THE starting point for calculating the pay baseline for council chief executives should be salary increases awarded to headteachers, an independent study commissioned by the local authorities has recommended.
In a report to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Sir Neil McIntosh, former chief executive of Strathclyde Region, suggests there should be a 10 per cent gap between the highest paid head and the director of education and another 10 per cent differential between the director and the chief executive.
This would take the chief executive's salaries in the four smallest authorities - Clackman-nanshire and the three island councils - from pound;69,000 to pound;79,000. Sir Neil then uses other comparators, including private sector pay, to propose salaries of up to pound;135,000 for the chief executive of the largest council, Glasgow - an 18 per cent hike.
No change in Midlothian, for example, would mean the pound;69,300 for the best paid head overtaking the education director's salary of pound;64,600. But the education director's pay can only be increased if the chief executive's increases as well.
Although eyebrows have been raised at such a use of the post-McCrone deal, the Association of Directors of Education has been pressing the McIntosh review to take account of the consequent differentials.
An ADES study for Sir Neil showed that from April, when teachers had the first 10 per cent instalment of their 23 per cent increase, salaries of second-tier posts below director of education level will be less than those of the highest paid secondary heads in 25 of 32 authorities.
Sir Neil's review, promised when local government was reorganised in 1996, will now be the basis for negotiation.But individual councils will set their own pay levels for senior officers such as directors of education.
Leader, page 22