Sunday, 1 December 2013

Charity Commission warning!

I wonder if the new ethos of 'transparency and openness' has been triggered to an extent by the fast approaching requirement to publish CaRT's first year accounts. I don't suppose its in any way linked to the Charity Commission chair issuing a warning to charities.

Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross has questioned whether high salaries were "fair" to donors and taxpayers. He said “Organisations must ask if pay levels are really appropriate. Large salaries paid to charity staff could bring the charitable world into disrepute.” The chairman who was appointed last year on a £50,000 annual salary said “The commission could not tell charities how much they should pay their executives, but urged them to be cautious. In these difficult times, when many charities are experiencing shortfalls, trustees should consider whether very high salaries are really appropriate and fair to both the donors and the taxpayers who fund charities. Disproportionate salaries risk bringing organisations and the wider charitable world into disrepute."

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said. "Many charities go further than the minimum requirements for reporting staff salary levels. We would always encourage donors to use this information when making decisions about who they wish to give to and to help them understand the complexities of running any charity in the 21st century, but ultimately it is for all charities to explain the decisions they make about all forms of expenditure."

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, denied the high salaries could put off donors. “The average salary for a charity chief executive was £58,000. This simply isn't an issue for donors. Donors are more concerned about the outcomes, the performance and the efficiency of these organisations.”

Every charity in England and Wales is now required to publish how many members of staff earn more than £60,000 and their accounts are publicly available on the Charity Commission's website and on most charities own websites. Typically the British Red Cross said the pay of its chief executive was far from secret and its annual accounts were available on its website. 

I think that radical overhaul of senior salary structures across all industries and not just the waterways is needed. There is an over remunerated minority including bankers, lawyers and CEO's who's abilities are not worth ten times or in some cases fifty times average employee salary. Think of the old canal navvy as the bench mark. Do you think that the senior managers could wield a barrow or shovel and do double the work, never mind ten times or in some cases fifty times the work. You might argue that its not like for like, I would argue that it makes as much sense to me. Should we have in place a ratio. CEO's salary cannot be more than twenty times the lowest pay.

This does not equate to a similar multiplication of ability, only a perception in order to justify the funds to pay an inflated salary to maintain this over privileged minority. Where inland waterways charities are concerned, the norm has become direct debit contributions, for licences and moorings, even the friends are via direct debit. They have essentially become ordinary businesses. No special knowledge or leadership skills are required for making decisions based on fixed and floating income and outgoings.

Don't get me started on the current system of bonus payments. I like the old Sheffield system of payments by results. It was called piecework and had a time and motion man stood over the worker checking performance. If your performance was not up to the mark, you were redepoloyed to the works front gate. Now that's the bonus system I would like to see introduced for senior managers and directors.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.