The Herald reports:
One in five staff at Auckland Council is earning more than $100,000 as the wages bill for the Super City blows out for the third year in a row.
What’s more, the number of executives earning more than $200,000 has increased by 25 per cent in the past year, from 155 to 194, according to figures in the council’s 2016-2017 annual report.
The council and its six council-controlled organisations(CCOs) employ 11,893 staff, of whom 2322 earn more than $100,000.
Brisbane City Council – often compared to Auckland Council – employs about 8000 staff, of whom 149 earn more than A$100,000.
So 1.9% of Brisbane City Council staff earn over $100,000 while 19.5% of Auckland Council staff earn over $100,000. That’s ten times as many. This is beyond outrageous.
In fact more staff at Auckland Council earn over $200,000 than Brisbane City Council staff earn over $100,000.
In the past three years, the wages bill at Auckland Council has blown out by tens of millions of dollars each year. Council set a budget of $811m in the past year and spent $853m on wages.
The $42m increase gobbles up $1.8m in savings from a big restructure of libraries, $13.5m in new revenue from Mayor Phil Goff’s “bed tax”, and more. The increase would comfortably pay for the new $35m bus and train interchange at Manukau.
Goff, who has promised to cut fat at council, said he was surprised at the big increase in $200,000-plus pay packets and had asked council chief executive Stephen Town for an explanation. He also wanted a rundown on how salaries are set and benchmarked against other public-sector bodies.
I’m sorry but who has been Mayor for the last year? Who claimed he was going to trim the fat but has seen as explosion in large salaries. And now all he can do is ask for an explanation!
The Mayor proposes the budget. He merely has to cap or reduce the budget for staffing and the CE has to comply with the budget cap.
Councillor Mike Lee said the failure to stay within the wages budget was a scandal.
“Council senior staff have always been diligent in budgeting very generous pay increases for themselves but it seems even this is not enough.
“Auckland ratepayers simply cannot afford this level of fleecing and are reaching the limits of their tolerance,” Lee said.
Well on this Mike Lee is quite right.