Council chief set for pay rise

Ashfield District Council’s highest paid member of staff is set to receive a bumper pay rise, which will take his salary up to the £100,000 mark.

A secret report sent to Chad shows chief executive Philip Marshall is in line for the wage increase after meeting a series of agreed performance objectives for the period 1st December 2012 to 30th September 2013.

The report recommends that he is given a £2,500 pay rise - a one increment rise - for the next financial year as reward for meeting the set targets or being on track to meet them.

According to the council’s most recent pay policy statement, the chief executive’s salary stands at £97,500 - eight times that of the lowest earner at the council, who takes home £12,145 per year.

But while council employees have endured a wage freeze in recent years and were awarded a one per cent increase for 2013/14, Mr Marshall will see his pay rise by nearly 2.6 per cent, taking his salary up to the six-figure mark.

The council would not comment on the pay award and confirmed only that other employees have been given a one per cent rise this year, as part of a national award covering local government workers.

A spokesman said: “This matter was discussed during a meeting of the Chief Officers’ Employment Committee held on 16th December 2013. It was heard as an exempt item which cannot be commented upon.”

However, a spokesman for the Labour party, the ruling party on Ashfield District Council, said that the chief executive is ‘contractually entitled’ to the pay increase.

“There’s not much we can do about it,” he said.

“It entirely a matter for the chief executive of whether he chooses to take it or not.”

Richard Buckwell, the chairman of the Unison branch at Ashfield District Council, said that the chief executive’s pay rise was ‘news to them’ when Chad approached them about it.

“We would be astounded that he should be awarded anything more than the rest of the staff,” he said.

Mr Buckwell said that Mr Marshall earns around five times the average council employee.

Unison has recently lodged a pay claim for an increase of £1 an hour for all employees, which he said would be ‘very helpful’ to lower paid staff.