Women still struggling for equal pay in local government

Women workers in local government are starting to break through the ‘glass ceiling’, but have an equal share of the top salaries with men in less than one in 10 English councils.

Analysis of Audit Commission figures by the GMB union shows that women now account for half or more of the top 5% of earners in 12 out of 149 English councils.

Top of the league is Rutland Council, where 54% of the top 5% of earners are women. 

City of London is bottom of the national league, with women accounting for only 14% of the top 5% of earners employed by the city council.

Rehana Azam, GMB equal rights officer, said: “Action needs to be taken in the councils that have yet to address the very real problem of the lack of equal pay and equal opportunities.

“Councils are currently going through a massive exercise of ensuring equal pay for men and women,” she said. “In this era of equal pay, equal opportunities for women in the top jobs must go hand in hand.”

The top 5 councils for equal pay at the top of the organisation are:

  • Rutland Council – 54% of the top 5% of earners working for the council are women
  • Darlington, Medway – 53%
  • Lewisham, Camden, Essex and Reading – 52%
  • West Sussex – 51%
  • Bedfordshire, Haringey, Croydon and Rochdale – 50%.

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