Cost of Living – The South East
Many of us are finding it harder to manage with the higher cost of living today. We also have no idea what the ‘going rate’ is for the job we do. This newsletter wants to highlight some of the problems we face with the lack of pay transparency in Aerospace in the South East. We also want to encourage you to help us end the ‘salary secrecy’ that prevents us from knowing how much we are worth.
Demands on pay are greater in London and the South East. Housing is one of the greatest costs. The large variations in housing costs across the UK make a large contribution to the gap in spending. The UK average weekly cost of housing in 2014 was £158.30. In the East its £172.20, in the South East its £189.10 and for London the cost is highest at £250.80 per week. This pattern is largely reflected in the average house price across the UK where the average price in 2014 was £272,000. House prices were most expensive in London with an average of £502,000, followed by the South East at £339,000 and the East with £290,000.
But it’s not just housing that’s more expensive. Transport, child care, entertainment and general living costs are all higher. Income in the South East The latest figures on income and costs available from the government are from 2014. These show that income in the East, the South East and London is 104.3%, 112.9% and 128% respectively of the national average. The average income per head (income left for spending and savings after deductions) for the UK is £17,965. In the East of England its £18,897, in the South East, its £20,434 and in London its £23,607.
Aerospace employees have skills that are in demand. Furthermore, skill shortages in London and the South east are more acute than anywhere else in the UK. According to the Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in London and the South East high-skill jobs are in greater demand. Government figures show - In London over 55% of jobs are classed as high-skilled, while the split in the South East is 50:50. For each government office region in England outside of London and the South East less-skilled jobs predominate. High-skill jobs are defined by BIS as - managers, directors and senior officials; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations. These are the kind of skills that are in demand in Aerospace.
It used to be common for employers to enforce contractual ‘salary secrecy’ clauses in the UK but now this is illegal. However, a culture of ‘salary secrecy’ remains in areas that don’t have effective union organisation. Where there’s secrecy and a lack of transparency it’s not unusual to find unfairness. This culture of ‘salary secrecy’ also makes it difficult for employees to establish the ‘going rate’ for the jobs we do. Unite believe it’s time for transparency and fairness in salary distribution in the Aerospace sector. As the cost of living in London and the South East show no signs of easing up we need to know if our salaries are keeping up. As our skills are increasingly transferrable we also want to know how our salaries compare with those in other sectors. The only way to begin to address this problem is by finding out what we currently earn, sharing this information and comparing salaries.
Confidential Salary Survey
Unite representatives in the Aerospace sector in the region have agreed to launch this salary survey. We are asking you and your colleagues to participate in this confidential survey. We will publish the data in a way that is both confidential and useful to those who participate. If enough people complete the survey we will be able to publish data across the region and between companies. Unite will aim to use this information to establish minimum salary rates in the sector and try and negotiate better salary packages to help us keep up with the growing costs we all face.
To complete the survey, either follow the link below:
Your Senior Union Representatives in Aerospace
Airbus, Stevenage Mark Peters x3268 firstname.lastname@example.org
GKN, Luton Bernie Maguire x2295 email@example.com
Leonardo MW, Luton Raymond Morell x6129 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leonardo MW, Basildon Colin Fletcher x3561 email@example.com
Marshall ADG, Cambridge Martin Barrett x3456 firstname.lastname@example.org
MBDA, Stevenage Kalminder Dhesi x5242 email@example.com
Avica-Meggitt, Dunstable Dave Murray x3600 firstname.lastname@example.org
Saffran, Pitstone Mark Wyatt x3051 email@example.com
Knowledge is Power, Help us Publish the Going Rate in Aerospace