The Chief Executive and senior officers are responsible for ensuring that services are delivered in accordance with strategies and policies agreed by Council and in the best interests of the community. It is important that the council's senior team comprises high performing individuals who are effective in fulfilling these responsibilities and whose remuneration is fair, both in relation to their responsibilities and the remuneration of other council employees.
The Council publishes a Pay Policy statement (see 'Useful documents' below) which is approved by Council and sets out the approach to senior officer remuneration.
Chief Executive pay and conditions
The Chief Executive’s pay and conditions of service are locally determined and agreed by the Council. The current Chief Executive was appointed to the role in May 2011 on a spot (or fixed) salary of £160,000. There is no salary progression beyond this point.
This salary is considerably lower than that offered to the previous Chief Executive, John Foster, who was on a spot salary of £210,000. The pay level of the chief executive was reviewed following the departure of John Foster, taking account of the current economic climate, the job market and the council’s commitment to reducing the pay differential between the highest and lowest paid in the organisation.
The current Chief Executive receives no performance-related pay or bonuses, is a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and is eligible for 32 paid days leave per year. She is able to reclaim a restricted range of legitimate and evidenced business expenses, including business travel. Any income generated by the Chief Executive for conference speeches or non-executive directorships is paid to and retained by the council.
The Chief Executive role is full-time and the post-holder is expected to work such hours as are necessary to ensure the job gets done. This routinely involves attending evening meetings, as well as the standard Monday to Friday business week. Weekend working is also required. The post-holder is “on call” at all other times, particularly to cover emergency planning requirements. As with other London CEOs, Islington’s Chief Executive retains the “Gold” responsibility for London for two fortnights per annum, meaning she would act as the Chief Executive for London in the event of a London-wide emergency. No extra payments are made for such extended hours.
In some years, when general, local or European elections occur, the Chief Executive also receives election expenses.
The Chief Executive is accountable to the Executive of the Council for the delivery of the council’s stated aims and objectives.
Senior Management team pay and conditions
The salaries paid to the Corporate Directors who lead the council’s four departments range from £127,323 to £145,000. Salaries for the Directors of Service / Heads of Service reporting directly to a Corporate Director range from £83,331 to £110,000. These two tiers of staff together with the Chief Executive are the council’s Chief Officers as defined in the Localism Act. There are currently 23 such Chief Officer posts in the council. These are also subject to change as a result of reorganisations currently underway in the council.
Senior staff pensions
All staff are entitled to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This is a contributory scheme, whereby the employee contributes to the scheme from his or her own salary. Pension contributions are defined nationally by the LGPS, though these contribution rates are subject to review following the recent government review led by Lord Hutton.
Currently employees contribute 5.5%-7.5% of their salaries and Corporate Directors 7.5%. Employers' contributions to the LGPS vary depending upon how much is needed to ensure pension payments are funded, and are set independently.
The pension fund is invested to generate returns and help to offset the cost pensions. The pension is currently based on the final salary, and the normal pensionable age is 65. You cannot start collecting your pension before the age of 55.
The council is committed to reducing inequality and creating a fairer borough. That means reducing pay differentials, and the Islington Fairness Commission has published a report recommending that the highest paid council employee should not earn more than twenty times that of the lowest paid. We’re already well below this, with a pay differential of 1:11. We have also made a firm commitment to pay the London Living Wage of £8.55 per hour to all of our directly employed staff, and are looking to extend this to all our contracted staff where we can legally do so.
Departments and services
The council’s management team is led by the Chief Executive and five directors.
Vision and priorities
We're determined to make Islington fairer. To create a place where everyone, whatever their background, has the opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy a good quality of life