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by (190 points)

3 Answers

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Not an easy one to answer, as even though Parish Councils 'should' follow national guidance, they are perfectly entitled to set there own pay structures.

However, to be an effective Parish Clerk the person is recommended (but not compelled) to hold the SLCCs ILCA and CiLCA Qualifications (some go on to complete the Community Governance courses as well).

The more qualified a Parish CLerk is and the more experience a Parish Clerk is, theoretically, the higher the pay should be, up to the maximum the particular Parish Council is willing to pay (or sometimes as the case may be, be able to afford).  I am aware in my own District of a very highly qualified Parish Clerk do their job for the same pay as someone who is unqualified, the reason being is that they are happy to do it.  They retired as a CIty Council Clerk and wanted something to keep themselves active and yes they have been publicly offered more and at the same meeting they have publically turned it down.

by (2.2k points)
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In order for the council to claim the General Power of Competence, they would need (amongst other things) to have a Clerk that is CiLCA qualified and I would say that this should be a compulsory requirement for any Clerk as it is a useful qualification to have in a very specialised profession.

What concerns me is that I have spoken with Clerks whose councils are not prepared to pay for them to do this training as they don't consider it valuable.  It is the same councils that think that they will get a good quality service from their clerk if they pay them a pittance.  But you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

The national salary scheme is dependant on the size of the council, the councils staffing, finance and assets and not based on the qualification of the clerk and it is down to the council to decide the grading of their clerk.  However, the council should encourage the clerk to undertake training as it can only benefit the council to know that the procedures, guidance and advice the clerk gives is given through recognised training.
by (24.3k points)
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Out of interest what it an average hourly rate for a clerk with or without these qualifications and would this amount be for a clerk that does say 15 hours a week?
by (470 points)
There is no average rate for Clerks with or without qualification as the recommended pay is based on Local Government salary scales for all areas of local government and not just parish or town council clerks.
The current pay scales range from £17972 for full time up to £74217 depending on the size of the council...
There is national guidance on pay scales for clerks, published jointly by the NALC and SLCC. Ask Google to find "National Agreement on Salaries and Conditions of Service of Local Council Clerks in England and Wales 2004" for you. The document defines councils by scale of operation and sets a range of pay grades for each. The pay scales are included in NALC Employment Briefing E02-18 - 2018-2019 National Salary Award, with a further (as yet unannounced) inflationary increase to be applied from 1 April.

It would be normal to start an inexperienced and/or unqualified clerk on the lowest scale point for that size of council (substantive, not points below) and to allow progression through the points with experience and qualifications. The spinal column points in the document relate to the pre-2019 NJC pay scales, but the current schedule of pay scales shows both the old and the new. I'm recruiting an LC2 at the moment, which starts at 30 on the old scale, or 24 on the new.

I've never put so much jargon in a single message before, but I hope once you have the document in front of you, this will make sense!
Is there an incentive to increase the number and scale of services offered by a council (and number of staff employed) in order to secure a higher pay grade?
The thinking behind the range of pay grades reflects the fact that no two jobs are alike. Even in small simple parish councils, the level of responsibility and complexity can vary significantly. One of my councils has a cemetery and the Clerk is expected to manage that in addition to the more conventional aspects of the role. Extra work can be remunerated through additional hours, but the cemetery carries a significant burden of responsibility, both legally and emotionally, in dealing with bereaved individuals and families. That is reflected in the grading of the job.
The council sets the salary for the clerk, as well as the action plan for the parish council.  To suggest that the clerk would want to increase their responsibilities and staffing levels to secure their own pay rise is a bit harsh!  I know a lot of Clerks who are greatly underpaid for the work that they do as the councillors have the view that as they are volunteers, the proper officer should be to.

If you were to take the responsibilities that clerks hold and reflect them into the private sector, you would be looking for someone who is Managing Director, Head of HR, Financial Director, Communications officer and Head of Customer Services, rolled into one.  Granted that some councils consist of a single clerk but some head teams of 20 or more...

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