Where do you sit on pay?

Ever wonder how your pay in Westminster compares to other MPs staff in Parliaments around the world?
Analysis shows staff in the USA and Australia have far more generous salaries for MPs staff than in the the UK, with rates of pay for Canadian staff closely mirroring our own.

In the USA the median salary for a Chief of Staff in the US Congress comes in at a whopping £113,087. This is largely because Chiefs in the USA can be responsible for an office of up to 60 people in a large Senator’s office. A congressional Director of Legislative Affairs can command up to £66,000, a long way from what we are used to in the UK.

In Australia, with an office structure similar to what we are used to the in UK, Office Managers receive about £12,000 more than their counterparts in the UK. This pay differential is mirrored across all roles, with pay differences up to £9,000 for Secretaries, nearly £11,000 for Caseworkers and over £6,000 for Parliamentary Assistants.

What is interesting is that pay bands in Canada are pretty consistent with the UK.

It’s clear when negotiating your salary with your MP at commencement and at yearly reviews, it’s vital to put a strong case forward for a salary towards the top of the band. Keep in mind the constraints of the budget, but demonstrate the value that you provide to the team when formulating your pay strategy and request.

Westminster Professionals is here to improve the experience and performance of MPs staff. We are a new organisation supported by staff from across the political spectrum.

Westminster Professionals analysis of pay bands between English-speaking Parliaments

Role/ Country UK Canada USA Australia
Secretary £19,890 – £34,341 £17,454 – £29,090 £26,895 (median) £30,033 – £44,013
Caseworker £21,960 – £37,853 £20,363 – £37,817 £33,950 – £73,512 £37,751 – £48,810
Parliamentary Assistant/ Director £23,750 – £49,753 £23,272 – £40,727 £37,623 – £66,817 £45,281 – £55,787
Office Manager/ Chief of Staff £30,324 – £49,753 £40,727 – £50,748 £113,087 (median) £57,220 – £62,505

Sources:

  • UK: IPSA, Annual Salary Ranges (£) for MPs’ staff: 2018-19
  • Canada: Canadian Parliamentary Review
  • USA Congress: Congressional Research Service, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices
  • Australia: Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019

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