A CASH-STRAPPED council’s top earners have refused a request from councillors to take a pay cut, it has emerged.
As part of controversial budget proposals, town hall staff at North Tyneside Council earning over £50,000 were asked to voluntarily give up 10% of their salary in a bid to help the council save £20,000.
Letters were sent out to the highest earners on April 27 stating that if employees wished to accept a voluntary reduction of 10% for the financial year 2012/13, they should reply to the strategic HR manager by May 11.
The scheme was part of the budget proposals agreed by the council on March 1.
But in a report to the council, it is revealed that just one person replied, saying they would be willing to do so, but only if other colleagues agreed.
The report has recommended that the council cabinet “note the outcome of the consultation with employees and confirm the position that the budget proposal has not been able to be implemented.”
Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors voted to change part of North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley’s budget by cutting £1.4m from a seafront regeneration project, £1m from a Youth Facilities project and £90,000 from the Mouth of Tyne Festival budget.
Labour and Lib Dem members also agreed that the salary for the mayor’s post should be reduced by £10,000 and all staff who earn more than £50,000 would be invited to voluntarily take a 10% reduction, but all those who earn under £21,000 would be given a lump sum of £250 as the coalition Government suggested last year and which the mayor refused to do.
The budget Mrs Arkley will be asked to carry through will also see the number of hours council staff spend working each week reduced by one hour – saving £730,000 over the year.
The reduced working hours could translate to a loss in salary of up to 13% for some staff.
A spokesman for North Tyneside Council said they had sent out 68 letters to employees and the outcome of the consultation would be reported to the next council meeting on June 28.