The equal pay achievement Boris never boasts about

In some areas the mayor has overseen significant improvements in pay equality



Boris Johnson is known for his admiration of billionaires and his belief in inequality as a driver of dynamism and success. But what’s less well known is that he has overseen significant improvements in pay equality within City Hall and the wider family of organisations he oversees.

I wrote about this overlooked achievement in 2013, and now have updated figures to show that pay equality has improved even since then.

This chart shows the difference in pay between the highest and lowest paid employee in each part of the ‘GLA family’:


Leaving aside TfL, pay across the rest of the family is now almost entirely within the 1 to 10 ratio advocated by the London Assembly back in June 2010.

If you include cleaners and other low paid workers, who are all paid at least the London Living Wage, you get a similar picture, with levels of inequality outside TfL generally going in the right direction:


TfL has always been the big sticking point, with more than 100 managers being paid six-figure salaries, and outgoing commissioner Peter Hendy taking home a basic salary of £330,000 plus bonuses. When he got his Olympic bonus Hendy was paid a total of £652,452 in one year, 33 times as much as his lowest paid colleague and 40 times the London Living Wage that year.

Crossrail sits within the TfL Group, and is even worse. The CEO of Crossrail took home a total of £874,854 last year, a quite incredible 50 per cent more than his first full year in the job in 2012/13.

The replacement for Peter Hendy will probably be picked by the next mayor of London. This is a rare opportunity to negotiate a lower remuneration package to try and bring TfL in line with the rest of the GLA family. If the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service can be recruited on 11 times the pay of his lowest paid colleague, why not the commissioner of Transport for London?

The mayor has also given his close advisers questionable pay rises, and is taking part in a government scheme to take young people on for unpaid work, so his overall record on pay equality is mixed.

But it’s a shame he keeps so quiet about this more positive story. He promised my colleague Darren Johnson to ensure pay equality information was publicised on the GLA family web sites back in June 2011, but much of this is difficult to find or out of date. The GLA’s own website has figures accurate as of March 2012. I’m going to ask the mayor to update these.

The next mayor should strive for greater pay equality in TfL, and shout more about this track record of recruiting top staff without the kind of inequality seen in the private sector.

Jenny Jones is a member of the London Assembly for the Green Party. Follow her on Twitter

2 Responses to “The equal pay achievement Boris never boasts about”

  1. Dave Stewart

    I wonder what the effect of outsourcing has been on these figures? It’s been a pretty common practice in the public sector over the last 5 years or more to outsource all the lowest paying jobs to the private sector. Presumably this would have a dramatic effect on these figures.

    Still if my suspicions are wrong then well done Boris (I feel a little dirty saying that but one must give credit where credit is due).

  2. Richard Heade

    There must be some fudging of figures if Boris hasn’t advertised this fact from the rooftops, if he makes a Public Declaration the media will investigate it with a fine tooth comb and maybe find something he doesn’t want anyone to know about, so, he’s kept schtum and nobody is any the wiser, typical Tory Politician.

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