Greens urge council to extend use of pay equality rules

An Edinburgh councillor will tomorrow call for Edinburgh City Council to apply tough pay equality rules to companies that it contracts, and freeze hiring that breaks an agreed pay ratio.

Maggie Chapman, a Green Party councillor for Leith Walk, is tabling a pair of motions at tomorrow's council meeting that call on city authorities to cap top executives' pay along a 20:1 ratio, meaning the top earners are given no more than twenty times the bottom earners. "The concept of fair pay will help reassure our citizens that public funds are being used appropriately," she said.

The 20:1 ratio is being advocated as a model for fair public sector pay by Will Hutton, the writer and journalist appointed by David Cameron to lead a review into fair pay.

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Councillor Chapman's proposals have the support of trade union, the STUC, which said it had "long supported measures to achieve a fairer and more equal society. We believe the major obstacle in achieving this is the scourge of low pay."

The city council is currently well within the 20:1 ratio, with chief executive Tom Aitchison receiving an annual salary of 158,553, roughly 11 times the national minimum wage of 5.93 per hour.

Cllr Chapman said: "While it's great that Edinburgh Council currently observes the 20:1 ratio, reducing the differential to 10:1 is an excellent way to ensure that the council shows leadership."