Friday, October 22, 2010

Pay rises for senior government bureaucrats

The New Zealand State Services Commission thinks top government bureaucrats should tighten their belts by getting fatter. While teachers were told by the Minister of Education that there was no money to give them a 4% pay rise, the Ministry of Education's boss Karen Sewell, however, saw her salary boosted by this percentage, up $20,000 in the last year.

State Services Minister Tony Ryall said the government had asked public servants to "tighten their belts. If anyone at that level of the public service thinks we are going anywhere near the big increases that they had in the past then they can forget it. Things are tough."

But Ms Sewell was among six chief executives whose pay went up in the last year. Outgoing Corrections boss Barry Matthews saw a rise of up to $10,000.
Agriculture and Forestry director general Murray Sherwin saw his wages go up by around $10,000. Ministry of Justice chief executive Belinda Clark also got an extra $10,000 as did Department of Conservation director general Al Morrison. IRD boss Bob Russell got up to $20,000 extra.

Peter Hughes, head of the Ministry of Social Development ["what?"], is the highest paid government head, earning up to $579,000. He did not get a pay rise this year.

But we are pleased to note the remuneration of public sector bosses revealed in the State Services Commission report, released yesterday, saw the wage bill overall fall by $434,000, with five chief executives taking a pay cut. The average wage for a NZ public servant is $59,532 ($US 44,600).

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