Some employees at the Bank of England have begun voting on whether to strike over below-inflation pay increases.
Unite, the union representing the staff, has branded the Bank “arrogant and out of touch.”
Staff are angry that they have been given a below inflation pay rise offer for the second year running. According to Unite, the result of this pay award is that some staff will get no pay rise in 2017 whatsoever.
Unite is calling on the Bank of England to reconsider their refusal to negotiate the pay of their workforce in order to prevent this industrial action ballot.
Ballot papers will ask BoE staff whether they wish to take industrial action or action short of strike action. The first stage of the action involves staff working in the maintenance, reception and facilities departments, some of whom earn around £20,000 per year.
Unite have stated that the imposition of a one per cent pay award leaves these staff and their families facing financial hardship
Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said: “The bank’s disgraceful snub of low paid staff stinks of arrogance and represents an organisation thoroughly out of touch with the reality of the pressure staff face meeting their costs of living.
“It is a source of shame that an iconic symbol of financial services in the UK is choosing to ride roughshod over the concerns of its dedicated and hardworking staff and impose this derisory pay deal.
“Unite is calling on The Bank of England to come back to the negotiating table to discuss a fair pay deal for the employees in order to avoid any industrial action. Unite is prepared to talk and to reach a fair settlement.
“The Bank of England should be setting the highest standards within the financial services industry, not treating its workforce with contempt and forcing them to take a real terms pay cut.”
The dispute has been caused by the imposition of a one per cent increase in the pay ‘pot’ for the pay year, which commenced in March 2017. The amount that an individual will receive is then decided at the discretion of line managers, so that employees could receive less than one per cent and some will receive no rise at all.
In a consultative ballot in February 2017 Unite members voted by over 70 per cent to move to a formal industrial action ballot.
The ballot papers to members were issued on the 1 June and the ballot will close on 21 June 2017.
The Bank of England declined to comment.