18 OCTOBER 2010
EXTRAVAGANT PAY RISE
FOR GENERAL MANAGER
Once again the Mayor
and Councillors play the community for fools.
At a Confidential Meeting
of Councillors on 28th September, 2010, a Salary Review Committee,
comprising the Mayor, (Clr. Thomson), Councillors Vardon and Dance
together with an unnamed Industrial Adviser from the Local Government
and Shires Association met to grant the General Manager an unbelievably
extravagant pay increase.
Let me tell you that
the LGSA is, in itself, a very large organization with multi-million
dollar budgets which exist to “promote Local Government to
the community” and to “Provide Specialist advice and
services” for its Council members. Since the LGSA exists on
subscriptions paid by member Councils, you can guess where their
primary allegiance lies and it isn’t with the little ratepayers
at the bottom of the food chain. It is not surprising that Mr. Bruce
Miller, President of the Shires Association, told the ABC Radio
that “the General Manager down there is one of the very highly
competent General Managers in Local Government”.
Now look at the Mayor’s
spin from his Memo of 13th October 2010, indicating that the salary
review was “under the guidance of an independent facilitator
from the LGSA” and that “this independent guidance means
that we are able to be very objective and free of bias in assessing
the performance of our General Manager”.
Council can go on about
community consultation – wouldn’t you think a truly
independent person could be asked about performance and pay scales
when they are up for review?
As to justification for
this pay rise of 5.5% over and above the State determined 3.5% CPI,
we must ask what contribution this General Manager has made to Council’s
operations or service to the community. The Salary Review Committee
refer to 50 KPI (Key Performance Indicators) being met. It would
seem to us that with two unsuccessful Rate Rise requests because
Council did not present a strong business case, failed to comply
with savings and efficiency requirements, there must be one box
in the KPI not given a tick. What about service cuts, failure in
core services (Araluen Road), unprofitable commercial ventures,
demoralized Council staff, alienated community groups, sporting
clubs, volunteers, lifeguards, pools, libraries …
Keep watching this Council
carefully. They are good at moving the goalposts and justifying
their actions. In fact there seems to be a lot of backtracking going
on now that the community is applying some real pressure. You will
hear how the General Manager needs compensation for his long working
hours, even though he has 7 Directors and 430 other helpers on tap.
The Mayor will tell you how he has restored lifesaving services
(by using the good will of local businesses !), how Council is pursuing
Business Excellence, Continuous Improvement Programs and audits
of various departments to enhance their efficiency and performance.
You might even hear that
Council cannot afford to lose the General Manager because the cost
of recruiting a replacement would be more than the salary rise !
That may be so, but think of the real cost of leaving things the
way they are.
Maintain the rage and
keep the Petition signatures coming in.