PROPOSALS to allow 650 Worcestershire County Council employees to be paid the living wage have been thrown out.
Coun Peter McDonald has slammed the decision claiming it ‘stank of double standards’ when some chief officers were paid more than £100,000 and one even earned an annual salary of £160,000.
He claimed the council shouted from the roof tops how it believed in equal opportunities, fairness and the wellbeing of its employees but the move proved that was far from the truth.
Coun McDonald said: “It shows its utter contempt for those employees working at the sharp end, who have to rely on benefits and trips to the foodbanks just to survive.
“If this council had an ounce of respect for its employees it would be paying the living wage.
“The council should honour its obligations to those it employees and be seen to act as a fair employer.
“Worcestershire County Council is far from acting in a reasonable manner towards those it employs on the sharp end.”
Coun John Campion, who is responsible for transformation and commissioning, said they wanted to pay their staff a decent wage in proportion with the job but it had to be balanced against the level of resources available to them.
He added: “We are continuing to reform our lowest pay scale in order to take people to the level of the Living Wage.
“This will be achieved over a period of time, as part of our wider transformation and change to the way we pay our employees.”
Coun Campion said there were currently five officers who earned above £100,000 a year compared to seven in 2012 and 2013.