Higher wages yet services and productivity have deteriorated

Central Coast CEO, David Farmer

Forum –

The revelation that Central Coast Council CEO, David Farmer, earns more than $500,000, none of which is dependent on hitting performance or productivity targets, illustrates one of the key drivers of ever higher rates (“Council CEO’s wage packet is higher than the Premier’s”, Chronicle p10, July 7).

Rate hikes are funding a nose in trough culture for the Council’s senior bureaucracy and the community is getting nothing in return in terms of improved performance or services.

Consider a startling statistic from Interim Administrator Dick Persson’s 30 day report, “In just three years (2017-20), Council employee numbers rose 13 percent, but employee related costs increased 33 percent”.

If employee costs are rising two and a half times faster than employee numbers, that can only mean higher salaries, benefits and perks, and a higher proportion of higher salaried managerial positions.

Unless these higher salaries are earned through better productivity, they can only be funded by rate increases.

It is not just Mr Farmer who is earning a big salary.

Mr Persson admitted that there were more people earning over $300,000 under him than before he arrived, despite his smoke and mirrors claims of reducing executive numbers.

Yet, services and productivity have deteriorated.

Another high paid executive, Director of Water, Jamie Loader, has even hired a consultant to prepare a submission to IPART for another water rate hike in 2022.

Does that mean neither he nor any of the other high paid managers in his department are capable of drafting the submission themselves?

Or does he just enjoy the irony of ratepayers paying consultants to lobby for higher rates?

In the real world, productivity drives higher salaries.

If Mr Farmer and other senior managers believe they are worth these huge salaries, they should prove it by delivering better performance and productivity.

Then they won’t need to keep increasing rates and it will be a win-win.

Email, July 12,
Kevin Brooks, Kincumber

3 Comments on "Higher wages yet services and productivity have deteriorated"

  1. Sam Nicholson | July 15, 2021 at 12:05 pm | Reply

    It is absolutely disgusting that these people have higher salaries than the Prime Minister of this country and the Premier of this State and even more disgusting that their salaries are not tied to any benchmarks. These lurks have to stop along with other extravagant practices by these inept people. Council salaries for executives need to be pegged and the sooner that an independent body with community representatives rules on these salaries the better.

  2. Maureen Boys | July 15, 2021 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    Re Kevin Brooks letter ‘HIGHER WAGES YET SERVICES AND PRODUCTIVITY HAVE DETERIORATED
    This letter reveals what is actually happening in council. There is no transparency whatsoever .We have been kept in the dark, even the Commissioner won’t now publish any submissions 3 weeks into inquiry. The whole “SHOW” is ludicrous , “SHROUDED IN SECRECY”….how do we get a say???……We have had our hands tied behind our back and in the beginning were told lies that it would be transparent.
    Well its time we the Ratepayers had more questions answered

    Why do we need to pay hundreds of thousands to Consultants for Water/sewerage submissions when these high level employees are earning huge money. Do they think we are fools. Jobs for the boys i say!
    There is virtually no productivity and services are cut

    I quote Terms of Reference NO 3″ Any other matter that warrants mention particularly those that may impact on effective administration of Council’s functions and responsibility or the community,s confidence in the Council being able to do so”
    Well i have no confidence whatsoever in the Council as Kevin has said and i quote “PUBLIC” INQUIRY TO BE HELD LARGELY IN SECRET”
    It’s not even the inquiry we were promised having obtained 22,500 signatures for a Judicial inquiry

    Please read Kevins letter at least twice as he is spot on.

    It’s obvious Council are “Pulling the Wool over our eyes”
    i am writing to Roslyn McCulloch her email is on the protest site on FB on Kevins post of 2 days ago….ezy peasy i suggest the Community dig in and write to her so it makes an impact.
    She could have omitted names off submissions as suggested and still published them why not????

  3. Well as ratepayers have received a bill for 15% more to cover their Failures…
    How about staff taking a 15 % pay cut 🥱🥱🥱🥱

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