Council wages war over pay-gap call

Date published: 03 April 2014

OLDHAM Council has blasted a new report calling on it and other Greater Manchester authorities to do more to reduce the gap between high and low-earners.

The report, by Steady State Manchester and Equality North-West, claims Greater Manchester has a higher than average pay gap. The average UK council chief receives 12 times the pay of the lowest-paid worker, but for the average Greater Manchester chief executive the ratio is 1:13.

Researcher Benjamin Irvine, from Steady State Manchester, said: “It appears Greater Manchester councils are still setting top pay in relation to the private sector, rather than tackling income inequality.

But Councillor Jenny Harrison, Oldham Council’s Cabinet member for commissioning and public sector reform, disagrees: “Our current information doesn’t match the report, which we believe is outdated and misrepresents our pay approach. Currently in Oldham the ratio is 1:11. Oldham Council is leading the way on balancing pay between the highest and lowest-paid positions. We are committed to acting in a socially-responsible way.”