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Dudley Council chief paid 2,000 per cent more than lowest paid staff

By George Makin | Dudley | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Dudley Council’s highest paid boss gets more than 20 times the pay of the authority’s lowest paid staff, a report into its wage bill has revealed.

Kevin O’Keefe is the council's chief executive

The massive difference is between the salary of Kevin O'Keefe, the borough’s chief executive who receives £175,383 a year, and apprentices who can earn as little £8,190.

The report also showed the council’s 11 most senior officers share a total wage packet of £1,362,175 a year.

The massive gap has come to light as unions are fighting for a substantial pay increase after years of rises being pegged to one per cent a year.

Earlier this month they rejected a national two per cent offer by the Local Government Association on behalf of councils across the country.

Analysis by the GMB claimed the proposed increase did not take into account projected inflation and would effectively result in pay cuts by April 2021.

Ian Woodland, a national officer of Unite, rejecting the deal said: “The local government pay offer is deeply disappointing, it does not begin to address the aspirations of our members.

“Following a decade of austerity, during which their pay in real terms has been slashed, local government members will not accept an offer which makes them poorer in real terms.”

Government guidelines recommended councils limit the amount chief executives are paid to no more than ten times the lowest paid employee.

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In Dudley the starting pay for a full-time council worker is £17,500, compared to Mr O’Keefe’s £175,000.

But the guidelines exclude apprentices who are paid the national minimum wage based on their age, including those under 18 who earn as little as £4.10 an hour.

The Labour group in Dudley have said they will now raise their concerns over pay when the report is put forward to the next full council meeting on February 24.

George Makin

By George Makin

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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