The latest gazetted salaries for Rann Government ‘Spin Doctors’ and staff further confirmed that many of them were grossly overpaid and leeches on the public purse sucking valuable dollars from more important priorities.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today that there is no justification at all for Mr Rann to pay his personal ‘Spin Doctors’ between $88,000 and $186,000, or an average of more than $100,000 per year.
“These massive salaries are a disgraceful waste of taxpayers’ money and a perfect example of Mr Rann’s wrong priorities where he values political spin more than teaching or nursing,” Mr Lucas said.
“If we compare these salaries to those earned by teachers, nurses and even journalists, the gap is massive and widening.”
According to available statistics:
• The salary ‘step range’ for a teacher in South Australia is $49,000 to $68,000
• The salary range for a Level 1 Registered Nurse in South Australia is $45,000 to $60,000
• The salary range for a Grade 3 journalist in South Australia is $50,000 to $55,000
Some of the Government’s ‘Spin Doctors’ received outrageous salary increases when they joined Mr Rann’s team because they had left jobs in the media paying much lower salaries of $50,000 to $70,000.
This comes at a time when Premier Rann is fighting pay increases of just over three per cent for teachers and other public sector employees.
Today’s Government Gazette shows that some Rann Government ‘Spin Doctors’ and staff have just received massive pay increases, as follows:
2007 Salary 2008 Salary Increase Increase
Rik Morris $90,655 $120,000 $29,345 32.4%
Elizabeth Duff $53,690 $60,030 $6,340 11.8%
Rann Speech Writer $90,655 $100,943 $10,288 11.3%
Mr Paul Flanagan, who was the Manager of the Media Unit, now has a newly created position of Manager of Communication at $143,547, whilst Mr Morris has become the Manager of the Media Unit with a $29,435 salary increase – or an increase of 32.4 per cent.
Mr Andrew Ramsay, Speech Writer to the Premier, has replaced the outgoing Mark Batisitch and has pocketed a $10,288 pay increase – or up by 11.3 per cent.
Today’s Gazette also reveals that Christopher Picton, Julia Sumner and Sally Bartlett have been promoted from Ministerial Advisers to Chiefs of Staff and have received increases of $37,415 – or an increase of 44 per cent. Matthew Pinnegar, former Policy Adviser and now Chief of Staff to Pat Conlon, has received an increase of $21,923 – or an increase of 21.8 per cent.
The Government Gazette also reveals that every Rann Government minder has received salary increases of about 3.5 per cent for one year.
“In fact, Premier Rann is wasting at least $25 million over four years on all his ‘Spin Doctors’ and other staff,” Mr Lucas said.
“Teachers, nurses and journalists have an obvious impact on society, whereas many of Mr Rann’s ‘Spin Doctors’ are simply a waste of space who manipulate the flow of information and accountability.
“Mr Rann should justify publicly the reasons for his ‘Spin Doctors’ earning up to $186,000 per year – or greater than three times the average individual salary of South Australia’s nurses.”