Given that the Greater London Authority was originally stapled together from a number of separate and unconnected agencies it’s hardly surprising that it’s a minefield of anomalies and contradictory practices.
But sometimes the disparity between different outposts in the Mayor’s empire is so stark that it deserves to be commented on and challenged.
Such is the case with the different approaches taken to professional qualifications by the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London.
Earning the certificate will cost you somewhere in the region of £1,000 and attaining it in no way guarantees acceptance by the Met.
Assuming you pass both the exam and the Met’s application process you’ll earn a starting salary of £22,221 plus London weighting and allowances of £6,615, a grand total of £28,836 per annum.
Meanwhile over at the TfL where a job tends to be a little less dangerous and a lot more cushy then patrolling the streets of London, things are very different.
Mike Brown is Managing Director of London Underground and London Rail and last year earned £309,605 in salary, fees and allowances. He also received performance related bonuses of £75,010 and £88,936 relating to the financial years 2010/11 and 2011/12, both paid in 2012/13.
In that adds up to £475,651, roughly 16 times the starting salary of a police officer.
Unlike the hopeful plod who has to pay for his own certificate, Brown is reimbursed for professional accreditations and memberships which help him do his job.
TfL tells me this is all fine because Brown is “accountable for a multi-billion pound of projects central to the future success of London and the UK as a whole.” and that membership to professional bodies “ensures that these are delivered in keeping with industry best practice.”
But if hopeful coppers can pay for the accreditation needed to win and do their jobs, why are far better paid TfL executives not expected to do likewise?