Perspective, viewpoint, position, lens, standpoint, perception, stance, angle…
…all words to describe how we see things in our world.
Fat cat, overpaid bureaucrat, tea-drinker, town hall greed…
…all media perspectives to portray senior pay in the public sector – and local government in particular.
So, have you ever wondered what a top FTSE 100 company chief executive (CE) might earn? Exclusive research by the Sunday Telegraphon 12 September 2010 reveals the average basic pay in 2009/10 for a FTSE chief executive is £751,459 per annum. Mind you they also acquire considerably more than their basic package with cash bonuses, benefits and share incentives.
Let’s take a couple of good old British household names.
The new CE of Tesco(Tim Mason) receives a basic package of £1,016,000 per annum. J Sainsbury CE, Justin King, earns a basic package of £900,000. “Not so bad” I hear you say when you draw comparison with the report by the Tax Payer’s alliance that concluded former NewhamChief Executive Joe Duckworth was the highest paid CE in local government earning £240,000 each year.
“After all they’re from the private sector, they make good profit for their companies and it’s not tax payers’ money”. True, very true. That’s only about four or five times higher than your ‘average Joe’ local government chief executive.
Add a smidgen of the FTSE CE’s other pay elements and the lens you see through may go through a chimera kaleidoscope change – the Tesco CE total package being £8,948,000 and Sainsbury being £9,775,000 – only about 40 times greater than your ‘average Joe’ highest paid local government official.
And my point? I don’t begrudge Tim Mason or Justin King a single penny – but for Pete’s sake can the media adopt some perspective please when slating the highly responsible, highly challenging, highly difficult roles of a local government chief executive…after all are they really so highly paid?