'Fair and transparent’ pay policy agreed by North of Tyne Combined Authority

A new ‘fair and transparent’ pay policy has been welcomed by politicians as an authority aims to set the way for future agreements.

Sunday, 29th September 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 11:19 am
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll

The North of Tyne Combined Authority has agreed a ‘fair and transparent’ pay policy, which it hopes will ‘set an example for other organisations to follow’.

The authority’s cabinet approved the policy at its meeting on Thursday, September 26, as well as agreeing to seek accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation (LWF), in line with a commitment made by North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll.

Introducing the report, Coun Nick Forbes, cabinet member for business competitiveness as well as leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “This is an opportunity to set out not just the pay for this authority’s staff, but as an example to other organisations.

“I know it’s your ambition, Jamie, that we lead by example.

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“It’s not just an example though, but also promoting this as the type of organisation people would want to work for.

“One of the most important things is pay ratio – the difference between the high and low-paid. In the public sector overall, it’s 20 to one, in local authorities it’s 10-15 to one, but in the private sector it’s 264 to one.”

The combined authority’s agreed pay policy statement for 2019-20 features a high salary of £126,000, while the lowest pay grade is £17,364.

Coun Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We support this and it very much reflects the practice in the three existing authorities (Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle). We are all committed to the real living wage.”

The real living wage is currently £9 an hour, higher than the Government’s so-called national living wage – £8.21 for those aged 25 and over.

In relation to the LWF accreditation, Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “We are on target to deliver that and that’s not just the direct employees, but those who work in the building, like security.”

He added: “We are a new organisation, so we can’t be complacent, but we currently have a zero gender pay gap.”