Local authority IT staff salaries are catching up with private sector counterparts, according to a survey by Computer Economics.
IT directors in local authorities in London and the South East are now earning 86% of the equivalent pay in the private sector, compared to 60% in 2003, according to the research, which was commissioned by public sector IT managers group Socitm.
Nationally, IT directors in local authorities are earning 68% of the private sector equivalent, up from 58% last year. For IT managers, this figure was 69%, compared to 61% in 2003.
Police and fire services faired best with IT salary rises of 6.8% and 10.2% respectively. Salaries for police IT chiefs rose by just 1.7% in 2003. Across the whole sample, from 140 local authorities, pay rose by 5.9%, compared to 5.1% last year.
Public sector IT departments’ recruitment difficulties are also receding. Last year, 34% of organisations reported difficulties in attracting new staff, but this year the figure dropped to 27%.
Andy Roberts, chair of Socitm’s member services group, said, "Although public sector organisations can compete in the IT skills market, they will face a stiff challenge once recruitment picks up and competition drives up private sector salaries."