Non-job of the week

January 19, 2011 9:54 AM

It seems the new year has brought in more dubious jobs and high salaries. Take this one from the London Borough of Islington who require a new chief executive. Once again someone in the public sector is set to receive more pay than the prime minister. In the case of Islington, the council is offering a salary of £160K per annum, for 35 hours a week!

Compare and contrast that salary with that of an intelligence officer at MI5. You could employ six intelligence officers for the cost of one chief executive in Islington. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the more important role.

One borough in North-West London is looking for an experienced Health and Safety Officer for schools. We all know some health and safety legislation is important - such as wearing a hard hat on a building site - but we also know it's a growth industry generating some of the most barking ideas you could think of. If a teacher wants to take their pupils on a school trip, they have to fill out pages on a risk assessment form. This unnamed local authority is willing to pay £25-30 per hour for the services of a health and safety officer. This is more than the vast majority of teachers are paid!

The non-job this week though is a Performance Improvement Manager at Oxford City Council. Here's the job description:

Main Duties & Responsibilities

  • To develop and embed a corporate approach to continuous performance improvement across the organisation to achieve a standard that is recognised as excellent by peers, stakeholders and residents.

  • To manage and develop the Council’s service planning cycle in conjunction with the corporate policy team to enable the Council’s objectives to be effectively delivered.

  • To work with and support Heads of Service to identify areas for improvement and formulate strategies and action plans with targets to achieve measurable improved performance through a range of techniques including market testing and benchmarking.

  • To develop and manage integrated performance reporting, adopting a dashboard approach via the Council’s performance software (CorVu).


If you take a look at the latest accounts for Oxford City Council (pages 30-31) you will see from 2008/9 - 2009/10 the chief executive's salary rose by £14,670 to £141,031. Someone else getting paid almost the same as the prime minister. Other senior staff also received big pay rises, including the Director of City Services. They saw their salary rise by a whopping  £23,963 to £109,080.

With salaries like these, and the number of existing managers it employs, why is there a need for a Performance Improvement Manager? Getting the best out of your staff, and continually finding better and more effective ways of operating should be part of their job descriptions.

It seems the new year has brought in more dubious jobs and high salaries. Take this one from the London Borough of Islington who require a new chief executive. Once again someone in the public sector is set to receive more pay than the prime minister. In the case of Islington, the council is offering a salary of £160K per annum, for 35 hours a week!

Compare and contrast that salary with that of an intelligence officer at MI5. You could employ six intelligence officers for the cost of one chief executive in Islington. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the more important role.

One borough in North-West London is looking for an experienced Health and Safety Officer for schools. We all know some health and safety legislation is important - such as wearing a hard hat on a building site - but we also know it's a growth industry generating some of the most barking ideas you could think of. If a teacher wants to take their pupils on a school trip, they have to fill out pages on a risk assessment form. This unnamed local authority is willing to pay £25-30 per hour for the services of a health and safety officer. This is more than the vast majority of teachers are paid!

The non-job this week though is a Performance Improvement Manager at Oxford City Council. Here's the job description:

Main Duties & Responsibilities

  • To develop and embed a corporate approach to continuous performance improvement across the organisation to achieve a standard that is recognised as excellent by peers, stakeholders and residents.

  • To manage and develop the Council’s service planning cycle in conjunction with the corporate policy team to enable the Council’s objectives to be effectively delivered.

  • To work with and support Heads of Service to identify areas for improvement and formulate strategies and action plans with targets to achieve measurable improved performance through a range of techniques including market testing and benchmarking.

  • To develop and manage integrated performance reporting, adopting a dashboard approach via the Council’s performance software (CorVu).


If you take a look at the latest accounts for Oxford City Council (pages 30-31) you will see from 2008/9 - 2009/10 the chief executive's salary rose by £14,670 to £141,031. Someone else getting paid almost the same as the prime minister. Other senior staff also received big pay rises, including the Director of City Services. They saw their salary rise by a whopping  £23,963 to £109,080.

With salaries like these, and the number of existing managers it employs, why is there a need for a Performance Improvement Manager? Getting the best out of your staff, and continually finding better and more effective ways of operating should be part of their job descriptions.

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