Public sector IT staff get bigger pay rises

Better benefits than the private sector too, claims survey

Better benefits than the private sector too, claims survey

IT workers in local authorities are getting better salary increases and a wider range of benefits than their counterparts in the private sector.

Average salaries have increased by five per cent on last year, according to an annual survey commissioned by local government user group Socitm and based on responses from around a third (88) of local authorities.

This is just up on last year's salary increase of 4.8 per cent, and ahead of private sector rises which also stood at 4.8 per cent.

IT staff working in fire services have received the greatest increase (6.7 per cent) while, at a regional level, staff at local authorities in Wales have benefited the most with an average increase also of 6.7 per cent.

At the opposite end of the scale, techies at district councils (3.8 per cent) and local authorities in the southeast (4.5 per cent) have received the lowest average increases.

Recruitment problems have also increased this year, with 51 per cent of authorities finding it hard to get staff, up from 31 per cent last year. But the average resignation rate of 2.2 per cent (down from 3.6 per cent in 2005) compares well with the average of 6.2 per cent for the private sector.

The report said fringe benefits and more flexible ways of working are important for authorities unable to compete with the private sector on salaries alone.

Flexible working hours are offered by 99 per cent of authorities; 76 per cent allow selected staff to work from home; and 92 per cent offer job sharing. The report said it is probable that the continued availability of final salary pensions is also a key benefit to local authority staff.

Andy Roberts, chair of Socitm's member services group said in a statement: "As in past surveys it is clear that whilst local authorities may not always offer the highest available salaries, the overall package of benefits is generally very attractive. Local government remains a good place for ICT professionals to develop their careers".