|13 June 2017
The LGA has responded to a story printed in today’s Advertiser claiming ratepayers are paying “more than $150 million each year in bonuses for council workers who are on lucrative pay deals well above the award wage”.
LGA CEO Matt Pinnegar said the reality is that salaries for the sector are less or comparable with the private sector, as well as state and federal government.
“In fact, ABS stats show that between 2005 and 2015 the average private sector wage in SA increased by 57%, while data from the Local Government Grants Commission indicates council salaries grew only 47%,” Mr Pinnegar said.
“The vast majority of South Australians are not on award rates, and using the award rate for local government – which hasn’t been significantly updated in twenty years – as a benchmark for council salaries is misleading.”
“It’s up to the market to determine salaries, and the engineers, road workers, accountants, IT workers, gardeners, nursing home staff and many other professionals who make up our workforce are paid in line with their skill set and what they’d receive working in another sector.”
“If there’s anyone who believes these staff should be paid only the award rate – and thousands of dollars less than what their colleagues in the private sector or other spheres of government earn – then I’d be interested to know why.”
“There is always work that can be done to drive industrial relations efficiencies in local government, and the LGA is consulting with our members on options to modernize our industrial relations system for the benefit of the communities they represent.”
“However, for the Property Council to suggest that council staff are overpaid is wrong and insulting to the 10,000 men and women employed in our sector who work hard and serve their communities.”
“This is another example of the Property Council attacking local government with the goal of removing local decision making and community input into good local development.”