South East Wales

Caerphilly council's chief's £27k pay rise anger

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Media captionUnions and councillors say a report written by Anthony O'Sullivan recommending a pay rise was not available to the public or to the majority of councillors

A union has criticised the decision to award a £27,000 pay rise to a council chief executive.

Anthony O'Sullivan of Caerphilly council had his pay grade increased from a maximum of £131,000 to £158,000.

Unison's Dominic Macaskill said the council was not being transparent.

The council said five members agreed the rise at a meeting, minutes were presented to full council without complaint, and the pay met an independent external scheme.

"This has been cloaked in secrecy, it's only today that I've seen the council report detailing the so-called case for raising chief officer's pay by 20%," said Mr Macaskill.

"Half of council workers in Caerphilly earn less than £16,000 a year, so when they see the chief executive proposing a pay rise of nearly £30,000 a year I'm afraid they're very angry."

The union has called for an urgent meeting with the council.

"A couple of years ago the vast majority of council staff in Caerphilly had their jobs evaluated - the chief officers' jobs were not included in that process," he said.

"That process was transparent, it involved trade unions in negotiations around that."

A spokesperson for the council said full council met on 26 June to consider the council's pay policy. A cross-party committee was set up to review pay arrangements for senior staff.

'Confidential content'

"This committee made a decision on the matter on 5 September, and in the interests of transparency, the minutes of the meeting were presented at the earliest opportunity to all members at full council on the 9 October," they said.

"The minutes were accepted and no issues or concerns were raised by members at the time."

Mr O'Sullivan attended the cross-party meeting.

The spokesperson said Mr O'Sullivan's pay was in accordance with an independent external pay scheme.

An adviser from the scheme was present at the meeting and council members made a decision on Mr O'Sullivan's pay rise "in light of this advice".

"The report has been available to all members since 5 September, but remains exempt from publication due to the confidential, personal and commercial content contained within the document.

"The salary structure will be published by the council, as required by the Localism Act, in due course," the council's spokesperson added.

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