Auckland Council is asking staff earning over $100,000 a year to take a voluntary six-month pay cut.
Council chief executive Stephen Town said this was to help mitigate the council's dramatic fall in revenue over the last two months due to Covid-19.
"Firstly, we have taken the step today to ask all staff earning over $100,000 per annum to take a voluntary pay reduction for six months," he said.
"This will be a tiered approach, meaning a 5 percent reduction for anyone earning between $100,000 and $175,000, a 7.5 percent reduction for anyone earning between $175,001 and $275,000 and a 10 percent reduction for anyone earning above $275,001."
Public Service Association national secretary Glenn Barclay said the union would monitor the move closely.
"We understand this pandemic has put Auckland Council in a difficult position, as it has many other employers," he said.
"PSA members care strongly about serving our communities and maintaining essential services, that's a top priority whether in good times or bad. We want to figure out strategies to move forward which minimise the impact on communities and employees who can't afford cutbacks."
He said the union believed the best strategy would be the one that negatively impacted the fewest staff.
"Those earning in the top brackets of $100,000 a year or more can make their own decision about whether they wish to take voluntary pay cuts during this crisis," said Barclay.
"We strongly oppose any pressure to take a pay cut being put on workers earning well below that amount, whether it comes from on high or from colleagues. Auckland is an expensive city to live in, and council staff have bills to pay like everyone else."
Town said the council was in discussion with the PSA on whether to cancel annual remuneration reviews, or limit them.