review soon. Regarding Chief Executive pay this was a post reinstated by the Council and so could not allow a pay anomaly in terms of the basic pay of the grade of the post.
It was then moved and seconded that the Pay Policy Statement and the recommendations as set out in the report be accepted.
On being put to the vote there were three in favour and two against. Therefore, the motion was carried.
1. That the Human Resources Committee recommend to Full Council, that the Pay Policy Statement 2021/22 take effect from 1 April 2021.
2. That the annual salary of £171,500 for the Chief Executive to take effect from 1 April 2021, subject to Full Council approval of the Pay Policy Statement on 16 March 2021, be approved.
Councillor Eddy left the meeting at this point