Fury as council charity bosses get bumper pay awards despite huge budget cuts

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Bosses of Glasgow's Aleos see salaries soar as budgets get scythed 

9th May 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Bosses at Glasgow City Council’s arms-length charities – so called Aleos – are getting richer despite massive budget cuts hitting council coffers, it has been revealed.

Latest figures contained in the local authority’s annual report show that senior managers at the city’s arms-length external organisations – which are essentially council departments but reformed to gain charity status – show senior salaries are increasing even though the council has had to shoulder a £53 million overall funding cut to its £1.269 billion budget.  

Glasgow has 10 Aleos delivering services in the city created in the late 2000s by the then council leader Steven Purcell.

Set up by councils as companies, trusts or charities, Aleos deliver a wide range of activities such as leisure services, economic development and property maintenance, usually through a funding agreement with the council.

They are subject to local authority control or influence, but have a separate identity from the public body.

Glasgow's include City Building, City Property, City Marketing Bureau and Cordia – the council’s home care and facilities management body.

Figures show total remuneration of senior employees at all 10 Aleos rose from £1,465,896 in 2014/15 to £1,480,546 last year.

Research published in 2014 revealed that civil servants at Glasgow City Council were the best paid of any UK local authority with 32 employees receiving a six-figure sum.

Among the highest paid are Graham Paterson, executive director at City Building who earned £146,358 and Bridget McConnell, chief executive of Culture and Sport Glasgow who received £135,173.

Figures published by online news source The Ferret show the total wage bill for employees at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau earning over £60,000 a year rose from £300,962 in 2014-15 to £335,123 last year.

At City Property, the total wage bill for employees earning over £60,000 a year rose from £154,200 in 2014-15 to £226,100 last year.

Meanwhile at Clyde Gateway, the regeneration quango, the number of staff earning in excess of £60,000 increased from four in 2014/15 to nine last year, with gross pay for senior employees rising from £378,931 to £694,665.

Yet despite salary increases for top staff, low paid workers continue to struggle for better conditions. Cordia refused to pay its janitors a Working Context and Demands Payment for duties which involve physical demand, working outdoors or dealing with unpleasant conditions.

Glasgow's arms-length external organisations

  • Access
  • City Building
  • City Parking
  • City Property
  • Clyde Gateway
  • Cordia (Services)
  • Glasgow Life
  • Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
  • Community Safety Glasgow
  • Jobs & Business Glasgow

The janitors have taken more than 64 days of strike action since March 2016.

The Scottish National Party, which is now the largest party on Glasgow City Council, said that it plans to review how Aleos are run in the city. 

“We will keep open the option of reforming or abolishing Aleos that are not contributing to the outcomes we want to see,” SNP Glasgow group leader Susan Aitken.

“The ones that remain need considerable stronger levels of democratic scrutiny.”

However Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP Annie Wells said: “It’s plainly wrong that while council budgets remain as tight as they are, top earners are receiving bumper pay rises. It’s a slap in the face not just to other local authority staff, but council tax payers across the city.

“Clearly, at Glasgow City Council at least, these arrangements have been allowed to spiral out of control, and that’s totally unacceptable.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The council has undergone some significant changes during this period and beyond. This has included a reduction in the number of officers at the highest pay levels, while there has been a small increase at some of the lower senior grades.

“Much of this growth is associated with specific projects – including the creation of Health and Social Care Partnerships, delivery of the City Deal and work carried out by Strathclyde Pension Fund on behalf of a number of authorities and scores of other public, private and voluntary sector employers across the region.

“The growth in overall costs is in line with pay inflation through the national pay award over the three years.”

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