Make London a Fair Pay City

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We want to make London a Fair Pay City, starting with a 10:1 maximum pay ratio for employees of organisations within the GLA group.

Launching the campaign at City Hall

This would mean that no City Hall cleaner could earn less than a tenth the Mayor’s salary, and the Commissioner of the Met Police couldn’t earn more than ten times a young recruit.

London is the most unequal region of the UK, with a fifth of people working for less than the London Living Wage, and a tiny minority at the top getting inflation-busting pay rises.

If London were more equal the evidence suggests we would probably all be healthier and happier with less violent crime in the city.

During Boris Johnson’s Mayoralty the number of people within the GLA group earning more than ten times the Living Wage has risen by 56% (from 62 to 97) and the number of staff in City Hall earning more than £100,000 has risen from 16 to 28.

My colleague on the London Assembly Darren Johnson has shown how we could support and promote a Fair Pay Mark for companies that adopt this policy, asking the twenty companies who between them took over £9bn over three years from the GLA group to sign up.

Unfair pay in London’s councils

The biggest gaps in pay between the top and bottom are in the private sector, especially the big corporations. But councils should be leading the way, and as we’ve found they have a very mixed record:

  • Only 15 out of 33 councils publish easy-to-find information about senior pay, and only one (Camden) shows its residents the difference in pay between the highest and lowest paid staff
  • They paid 6% more staff over £150,000 in the last financial year compared to the previous year
  • Only six have taken steps to pay the London Living Wage to all employees and subcontracted workers like cleaners, carers and park wardens. They are Ealing, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets (all now paying the living wage on some contracts); Islington (who brought cleaning in house to pay the living wage); Southwark and Haringey (who have adopted a policy but not yet changed any contracts).

Here’s a complete rundown of the councils in 2010/11, all this data was taken from their Statement of Accounts.

Borough Staff paid more than £150k* Chief exec remuneration* No. of times higher than living wage
Barking and Dagenham 3 £162,087 10
Barnet 9 £200,976 12
Bexley 3 £199,248 12
Brent 2 £203,853 12
Bromley 3 £177,135 11
Camden 6 £204,961 12
City of London 1 £142,000 9
Croydon 4 £204,520 12
Ealing 1 £183,854 11
Enfield 1 £194,693 12
Greenwich 5 £189,667 11
Hackney 5 £177,956 11
Hammersmith and Fulham 5 £225,785 14
Haringey 2 £189,890 11
Harrow 2 £195,965 12
Havering 1 £180,213 11
Hillingdon 1 £183,250 11
Hounslow 1 £156,901 9
Islington 1 £210,000 13
Kensington & Chelsea 2 £220,976 13
Kingston 1 £179,000 11
Lambeth 5 £215,963 13
Lewisham 1 £192,387 12
Merton 1 £200,390 12
Newham 5 £188,022 11
Redbridge 1 £181,542 11
Richmond 1 £178,744 11
Southwark 5 £182,089 11
Sutton 1 £156,195 9
Tower Hamlets 2 £186,528 11
Waltham Forest 2 £180,000 11
Wandsworth 9 £191,122 12
Westminster 3 £200,543 12
London total / average 95 £188,983 11

* Total remuneration excluding pension contributions.