Today, Brighton & Hove City Council began advertising for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position for the council, to replace the current interim postholder.
The position is being advertised for £180k – £190k, which Greens argue is far too high. They criticise the Labour leadership for prioritising senior officer pay over the pay of other council staff and the services that desperately need financial support. Greens point out that in the context of tough economic decisions, roles like the CEO should be considered for savings rather than injected with more funding. This also presents a chance to explore different models of management that could be both cheaper and more efficient.
Whilst they are sceptical about the need for a CEO at all, Greens also point out that Brighton & Hove is a city that will pull in applicants on its own accord, and the council doesn’t need to be offering this kind of money to get an excellent candidate.
Greens have consistently advocated for greater pay equity on the council. An example from the previous Green minority administration was abolishing the previous lowest pay band and elevating the incomes of thousands of council employees, to properly support them in the cost-of-living crisis and make clear the value their work to the city.
Cllr Chloë Goldsmith [she/her], Green Spokesperson for Equalities and Workers’ Rights, said:
“The CEO salary being offered is far too high. In a cost-of-living crisis, when the council is strapped for cash, it is obscene to be seeking to recruit on a salary that is so much more than what most people in this city earn.
“Greens have always fought for greater pay equity between council employees; this decision from Labour is a step in the wrong direction.
“Greens don’t think the council needs a CEO. Disappointingly, the Labour leadership have missed an opportunity to explore different models, and instead opted for unnecessary expense and a corporate management model.”