Around 129 council chief executives in England were paid more than £150,000 per year in 2009/10, according to a study of the most recent published accounts of local councils by public sector union GMB
GMB examined the most recent published accounts for 2009/10 for 151 county councils, unitary authorities, London and metropolitan boroughs in England.
The study showed two chief executives earned over £300,000. This includes the Cumbria County Council chief executive who received £351,169 in pension contributions.
More than ten earned between £250,000 and £300,000, 62 earned between £200,000 and £250,000, and 51 earned between £150,000 and £200,000. Almost 20 had earnings below £150,000 but these figures are often qualified (for example, where the recipient was not paid for the full year).
Brian Strutton, national secretary for public services at the GMB, said: “Council workers will be sickened to learn how much their bosses are creaming off and the levels of their bosses pay.
“This is at a time when councils say they are hard up and are slashing jobs and services while telling staff to put up with a pay freeze. These same chief executives have had the gall to say their lowest-paid workers will not get any pay rise this year.
“I cannot believe the council chief executives salaries have got so high with no obvious logic to explain this. You have to ask what our elected councilors are doing, voting through such obscene remuneration packages. Maybe the reported 20% increases in councilors’ pay in recent years has got something to do with it. It could be a case of all snouts in the trough together.
“There are good chief executives who deserve a decent salary for running multi-billion pound authorities but there are also hundreds of thousands of care assistants, school dinner ladies, refuse staff, social workers, classroom assistants, and street cleaners who also deserve decent pay, not the pittance they are on.
“There has to be restraint at the top combined with fairness at the bottom and there is no point having one without the other.”
Read more articles on public sector pay