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Council wages war over pay-gap call

Reporter: Robbie MacDonald
Date online: 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and public sector reform, disagrees: “Our current information doesn’t match the report, which we believe is outdated and misrepresents our pay approach.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.”


That's only because the chief exec has left and been replaced by another on a slightly lower salary. Why isn't that mentioned ? Or could it be that it's an inconvenient fact which shows that the council didn't actively seek a way of lowering the inequality?

Yes M's Harrison, make people redundant is your approach so that those incompetents in the higher echelons keep their jobs. A fine form of equality if I may say so myself.

But do some of those on the lower wages do a ratio of 1:13 the amount of work or take the responsibility expected of the higher earners ?

Of course some people might be unhappy at what they earn but they should first also compare the work they do to that of the higher earners before they just complain at the difference of pay.

'Oldham council is leading the way on balancing pay between the highest and lowest paid positions' Oh Jenny, April fools day has been and gone, just a few days too late with that statement.But still a good one.

Moral of the story, stay in school kids and earn more. I did and I'm loaded.

If we accept that the pay ratio is 1:11, does it take into account other benefits such as expenses, travel, pension and the ridiculous payoffs that the higher earners get even if they do their job badly.

why oh why do people preach about the benefits of zero hours being beneficial,? zero hours are eroding workers rights that have been fought for over many years,i am on zero hours and belive me if you want to work for the company that i am with you have to keep thi gob shut and take whatever is put on the table,on top of that when i want a holiday i have to fund it myself,it's a con and needs addressing asap

It's a shame, as the author of the report, that the response from Oldham Council is so vague. I have no doubt they intend to be socially responsible, however on review of their pay policies it appears much more could be done; they could set a limit to pay multiples, as other councils have done, they can also make the Living Wage a condition of outsourced contracts. The data is based on the most recent Pay Policy Statement available at the time: '2013-14'.


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