Bureaucrat’s snout in trough – Council CEO Tony Marryatt defends obscene salary

by Nick Scullin

Christchurch City Council’s CEO, Tony Marryatt

Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt has finally returned from his holiday in Australia and is defending his widely-criticised $68,129 pay rise.  The 14.4 per cent pay rise will bring his yearly salary to $538,529, up from $470,400.  When the pay rise was announced by the city council it prompted a small protest.  Many people have written to the Press expressing their outrage at such a large increase at a time when Christchurch people are still hurting from devastating quakes which cost many workers their jobs and/or homes.  There have been calls for Marryatt to turn down the pay offer or to donate it to charity, both of which he has refused to do.

The real question should be not is this an inappropriately large pay rise, but why do we have a system that allows one man to be paid such a vast amount of money when the majority of us are getting far less.  The answer is that capitalism is a very one-sided system that makes the numerically small capitalist class exceptionally rich at the expense of the rest of us.  Under capitalism all value is created by workers at the base level.  Workers produce things or services but are paid less than the new value they have created, enabling the bosses to make a profit.  Because of this exploitation of workers there are large amounts of money available to pay massive CEO salaries in the private sector.  With local government trying to mimic the private sector, their CEOs are also paid obscene amounts of money.  But since workers create all the wealth they should also be in control of it and benefit from it.  Marryatt and his class are parasites that extract most of the wealth from the rest of us.

Let’s take a minute to dissect some of Marryatt’s arguments for why he deserves his $68,129 pay rise and indeed why he deserves to be paid over half a million dollars a year.  First off, he claims his pay is based on the market rate and his performance.  As we have already discussed, the market rate only represents that the capitalist class likes to pay its CEOs vast amounts of money which is unjustifiably extracted from workers.  Marryatt asserted that he has, “never worked so hard in his life” referring to the Christchurch earthquakes.  The same is probably true of many if not most council staff, will they also be getting 14.4 per cent pay rises?  Somehow I doubt it.  Moreover, many workers, students and small farmers have given vast amounts of time doing hard, dirty physical work, helping clean up the hardest-hit suburbs.  Has Marryatt ever rolled up his sleeves and helped in any of this?

Marryatt has been criticised because he did not return from his Gold Coast holiday when the latest big quake hit just before Christmas.  He claims he was not needed and that staff had it under control.  This is probably quite true, he probably wasn’t needed.  But this somewhat contradicts his subsequent argument that he deserves such a big pay rise because his job is so important and difficult.  In fact Marryatt is so unimportant that he is not even required when a major quake happens.  That is the reality and the same is true of all CEOs and in fact the entire capitalist class.  They are not needed and all they do is sponge off the hard work of the rest of us.

Marryatt also complained that he is committed to Christchurch and has been affected by the quakes like everyone else, commenting, “that he owns two properties in Christchurch and both of them are damaged.”  Poor Tony, two damaged properties when most of us only have to deal with owning one or no properties, damaged or otherwise, because we simply can’t afford to own our own home.  It’s tough being rich, aye.

Marryatt even had the gall to claim that his pay rise was probably not enough, based on the grounds that it reflected what his CEO job entailed pre-earthquakes.  Now, he apparently has to work a lot harder and thus probably deserves more.  Again, one wonders if he would apply the same logic to the rest of the harder working staff at the Christchurch City Council.

Marryatt argues that he is a “high-performing CEO” and thus he deserves the big bucks.  However, the dismal state of affairs in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch rather contradicts his arrogant self-praise.  If he is performing so well then why are some eastern suburbs residents still unable to use their toilets from the February and June quakes last year one wonders?

What is the solution?  Sack the obnoxious self-aggrandising prick and pay half a dozen workers to do his job.  Or, better yet, workers in Christchurch should take things into their own hands.  Workers could run things better than his like ever will.  We make all the wealth and it’s high time we stop letting the likes of Marryatt take most of it for themselves.

Follow-up article on the protest: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/christchurch-protest-says-dump-marryatt-parker-and-hold-new-elections/

Details of the next protest:

6 comments

  1. Btw, there was a quite funny (as in funny-disgusting) further thing in the Press this morning about Marryatt and the council bosses. According to the Press source, the Council had approached the university to get fees reductions for council staff attending university. The council said it was so stretched economically it had had to lay off 25 staff, so could it please have a reduction in the university fees it was paying for Council staff doing papers!!!

    I would think that any Council staff doing curses would only be doing one or two papers a year – which would cost about $1,000. So Marryatt’s rise alone would probably pay for 60-70 Council staff to do one-two university papers in 2012.

  2. The Waterside workers union issued a challenge to CEO Tony Gibson “to immediately release all documentation regarding his salary and perks, and that of all senior management at Ports of Auckland, into the public domain for open discussion.”

    “Let the public decide whether he is worth his wages and special benefits. Considering the unfolding disaster he has created at his workplace, they may be surprised at his generous remuneration.”

    “Let the public decide whether he is worth his wages and special benefits. Considering the unfolding disaster he has created at his workplace, they may be surprised at his generous remuneration.”

    Fair call.

    And if we were all playing the same rules on the same ping pong table, that formula could be sufficient to sort the shit out.

    We are not in that situation.

    The television and radio will not set out that perfectly reasonable comparison out on the table, no capitalist media will. That includes the comfortably seated right wing bloggers who care not one jot about any workers families but only about scoring points to enhance their own fondly imagined self importance in the scheme of the universe.

    This pivotal class drama drama is being played out in the print media on the business pages. The wider working class is atomized and we have generationally been deprived of our culture.

    There is no point railing against the horribly obvious weakness of the national union body ( NZCTU) . If Helen Kelly was to call for a general strike there are not enough of us match fit enough to answer the call.

    The wharfies need – and deserve- industrial muscle from class conscious fellow workers. Over the last couple of decades our muscles have gone soft, especially the ones in our heads and in our hearts. Untill our class achieves a change of lifestyle we will sell deserving fellow workers short.

    How do we get up again?

    I think it must begin individually. Thinking about what we each personally have to practicaly do to kill the bosses power and what steps we must each take towards that goal.

    Reply

  3. […] Bureaucrat’s snout in trough – Council CEO Tony Marryatt defends obscene salary Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "f9f9f9"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "bcc5c1"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "333333"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "CC0000"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "575b59"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "business"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "firefighters"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "unions-nz"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "workers-rights"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "workers-strikes"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Share this:EmailPrintFacebookTwitterStumbleUponDiggLinkedInRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  4. …. THE CHRYSTAL PALACE SYNDROME….THE M.ROSS, T.MARRYATT SAGA ….

    I QUESTION THE TERM “C.E.O” THATS LIBERALLY USED BY MESSRS M.ROSS & T.MARRYATT TO EXERT THEIR SELF PROCLAIMED STATUS UPON THEIR *EMPLOYERS*? (*THE TAXPAYERS OF THE COLONIE/S).
    MESSRS ROSS & MARRYATT ARE THE TOWN CLERKS OF THE WAITAKI & CHRISTCHURCH TOWN & CITY COUNCILS, I SAY AGAIN THESE GENTLEMEN ARE EMPLOYED BY THE TAXPAYERS IN THE AFOREMENTIONED COUNCIL REGION IN THAT THEY RESIDE IN.

    THE TERM C.E.O THAT MESSR’S ROSS & MARRYATT DEMAND THAT THE EMPLOYEE/S/ER/S RECOGNISE THEM BY IS OF U.S ORIGIN & THE ENGLISH EQUAL TO THAT TERM IS “MANAGING DIRECTOR”=M.D.
    NOW, THE 2 COLONIES ARE RECOGNISED AS THE WORLDS 2 MOST ENGLISH OF SETTLEMENTS OUTSIDE ENGLAND WITH ITS OUTSTANDING CULTURE (WE EVEN HAVE SCHITT ENGLISH AUTOMOBILES COMPLETE WITH AUTHENTIC OIL LEAKS & UNRELIABILITY & WEEDY PEST PLANTS) AND ARCHITECTURE DATING BACK AS FAR AS THE 1830’S.

    THE COLONIES COUNCIL (OAMARU) IN 2010(?) DEMANDED (LAW) THAT A HOUSE BILDER USE QUOTE “ENGLISH” STREET NAMES FOR HIS HOUSING ESTATE AND ALL STREET NAMES IN THE LOCALE ARE TO USE “ENGLISH” NAMES AND MAORIE (NATIVE) THE LAST OPTION.
    NOW IN SAYING ALL THAT. I QUERIE WHY MESSRS ROSS & MARRYATT DEMAND THE USE OF THE MOST UN-ENGLISH OF TITLE IN THEIR CIVIC ROLES?.

    THE TERM “C.E.O” HAS ITS ORIGINS (UNCERTAIN; LATE MID 1970’S?) IN THE U.S AND IS USED BY THE FORD MOTOR CO, COKE, GENERAL MOTORS ETC WHEN THOSE COMPANIES EXPANDED SO BIG & WORLDWIDE SO FAST THAT MANAGEMENT COULD NOT COPE SO ANOTHER TIER OF MANAGEMENT WAS INSTALLED.
    THE OAMARU / CHRISTCHURCH COUNCILS BUSINESS OPERATIONS ARE NOWHERE NEAR THE SIZE OF THOSE U.S COMPANIES (YES…FORD & COKE ARE STILL CALLED (LISTED AS) COMPANIES NOT CORPORATIONS) I NOW QUESTION WHY THE ROSS / MARRYATT USES THE TERM?.
    …THE ANSWER…… IT ELEVATES 1 ABOVE ALL YOUR PEERS, SELF ENGRANDIZEMENT (VANITY) AND THEY CAN COMMAND REMURATION HIGHER THAN THE LOWEST OF THE LOWEST!.

    RE; RENUMERATION (SALARY)… ROSS & MARRYATT STATED THAT THEY & THE LIKES OFF THEIR KIND CAN AND WILL COMMAND THE SALARYS THAT THEIR ON, CITING “IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR THATS WHAT THEY WILL BE ON”…UNQUOTE.
    WELL”, IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, PEOPLE DO NOT RUN BUSINESSES CALLED COUNCILS NOR HAVE THESE PEOPLE SUBMITTED EVIDENCE OF FUTURE EMPLOYEES OFFERING PROOF OF RENUMERATION OR EVEN EMPLOYERS EXPRESSING INTEREST IN EMPLOYING THEM?.

    OH!, WHEN YOUNG, I COULD REMEMBER THE COUNCIL HAVING HONORABLE GREAT PEOPLE WORKING, AND THE PAST LATE “ARTHUR BUDD” AS TOWN CLERK (FREIND OF HE AND FAMILY, AND THEY ARE VERY ACCESSIBLE). THE COUNCIL USE TO GRADE / AND MAINTAIN ALL RURAL ROADS, MAINTAIN AND MOE ALL PARKS, HAVE ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC TRASCH BINS, PUBLIC TOILETS, DUMPS, DOG CONTROL ETC IN A VERY EFFICIENT MANNER IN THE 1970’S AND PRIOR.
    NOW CURRENTLY IN MESSRS M. R?SS?S RULE TO FEATHER HIS C?NTACTS BANK ACCT/S USING TAXPAYER MONIES….THE PARKS AIN’T MOED. PUBLIC ABBOLUTIONS DIMINISHED, DUMPS CLOSED, DOG CONTROL NON FUNCTIONING, ROADS NON MAINTAINED, TRASCH BINS DIMINISHED ETC …AND THEY HAVE MORE EFFICIENT MACHINERY & SYSTEMS TO DO WHAT THE COUNCILS HAD PRIOR TO THE 80’S AND THEY SAY THEY CANNOT MAINTAIN THOSE SERVICES, ..EVEN WHEN THEY DID SO 140 OR SO YEARS PRIOR TO ROSSES TIME, NOW WHAT THE HELLS GOIN ON HERE?.

    COUNCILS ROLE IS TO PROVIDE THE BASIC NECCESITIES OF LIFE (WATER, ROADING INFRASTRUCTURE,WASTE DISPOSAL AGED CARE FOR THE NEEDY ETC) NOT HAVE INSIDER TRADING AND DIVERTING JOB CONTRACTS TO DEFAULT CONTRACTORS (MATES) IN RETURN FOR HOME ROOM EXTENSIONS FOR THE DECISION MAKER/S (COUNCIL EMPLOYEE?) IN COUNCIL WITHIN.

    HELEN CLARKE AND THE N.Z LABOUR PARTY……THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE SCHITT YOU BESTOWED UPON US!.

    FOOTNOTE; THE TERM C.E.O WOULD BE FINE IF USED BY LARGE METROPOLISES LIKE N.Y,LONDON ETC…BUT OAMARU?.

Comments are closed.