Friday, 9 March 2012

Found: 21 of the endangered 30 Anglesey Teaching Assistants

Just days after being coerced by the Welsh Government and its Commissioners to rubber stamp the highest council tax rise in the United Kingdom — a rise supposedly necessary to save the Island's swimming pools and 30 Teaching Assistants from the axe — Anglesey County Council yesterday started advertising for the following entirely new senior management positions:

£113,630 p.a.

£98,581 p.a.

£98,581 p.a.

£79,683 p.a.

None of these are replacement positions, these are all brand new posts which did not previously exist. In total they add an extra £390,475 to the senior management salaries bill, which is equivalent to 1.5 percent points of this year 4.5 percent council tax rise. I don't know how much the endangered species of Teaching Assistants get paid, but I would imagine it is not far off the median wage for Ynys Môn of £18,331 — which means that Anglesey County Council could secure the employment of 21 Teaching Assistants for this sum. No doubt it could have also gone some way towards preserving the Beaumaris leisure centre which the council seems intent on spinning off.

Are these new positions really necessary? Do we really need to pay someone almost £100K to "develop, lead and deliver Anglesey’s community outreach, engagement and support function" (Director of Community)? And even if they are needed, as the Commissioners in their wisdom seem to believe, in what parallel universe are salaries of this magnitude even remotely justifiable in the third poorest county in the United Kingdom? These sums are an insult not only to Anglesey ratepayers in general, but also to the vast majority of council workers getting by on far less inflated salaries.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered: how do posts like these get created.

In the case of Anglesey has it been the Commissioners, Councillors or current Staff?

kp said...

Sorry, but I must disagree. I have no objection to these salaried positions subject to one thing....

Collectively they result in a year on year decrease in council tax charges and a year on year improvement in services.

If not, then I see no point in paying so much for such worthless roles.

One final point, is the Welsh language really necessary for each and every role? I doubt it and it worries me that it will prevent the best candidates from being awarded such positions. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Obscene ...we already have a 3rd rate council, why chuck good money after bad?
If they really wanted to save some of the £millions they are after they should stop paying the useless Councillors ...the councillors can't do anything now anyway, that's down to the commissioners we had foisted upon us so why pay people to do nothing? That'd save close on £1m p.a.

an angry local

PS I would like to fill my wallet with money for doing nothing ...where do I get an application form? I can be as unsuitable for the jobs on offer as the people they'll employ will be.

Anonymous said...

Misleading post. 3 not new. Renamed directors of s.s.,education & finance.

228FPA said...

How many top jobs have been lost at the IoACC compared to low end jobs - living proof that turkeys don't vote for Christmas - Commissioners included!

Anonymous said...

It's getting to the stage where the Commissioners are collaborating with this second rate Council to do what Cardiff dictate, with TOTAL disregard to the views of the people.

The people don't have a say in anything anymore, we have have no voice or opinion, this Council and the Commissioners have IGNORED the people, all they CARE about is THEMSELVES. It appears taht the Council will do anything to work with the Commissioners, yet, all of them together, do everything to work against the wishes of the Tax Payer.

The applicants for these Posts will have to be friends of the Commissioners and no one out of the innner circle will be considered, probably, the jobs have already gone........... to the right man, cousin, brother, uncle, son-in-law of the Commissioners.

Anonymous said...

You've failed to notice they also potentially get 10% performance related pay on top of these sums. They can't pay staff enough but the those at the top can line their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Add also to the cost of these salaries the continued salary of the current Director of Finance whilst twiddling his thumbs at home. With the reason for his suspension yet to be announced. The finance section has so many day-rate consultants since his departure that you really would have expected some improvement by now (the cost of which would probably eclipse those of these posts).

Anonymous said...

any comments on the logic of moving leisure and culture from the education (lifelong learning) directorate to the care (community) directorate?

mairede thomas said...

I was at a public meeting in Llanfechell this week called to discuss onshore wind turbines. The people from that community said they had to scabble around to try to find out what was going on - they wanted details of the precise locations where applications for turbines had been submitted, they wanted to know how many turbines; heights; distances from their properties and the local school etc. but even the County Councillor who was present could not give precise details. The only list the people at the meeting could obtain had been complied by Anglesey Against Wind Turbines (AAWT) see angleseyagainstwindturbines.co.uk

They wanted to know what was happening now - for example they were unaware that a turbine had been considered at the planning meeting that same day for Rhosgoch.

Two people said that the sales of their houses had fallen through because their buyers had found out about the turbine plans.

It is very difficult to find information without going into the County Council's offices on a regular basis, and this is what AAWT is now doing.

However there is just one member of staff trying to cope with the deluge of enquiries for full details of applications.

In other Councils ALL the documents for planning applications are scanned and uploaded onto the website as and when they are received by the Council's planning department.

When the public wants to search for applications in their area the website should also be able to bring up all current applications for any named town, village or Community, this is what other Council's offer their public - a full, timely and transparent information service. Why can't Anglesey do this?

So I suggest that a bit of investment in IT and staff to run the system is the first thing the Council should be doing.

Rhiannon said...

What Beaumaris swimming pool would that be? if only "they" would demolish that ridiculous "centre" and its piped noise, and give us a swimming pool!

mairede thomas said...

I've just read the job description for the Director of Community. I certainly hope they can get that post filled soon!

As for the remuneration package, well yes it is too high but I almost think it would be worth it to deliver the service that the job description outlines - we certainly need it, and it would go some way towards easing the pain of the latest rise in Council tax.

Tristan Davies said...

Hmmmm... "Director of Community" eh?

....I think we need to see some council committee minutes.

Who could possibly create or write such an illiterate title?

Who came up with the idea of this job?

And who exactly set the salary? (...a salary which, by the time you take pensions into account, will exceed the Prime Minister's.)

As for it being a prime requirement to speak Welsh - well, I think that's ok. At least that way we get someone who is "hewn from the rock".

228FPA said...

".....hewn from the rock.."

Possibly, but will it be the best guy for the job? What we need is the best person for the job irrespective of the languauge issue.

Far too much "Linguistic ability first" and "ability" second.

Anonymous said...

Axing of 30 Teaching Assistants (TA's).

I seem to recall being told that TA's were (to be pedantically clear, as this is possibly confusing) paid out of the budget of the school/governing body they work at/for, and not from the actual council budget itself.

It's very likely that they do have an "Anglesey County Council" payslip, but that's because the council finance department merely administer the payment of their salary/wages.

Anonymous said...

Councils are really taking the piss !!! We're in the private sector could you get a job paying such a salary ? A job that you money secure with easy working conditions and a pension. If you a failure you will also get a bonus!
How long is this going to gone for ? There must be a money growing tree, and the tree is us poor tax payer !
Time for the revolution !!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous has a point, councils can't keep on behaving like this. The need to put back in there place. They are supposed to be the servants of the private sector not there superiors. This Labours fault for creating this army of overpaid public servants, becouse they will always support Labour.
The point is also that without a strong private sector we can not afford these public servants.
Now is the time to sort them out and put them back in there place. We are fast becoming another Greece !

228FPA said...

"......Councils are really taking the piss !!! We're in the private sector could you get a job paying such a salary ? A job that you money secure with easy working conditions and a pension. If you a failure you will also get a bonus!...."

Banking sector immediately springs to mind

The Red Flag said...

anon 14.44 paid out of the budget of the school/governing body they work at/for, and not from the actual council budget itself.

Yea but if the budget from the council to the school isn't enough then the school will dump whoever it needs to to balance the books.

228FPA said...

".....anon 14.44 paid out of the budget of the school/governing body they work at/for, and not from the actual council budget itself....."

Best arguement for all Island schools to leave the LEA system - then all monies destined for education would be spent on education and not on a multitude of office staff and bosses.

Far too many ££££££ chiefs and not enough indians.

Anonymous said...

Red Flag,

Yes that's true, if the budget the council give the schools is not enough, then they will have to likely make redundancies.

What I'm saying is that TA's are not paid directly from the councils own budget; schools do have some degree of autonomy so if the school says "yes!" while the council says "no!", it's a "yes!".

Just because a council is cutting back doesn't mean the council can dictate to a school who and/or which job has to go.

228FPA,

Yes definitely! A lot of money being lost on proverbial "chiefs".

Anonymous said...

Sorry 228FPA but even the banks would pay that sort of money !

The Red Flag said...

Anon 05:41

One of my daughters works for a major european bank, living in Germany and commuting into Luxembourg daily. She will be 30 later this year. She earns over €130K. She's not even a banker, she just does marketing.

Anonymous said...

Red Flag stop trying to justify ridiculous wages paid to public sector works. It's us the tax payer that foots the bill, and many of the payers are pensioners who can not afford to pay. Be real !

The Red Flag said...

It's market forces that set the wage rate. You want good people you have to pay. If you reduced the wage for these posts by say 50%, then you'd only get poor quality.

It's not the wages that are the issue - it's whether there is actually any need for the post to start with.

Apart from which that's a very naive position. The same pensioners pay my daughter's wages via bank charges and interest on credit. Everybody who draws a wage in every single job in the country is paid for by the customer. It's whether you are getting the quality of service/product you are paying for that is the issue - not how much you are paying.

228FPA said...

So how will the "quality of performance" of this lot be measured against and by whom?

The Red Flag said...

Well first off FPA, what needs to be decided is if there is even a requirement for the post.

Then you need to comapre how much other local authorities pay for the same job along with the level and quality of provision and then decide whether you want someone better or worse and adjust what you are willing to offer accordingly.

There are a lot of misleading figures thrown around - for instance the Druid quotes that the median pay on Anglesey is £18331.

But the reality is that most of the workforce on the island earn a lot less than that. Take the big employers - the port, Tescos, the council. Most of the staff at all three establishments earn considerably less than 18.3K

Paul Williams said...

Red Flag

"There are a lot of misleading figures thrown around - for instance the Druid quotes that the median pay on Anglesey is £18331.

But the reality is that most of the workforce on the island earn a lot less than that."

"Most" people don't earn less than that. As per the definition of 'median' pay, precisely 50% of people earn less than that.

Anonymous said...

Red Flag Says "It's market forces that set the wage rate. You want good people you have to pay. If you reduced the wage for these posts by say 50%, then you'd only get poor quality."

In England, where there are hundreds of candidates to choose from that may be true. In Welsh Wales, where there are only a handful of candidates, the same cannot be true, and the quality cannot be the same. The market that has set the rate is not the local market, it is the UK one.

Offer them £40K all in, or they can move to England if they want more money, same as everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear me anon 14:56 you seem to lack the basic understanding of job evaluation, and as such the process of how a salary for a post in the public sector (and private sector)is arrived at.

Putting aside whether the jobs are actually needed the proposed salaries aren't just plucked out of thin air, there is a process behind them - it's called job evaluation, based on a formula from which a wage can be derived.

And where did this job evaluation process begin - that would be the banking sector.

Are you really saying that the maximum wage of a council worker in Wales should be £40K.

Are you truly saying that us in Wales should be paid substantially less than a similar job in England.

Are you really saying that us Welsh are somehow less able than the English?

A rather poor and pathetic argument to say the least.....

The Red Flag said...

Paul - The Median is the middle number in a sorted list of numbers.

3,4,7,8,96,97,98. Median is 8.

If you look at the Premier league tables as an example the median is 36 points, that being midway between the 10th team and the 11th. But the spread is from 67 to 21.

Paul Williams said...

Yes, the median number is the middle number.
If the median salary is £18K then, of all people empoyed, exactly 50% of them will earn more than that figure and 50% will earn less.

You said "But the reality is that most of the workforce on the island earn a lot less than that."

*MOST* of the workforce won't earn less, just half will earn less. I agree they might earn a lot less, but not "most of the workforce".

The Red Flag said...

Pressed send before I had finished. The Median gross income is what someone sta straight in the middle gets but that is including things like tax credits, child benefits nad people like me who have both a wage and a pension.

Strip it down so that the is only slary included and absolutely nothing else and most people are below it.

Then you have to consider is the figure for Anglesey people living on Anglesey no matter where they work, people working on Anglesey no mater where they live, or people both living and working on Anglesey.

The Red Flag said...

By the way, that's an interpol wanted dead or alive piccie front-paging this weeks HAM

Paul Williams said...

Red Flag - I know! They've turned me into the Silver fox...

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:17 "Are you really saying that the maximum wage of a council worker in Wales should be £40K"

YES!

Why pay a council worker more than an MP?

What you have failed to understand is that in WELSH Wales there is only a small pool of candidates, since most people n the UK can't speak Welsh. All we can hope for is the best of 10 candidates, not the best of 1000, so why is our wage structure fixed to attract the best of 1000? The 10 we get to pick from are unlikely to be in the top 500 of the theoretical 1000. The argument used to be that the public sector needed to compete with the private sector for staff, but the reality is that most public sector staff couldn't get a job with a similar wage in the private sector.

Can you understand that very simple point?

Another point is - all of the money they have been paid has made no difference to their performance - Anglesey has done very badly. If pay is performance rated, none of them are actually worth more than £40K.

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:17 said "Are you really saying that us Welsh are somehow less able than the English?"

Looking at the record of Anglesey County Council and ask that again.

mairede thomas said...

Anglesey has some very decent Councillors and the Council has some very decent workers, the thing is 'something' has gone very badly wrong, and we residents have had our local democracy removed; jobs have been lost at a higher rate than in many other Counties since 2008; and our Council tax has been raised by more than most other Councils this year.

My observation is that some individuals are not up to the jobs they are doing, however there is something wrong with the 'culture' that enables poor performance to be tolerated.

I think its important, for everyones benefit going forward, to identify why such poor performance and outcomes are tolerated.

Anonymous said...

People prefer to be managed badly by their own, rather than well by an outsider.

228FPA said...

For evil to succeed all it takes is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

Unfortunately it seems that there were a few of the former and many of the latter on the IoACC and the latter did NOTHING!

You (we) reap what we sow at the ballot box.

Oh for the return to the old days when to serve on the County Council was an honour and not a well paid job as it now is.

Anonymous said...

18.53
"I know! They,ve turned me into a silver fox".

Still not up to the standard of "Durkin's Black Swan" now there's a spy thriller to conjurer with?

Anonymous said...

Today's Telegraph: "George Osborne will say that public sector employees in poorer parts of the country should have their pay frozen until it is brought into line with local private sector workers."

About time. So that is about, what, £40K?

England is that way.

Anonymous said...

to repeat a comment, in case it has disappeared:

Public sector pay should not be compared in isolation - a total figure including benefits, bonuses, pensions, holidays, early retirement plans, job security, training received, possibility of sacking and the ability to claim sick leave when you have a hangover on holiday should also be taken into account.

Time to get real, grow up and stop moaning like a teenage girl.

Anonymous said...

Here is a good example of why our council officers aren't worth their salary: In February, announce the closure of 7 public toilets to save £32K a year.

In March, announce a £22 Million programme of investment into tourism on Anglesey.

The Red Flag said...

Anonymous said...
Today's Telegraph: "George Osborne will say that public sector employees in poorer parts of the country should have their pay frozen until it is brought into line with local private sector workers."

About time. So that is about, what, £40K?


Think you'll find that he was on about 'ordinary' workers. Problem is, they were wheeling out tory MPs who are against it in telly today. Their argument was that in the bulk of the workers in the sectors this is supposedly going to hit already earn less than private sector for comparable jobs and in their opinion the effect would actually be to drives down private sector wages which - in poorer areas, would be economically catastrophic.

So he (the boy Osborne) doesn't even carry his own side let alone his coalition partners or the opposition.

Anonymous said...

All public sector workers should be paid the same rate, but subject to a local tax which skims off the difference between public and private sector pay.

That way poorer areas will still have the money coming into the economy, but it will be shared more fairly.