Birmingham Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jerry Blackett has been awarded a bonus and rise covering a two-year period of more than £57,000.
Mr Blackett saw his total earnings package rise from £112,095 in 2010 to £169,187 this year, with the extra £57,092 before tax paid as part of a deferred award dating back two years.
In April this year around 130 employees at the Chamber were told a pay freeze was imposed from April for all directors – including Mr Blackett – and staff.
Staff at the Chamber have been granted one pay rise of two per cent “in line with market rates” over the last three yearly wage rounds.
In 2009 gross pay for staff working a standard 37.5 hours a week was cut by 5.4 per cent, with their hours reduced to 35 in a bid to save thousands of pounds a year. At the time the Chamber stressed that performance-related payments would continue.
Mr Blackett said: “The fact that the 2011 accounts show a £57,000 variation over 2011 is because the difference represents two bonus payments and a salary rise.
"The 2010 accounts show that total directors’ remuneration fell from £221,000 in 2009 to £195,000 in 2010, because a bonus was paid in 2009 but not 2010.
"When salary increases were affordable for all Chamber staff then my salary was increased. This increase was in excess of two per cent but was a figure arrived at by an independent remuneration committee.”
The Chamber said in a statement: “The Chamber’s 2010/11 accounts disclosed that directors’ total emoluments were £284,000 for the year ended 31 March 2011 compared to £195,000 in the previous year.
"The note to the accounts explains that non-executive directors did not receive any remuneration for their services and the emoluments, excluding pension contributions, of the highest paid director were £169,187 (2010: £112,095).
"The large increase in total emoluments is explained by the fact that directors’ bonuses are recognised in the accounts in the year in which they are paid and the emoluments for the year ended 2011 included bonus payments relating to the results for the financial years 2008/09 and 2009/10. No bonus payments were included in the emoluments for the year ended 2010.
“Executive directors’ pay was reduced by about five per cent when working hours were reduced for all Chamber staff in June 2009. Executive directors’ pay and reward is determined by a remuneration committee made up of non-executive directors and not by the Chamber executives themselves.
“A pay increase was awarded to the executive directors in April 2010 in line with market rates and a pay freeze was applied in April 2011 for all directors and staff. No bonuses have been paid in respect of the financial year 2010/11 and the executive directors have therefore seen a reduction in their total emoluments over the last year.”
Accounts for the year to March 31 show that the Chamber fell into the red to the tune of £146,000 compared to a surplus of £170,000 last year.
It came after the Chamber faced a £133,000 bill for reorganisation after a year which saw it merge with Southern Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.