Bristol City Council’s controversial pay policy states that the highest paid staff must not be paid any more than 10 times as much as the lowest paid staff.
The policy only relates to the council’s employees, not agency workers. Both low and highly-paid staff are employed through agencies.
Before the new financial year begins in April, the pay policy statement must be signed off by the full council.
Although the proposals meet the rules outlined in the pay policy, members of the human resources committee questioned the eligibility criteria.
From April, the lowest paid council employees will earn the Real Living Wage, which is £10.90 per hour.
A staff member working a full-time week of 37 hours on Real Living Wage would earn a minimum salary of £21,029, whilst the chief executive will be paid a salary between £176,000 and £187,000.
Rules about high salaries were rolled out nationally after a review in 2011 explored ways to make public sector pay more fair.
Labour Councillor Kerry Bailes said: “We have got rid of all the lowest paid workers. Everyone wants more money, we would all love a pay rise, I’m sure. But it seems to me that we’re putting the very top amount up and up. Cleaners aren’t paid that much and we’re outsourcing so many jobs. We don’t employ low paid staff. £21,000 is quite a lot of money. I work three jobs and I probably just barely earn that.
“The people at the top are already getting paid a lot of money, well above average and more than most of us probably ever earn. When do you get to the point where you have enough money before you say ‘I don’t need any more?’. If you work for a local authority, it’s more of a vocation. Why are they being paid so much money?”.
Before the human resources committee meets again on March 1, they will discuss the issues around the policy and vote on recommending it for approval by the full council.