Councils tempt IT staff with bigger pay rises than private sector

Local authorities are offering IT staff bigger pay rises than private sector employers, research reveals.

Salaries for local authority IT staff rose by an average of 4.8%, compared with an average 3.5% increase in the private sector, according to the Society of IT Management’s (Socitm) annual salary survey, carried out by Computer Economics.

Staff working in county councils and the London boroughs received the biggest rises (6%), with inner London authorities handing out an average rise of 8.5%.

Housing associations (3.4%) and local authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland (3.6%) awarded the lowest average increases.

This year’s survey also showed that the pay gap between senior staff in the public and private sectors has stabilised after narrowing sharply last year.

In 2004 IT directors in local authorities in London and the South East were paid up to 86% of the salaries of their private sector equivalents – an increase on the 2003 figure of 60%.

Local authorities are also doing better at recruitment than private sector employers. The proportion of local authorities reporting IT staff recruitment problems was 31% compared with 58% in the private sector.

Andy Roberts, chair of Socitm’s member services group said: “The Socitm salary survey shows once again that local government can offer a compelling overall package, which ensures it can attract and retain high calibre ICT professionals.”

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