The council’s monthly wage bill has fallen by nearly £1.5 million over the last three years – but the number of staff earning over £50,000 a year has dropped by only one from 111 to 110 in the same period.
The latest figures in the SIC’s final audited accounts for 2013/14 show that monthly wages dropped from a high of almost £7.5 million in May 2011 to £6m in January this year. Annual payment run spending has decreased by over £10m per year from £80m in 2011/12 to £70m in 2013/14.
“Exit packages” – money paid to council officials when they leave the SIC – rose from £1.047m in 2012/13 to £3.019m in 2013/14.
Elected councillors themselves saw an increase in combined remuneration from £468,000 in 2012/13 to £488,000 in 2013/14. This was composed of an increase in salaries from £352,000 to £358,000, and increase in allowances from £33,000 to £36,000 and an increase in expenses from £83,000 to £94,000.
Topping the list of council high earners was chief executive Mark Boden, who has taken a notably lower profile approach to the role than some previous incumbents. His salary was £101,069 in the last financial year. He was followed by the directors of children’s services, development and corporate services, respectively Helen Budge, Neil Grant and Christine Ferguson on £80,849 each.
Infrastructure director Phil Crossland was paid £41,370 for part of a year while his successor Maggie Sandison earned £39,817.
Director of community care services Sally Shaw received £33,211, before her post was deleted, while executive manager of governance and law Jan Riise was paid £72,648, executive manager of finance James Gray got £70,401 and executive manager of children’s and families Hughina Leslie was paid £64,844.
Exit packages for 2013/14 included £330,000 spent in the £100,000 to £149,999 band; £264,000 in the £80,000 to £99,999 band; £356,000 in the £60,000 to £79,999 band; £902,000 in the £40,000 to £59,000 band and £554,000 in the £20,000 to £39,999 band.
Among senior councillors, leader Gary Robinson topped the table with a salary of £27,388; Shetland College board chairman Drew Ratter came in second with £20,859 in salary and expenses; convener Malcolm Bell received £20,317; planning chairman Frank Robertson received £18,302; Cecil Smith, Alastair Cooper, Allan Wishart and Vaila Wishart were paid £18,825 and Andrea Manson, George Smith and Allison Duncan received £17,852 each.
• More detail on the salaries paid to council officials in this week’s Shetand Times.