Hundreds of city workers paid more than £50,000

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HUNDREDS of council workers in the Capital are being paid more than double the average wage, new figures have revealed.

The city council employed 343 people who earned upwards of 50,000 a year in wages in 2009/10 - double the average gross salary for a Scottish worker.

The number of people paid above 50,000 increased by 7.8 per cent on a year earlier.

The figures have angered opposition politicians, who say more should be done to cut costs in the current tough financial climate.

But council chiefs insist that they intend to slash management costs as part of a three-year shake-up.

Councillor Andrew Burns, leader of the Labour group on the city council, said: "That type of increase in the number of staff earning over 50,000 a year is extremely hard to justify to ordinary taxpayers.

"In our budget last year, we put forward a balanced budget including a pay freeze for all council employees earning more than 40,000. Unfortunately, that was rejected by the SNP/Lib Dem administration.

"The vast majority of employees earn a lot less than 50,000 a year and will not look kindly on these statistics."

The council's top earner is chief executive Tom Aitchison, who receives 158,553 a year but is due to retire in January.

Gillian Tee, director of the council's biggest department, children and families, is the second-highest earner, on 137,244.

John Stevenson, president of the Edinburgh branch of the trade union Unison, said: "It is an issue not just regarding chief officers but also teaching staff. In schools, teaching staff have their 2.4 per cent increase, but teaching assistants, janitorial staff and admin staff will be getting real-term cuts."

A city council spokeswoman said: "Proposals are being worked on with the intention of implementing savings over the next three years."