Council electrician paid £124,000 a year as female staff fight for equal pay

A council electrician has managed to earn £124,000 a year in pay and bonuses.

The electrician at Birmingham City Council claimed more than £90,000 in overtime, backdated pay and standby allowances in 2006-07.

The details of the electrician’s pay emerged in documents released by the council, which also revealed 58 other workers – including binmen, gardeners and gravediggers – were paid bonuses in excess of £20,000 each.

Women cleaners, care workers and lollipop ladies have now lodged an equal pay claim saying they should have been included in the council’s bonus scheme.

The female council workers are now seeking up to £100,000 each in compensation, the Sunday Times has reported.

The documents presented to the employment tribunal also revealed that in 2006-07 a dustcart driver was paid £50,917, including £24,000 in bonuses and performance-related pay, while binmen were paid up to £46,000.

A traffic light repairman was also paid £81,940 and a road painter received £57,591.

The documents revealed how council workers were able to quadruple their pay with unpublicised bonuses, attendance allowances and overtime payments. Workers could also claim a special bonus to boost their pay when they were away on holiday or claim “dirt money” for undertaking undesirable work.

Stephan Cross, a lawyer representing the women at the employment tribunal, said: “These are mind-boggling sums. Refuse workers in Birmingham are getting paid more than many solicitors and social workers.”

Female council employees have said they were paid less than male counterparts on the same job grades.

A female grade two manual worker earned approximately £11,700 a year as a kitchen assistant or lollipop lady, while a binman on the same grade had a similar basic salary but received more than £30,000 in additional payments.

Birmingham City Council said the bonus schemes were phased out last year.

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