A LEVEN councillor has blasted the pay gap between the average person and company directors after a former West Dunbartonshire Council executive appeared on a rich list.
Councillor Jim Bollan said changes must be made to close the gap between directors and typical workers as former executive director of educational services Terence Lanagan made an appearance on the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) Rich List.
The former executive was listed as earning a remuneration package – earnings made up of salary, benefits, pension contributions of £197,952 for the year 2014/15 with an increase to £205,911 for 2015/16 - a package which would have seen him earn more than both the council's chief executive Joyce White and Prime Minister Theresa May.
However, upon further investigation by the Reporter, the TPA admitted they had made a calculation error.
The figure should have read £118,512 for 14/15 and £127,876 for 15/16, an increase of £9,364 for the controversial former boss while the council made £2 million in cuts to public services.
The Community party member said: "I genuinely believe that the salaries that the management team and the chief executive get are too high.
"When you look at the services being cut, to me these are key valuable frontline services – we should be plying funding into them not paying off directors who get a huge pension paid for by the tax payer."
He added: "I think that what directors get and what care workers get is to large."
During his eight years in the role, Mr Lanagan was criticised for the number of teacher walkouts due to stress, a staffing crisis at Clydebank High School and a proposal to cut the school day in order to save a further £17m over a three year period.
A spokesman for teachers union the EIS said: "While the EIS would not comment on the salary paid to any individual, it is essential that all local authorities are open and transparent about levels of executive pay – particularly in an environment when public sector workers, including teachers, have been subject to pay freezes, pay caps and declining real-terms salaries in recent years."
However, a spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council refutes that the £9,364 increase was a wage rise – claiming instead it was part of a redundancy package for the 61-year-old who was retiring that year.
The spokeswoman said: "The £113,000 for 15/16 includes salary, statutory redundancy and pension payment.
"Mr Lanagan’s departure was part of a reduction in the number of senior staff which is generating savings of around £200,000 a year.”
Councillor Martin Rooney, council leader, added: "The recent review of management structures as part of the Councils future operating model, deleted the role of Director of Education Services, and is saving the Council at least £1m over five years.
"The council had previously saved around £500,000 per year by integrating the health and social care management team saving costs for both the Council and the NHS. West Dunbartonshire pay rates for senior officers is comparable with similar sized councils.
"Retiring staff, whatever their grade, will have accrued pension benefits which reflect their years of service and contributions.
"The important point for the Labour Administration has always been to protect frontline jobs and maintain or improve the quality of services for our communities, despite the year on year cuts in funding."