Bank of England governor Mark Carney has received an unwelcome 52nd birthday present with the news that Unite, the country’s largest union, is set to escalate its dispute over a derisory below-inflation pay offer for staff.
The union said that its members at the bank were having a paltry annual pay award imposed, while the bank’s disgraced deputy governor Charlotte Hogg, who resigned for failing to disclose that her brother holds a senior position in Barclays, reportedly pocketed £350,000-a-year.
The news that Unite members are considering an industrial action ballot will be an unwelcome birthday present for Mark Carney who celebrates his birthday today (Thursday 16 March).
The dispute centres on the imposed one per cent increase in the pay ‘pot’ for the pay year, starting on 1 April 2017. The amount that an individual may receive is then decided at the discretion of line managers, so that employees could receive less than one per cent.
There is also an increase of 0.5 per cent in what the bank calls ‘anomalies’ to be used in cases where staff are particularly underpaid.
Unite members have voted in a consultation ballot by over 70 per cent to move to a formal industrial action ballot, which is scheduled for the spring.
Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said: “Our members are angry that for the second year running the bank’s management has imposed a pay deal on its dedicated staff, without entering into any negotiations as stipulated by our recognition agreement with the bank.
“What is galling is that this paltry pay offer is well below the rate of inflation and our members have to work, travel and live in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Ironically, the highly-paid Ms Hogg was responsible for HR.
“The consultative ballot has given us a strong mandate to proceed to an industrial action ballot which could be held later in the spring. In the meantime, we urge the bank’s management to get back around the table and negotiate in a constructive manner.
'It has not been a good week for the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street with the Charlotte Hogg affair and now, on Mark Carney’s birthday, we have put down a marker that this dispute is set to escalate.”
Unite represents the whole range of workers at the bank, founded in 1694, and includes security, maintenance and catering staff; those working in the legal, HR and IT departments; and managers.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.