Employees at the Bank of England today started voting on strike action after their union, Unite, rejected a below-inflation rise in pay.
The Bank increased its pay pot by one per cent, but Unite refused to consent to the offer, describing it as a “derisory pay settlement”.
Staff in various roles, including receptionists, maintenance and security guards, received their ballot papers today, although City A.M. understands fewer than 80 of the 4,000-strong workforce will be involved. Voting will close on 21 June.
Consumer prices rose by 2.7 per cent in the year to April. At the last inflation report the Bank’s governor, Mark Carney, said the next few months would be “a more challenging time for British households.”
However, Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said the Bank is “thoroughly out of touch with the reality of the pressure staff face meeting their costs of living”, calling it a “disgraceful snub of low-paid staff”.
The one per cent pay increase is in line with the pay policy across the public sector. While the Bank is technically not bound by the government’s pay offers, in practice it usually falls in line.
Pay last year rose by one per cent, below the 1.6 per cent inflation rate in the 12 months to December, meaning the average staff member took a real-terms pay cut.
The individual pay packets taken home by staff members at the Bank are set by line managers.