"Refreshing" approach to CEO pay good news for the state sector - PSA

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The PSA is welcoming the strong stance taken by State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes - who’s calling for the brakes to go on chief executive pay across the State Sector.

Mr Hughes has used the Senior Pay Report 2017 to repeat that state sector chief executive salaries are too high, and the rate of pay increases for top-end staff is not sustainable.

He also identified Crown entity boards which chose not to follow the Commission’s advice about remuneration rates.

"We are heartened by this robust approach to an issue that has concerned the PSA for some years," PSA National Secretaries Glenn Barclay and Erin Polaczuk say.

"It’s time to reject once and for all the idea that state sector chief executive salaries should reflect private sector remuneration.

"That creates a self-perpetuating market where salaries spiral upwards with no thought for the public accountability of state sector agencies.

"Chief executives do big jobs with a huge amount of responsibility - but they have a responsibility to spend public money wisely, and that includes on their own salaries."

The Minister of State Services, Chris Hipkins, has indicated changes to legislation may be necessary.

"The PSA is pleased the Minister is taking this seriously, and we would be happy to be part of a wider discussion about appropriate remuneration across the public service", Mr Barclay and Ms Polaczuk say.