Catalysing Equitable Pay in the Private Sector: Equitable Pay as Procurement Criteria by Benjamine Irvine

In response to our Freedom of Information request Salford stated that although it did not currently specify in any tenders that the living wage of £7.45 an hour is required, ‘The City Mayor is currently developing an Employment Charter which will set minimum standards for people in work. This will include the Living Wage. The city council hopes the Charter will be agreed with a wide range of employers.’ The Council claimed to be in talks with a number of partners about their introduction of the Living Wage and was, ‘also carefully considering what extra procurement freedoms the new Social Value Act will give us as both an employer and commissioner of services in improving the terms and conditions of working people in Salford.’
In the launch of the City’s employment charter the City Mayor has expressed the intention to create ‘A Living Wage City’ where the full Living Wage is a minimum and is in talks with major contract partners to implement it, with the promise of more announcements to come. He states that the council’s responsibilities as a Living Wage Employer includes rejecting, ‘the commissioning of services which embed poor pay and poor conditions’, and expresses the intention, ‘to use the Employment Charter to lift local pay levels in our commissioned services and amongst our contractors in Salford.’ Read more…

Pay Multiples: Policies on the Relationship Between Top Pay and that of the Rest by Benjamin Irvine

Despite the requirement in the guidance notes for Local Authority Pay Policy Statements to clearly state what they think the relationship should be between the pay of chief officers and staff who are not chief officers, there is a lack of policies for assessing, justifying and achieving appropriate pay multiples.
Rather than creating independent policies to assess what fair and justifiable pay ratios might be and how to achieve them, they are almost unanimously justified as following from the ‘objective’ and uncontrollable processes which are used for setting pay and grading structures. A recurring justification in statements is that the pay multiple ‘results from the detailed implementation of the pay policies as set out earlier in this statement’. Read more…

Tackling Income Inequality: Local Government Pay Policies by Benjamin Irvine

Recent Background to Fair Pay in the Public Sector: The Hutton Review of Fair Pay and Pay Policy Statements: The Government commissioned The Hutton Review of Fair Pay amid growing concerns about income inequality and runaway high pay. The review found that median top salaries in local government grew at a considerably faster rate than entry salaries in the period 2001-2008 (an average annual growth of roughly 5% compared to 3%).

[Will Hutton, ‘Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the Public Sector: Final Report’. 2011. p.9. Retrieved from:]

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The Environmental and Social Costs of Inequality by Benjamin Irvine

In the 10 years to 2008 the top 20% of earners in the North West increased there incomes at roughly double the rate of the bottom 20%, in line with wider UK trends, by 9% compared to 4%. [Jenni Viitanen and Katie Schmuecker, ‘Richer Yet Poorer’, 2011, Institute for Public Policy Research North, Page 6; Retrieved from:]
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In Place of Pay Inequality: By Benjamin Irvine

This study was written by Benjamin Irvine for Steady State Manchester and Equality North-West. It investigates the pay policies of Local Authorities in the North West. The objectives are to scrutinise the basis of Local Authorities’ pay policies and to encourage them to implement stronger policies to reduce pay inequality within their workforce and within that of their suppliers.

The full title of the study is ‘In Place of Pay Inequality: How Local Authority Pay Policies can help make Greater Manchester more equal and sustainable, and why it matters’ By Benjamin Irvine, and can be found on the Steady State Manchester website:

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