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Bosses at St Luke's Community Centre charity given 20% pay rise

PUBLISHED: 09:39 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:10 03 July 2019

St Luke's Community Centre in Central Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

St Luke's Community Centre in Central Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The three most senior staff members at a Central Street charity have been handed a 20 per cent pay increase, it can be revealed.

St Lukes Community Centre Central St EC1V 8AJ. Picture: Polly HancockSt Lukes Community Centre Central St EC1V 8AJ. Picture: Polly Hancock

The remuneration committee at St Luke's Community Centre has approved bumper pay packets for its chief executive, director of services and director of operations - taking their salaries to between £60,000 and £82,000.

This increase comes after an independent HR firm advised that the top brass were being "significantly underpaid".

One trustee has blasted the increase, arguing the cash should go on services for users, or at least a pay boost for all other staff as well.

Former Islington mayor Joe Trotter, who's been a trustee for 30 years, was one of a number of board members approached by this paper for comment.

He said: "I'm really surprised and a bit disgusted about it. I mean it's a charity. God help us."

The 83-year-old, of Goswell Road, added: "What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Money is tight. What is it going to cause to other staff - are they going to get a rise?"

He suggested the money could also fix a bus "that picks up disabled people" and has "broken down on a number of occasions", most recently during a trip to Southend. St Luke's confirmed it had broken down twice recently but said it had been fixed immediately both times.

Joe wasn't able to attend the board of trustees meeting where the changes were agreed upon but believes only six of 13 trustees were present.

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But Don Kehoe, chair of the board of trustees, said: "St Luke's remuneration committee recently engaged an HR consultancy to carry out an evaluation and benchmarking exercise into its senior management salaries, as required by ACEVO [Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations] guidelines.

"This independent review showed the senior employees at St Luke's were being significantly underpaid.

"This has been rectified with a recent pay increase to three senior members of staff."

A spokesperson for the charity said: "St Luke's is a London Living Wage organisation and all members of staff, regardless of role, receive at least this level of payment.

"The highest paid staff member at St Luke's [the chief executive] is paid four times the lowest paid member of staff.

"The average salary at the centre is £31,200. Other employees at the centre have been paid at market rates in order for the centre to retain the services of quality, skilled staff."

Asked if the rest of St Luke's staff will be getting a pay rise, the Gazette was told all roles will be evaluated in the same way as the independent evaluation of the senior management in the coming months. The CEO is still paid four times the salary of the lowest earner after the pay rises.

St Luke's has 1,100 members of all ages and runs a range of services centred on wellbeing for over 55s, including subsidised lunches and transport, as well as community gardening, counselling and countless other activities.

It also runs an adjacent cafe, with the profits being put back into the charity.

Just 3.3pc of its annual turnover came from Islington Council last year.

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