The gap between Bradford Council’s highest and lowest paid workers has narrowed slightly, new figures reveal.
The authority’s top executives have had their pay frozen over the past year, while other workers have been given a pay rise of one per cent.
But its chief executive Tony Reeves still gets a wage packet of £178,476 a year, 14 times the salary of the lowest paid Bradford Council worker.
Yesterday, Mr Reeves said his pay had been frozen for the past six years.
He said: “Nothing has changed whatsoever, other than the cost of living.”
When asked whether the level of his pay was fair, Mr Reeves said: “That’s not for me to say, really.
“We have to pay a competitive salary, there’s no doubt about that. It’s about market forces. A lot of other places pay their chief executives more than me.”
The authority’s lowest salary is £12,435 a year, a rise from £12,145 a year ago.
The average salary has also increased slightly, from £19,126 last year to £19,317 this year.
Local authority pay rises are negotiated nationally. Across the country, most local authority staff had their pay frozen in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and had a below-inflation pay rise of one per cent in 2013.
Bradford Council’s leader, Councillor David Green, said the authority was “working hard” to raise the pay of those employees earning the least.
He said: “Clearly as a Council we would want to particularly support those people who are on the lowest pay, which we have done through paying the lowest paid in the Council an extra £250 a year when no pay award was given nationally.”
But Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservative Group, said he still “struggled” with the pay level of Mr Reeves and other senior directors.
He said: “The gap between senior management and the people working on the coal face is too excessive and again we need to review the wage structures.”
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Liberal Democrat leader, said Council directors were still getting paid too much and there were still too many of them.
But she said Government tax breaks meant the lowest paid were now taking home more of their wages.
She said: “We have got to keep the Council’s finances under control but actually the change in the tax threshold is making a difference.”
The Council’s pay policy will be discussed at a meeting of the full Council on Tuesday.