Payment for results
All the information in our survey of Jewish communal executives’ pay is publicly available. But it would be hard to overstate the hostility and nervousness from some of those concerned when we started contacting them for confirmation of the figures in their accounts. There were conference calls between organisations to discuss how best to respond. There were attempts to silence the JC. And there was the accusation — baseless, as readers will see — that we were engaged in some kind of witch hunt against senior executives.
And yet all our survey does is present a series of facts. We express no view about the worth of those executives whose packages we publish. That is for readers — and donors — to judge. Indeed, some will be surprised at how modest some of the salaries are considering the size of their organisations. A charity such as Jewish Care, for instance, has a turnover of more than £45 million a year.
No CEO of a similarly sized and successful private sector company would be paid as little — comparatively — as £140,000 per annum. And no organisation or executive confident in the job they are doing has anything to fear from transparency.
Questions will, however, surely be asked by donors of some of the less impressive organisations. And, especially when the organisation is a charity, it is right that it should be held up to scrutiny.
In the end, of course, it is up to no one except the boards of the various organisations — and their donors — to decide what they pay their executives, so long as they remain within the law. In the end, too, it is important that their decisions are made public.