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Redbridge Council widening gap between highest and lowest salaries

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 October 2020

New information on the salaries of Redbridge Council staff revealed that Chief Executive Andy Donald now earns £189,192 a year, almost £14,000 more than in 2018. In the same period, wages of the lowest-paid employees rose by just £855. Picture: Steve Poston

New information on the salaries of Redbridge Council staff revealed that Chief Executive Andy Donald now earns £189,192 a year, almost £14,000 more than in 2018. In the same period, wages of the lowest-paid employees rose by just £855. Picture: Steve Poston

Archant

The gap between Redbridge Council’s highest and lowest paid workers is £13,000 wider than it was two years ago.

Chief executive Andy Donald now earns £189,192 a year, almost £14,000 more than in 2018.

In the same two years, the wages of the council’s lowest-paid employees have risen by just £855, meaning their current annual salary is only £20,466.

At a full council meeting on September 24, Cllr Paul Canal (Con, Bridge) asked: “Why are we widening the gap rather than narrowing it?

“The highest paid member of council has had an increase of 7.9 per cent, four times the rate of inflation.”

The chief executive is entitled to an annual pay increase. He received a pay rise of £3,477 on April 1 this year.

His pay rise for 2019, which was £10,467, was only awarded and backdated from February this year, according to a council spokesperson.

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Redbridge council leader Cllr Jas Athwal responded: “Our chief executive is paid lower than the average.

“The average salary of general staff has gone up and is the London Living Wage.

“Our wage bill over three to four years has plummeted and gone down by £28million per year. People are trying to split hairs from a report we should now be proud of.”

Cllr Athwal argued the decreased spend begged the question of “where that £28million of taxpayer money was going” under the previous Conservative administration.

He added: “When the wage bill was £28million higher, our children’s services were never (rated) outstanding and our adult social care was never (rated) excellent.”

Cllr Suzanne Nolan (Con, South Woodford) disagreed, insisting the council was a “three-star authority” under the Conservatives.

The report states that Mr Donald’s pay rise is “linked to those nationally negotiated and agreed by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Chief Executives”.

The chief executive for neighbouring Waltham Forest Council earns around £8,000 more than two years ago and currently earns £206,956 a year.

The Redbridge Council pay policy for the 20/21 financial year was approved at the full council meeting.


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