Unite launches campaign over FCA pay package

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Unite launches campaign over FCA pay package
The union said this campaign was 'a creative way to take collective action short of industrial action' [REUTERS/Peter Nicholls]
ByRuby Hinchliffe

Unite the Union has launched a postcard campaign as part of its latest action to urge the Financial Conduct Authority to rethink its staff pay packages.

The union has previously criticised FCA boss Nikhil Rathi for pushing through this year’s employee pay package without consulting staff.

The package will see employees below senior management level receive a minimum 4.5 per cent pay increase, but the FCA has said the average uplift is closer to 6.5 per cent.

The FCA has said while it did not conduct a formal consultation with staff this year over pay, the package is based on changes which were consulted on last year.

In an update today (February 15), Unite said it would compile postcards from staff members and send them to the regulator early next month in an effort to represent their views on the pay offer.

“This campaign is a creative way to take collective action short of industrial action,” the union said.

“The FCA can afford to make significant investments in its staff without breaking the bank and FCA staff need to know they can afford to stay in their jobs.

“If the FCA won’t ask staff about their pay, Unite will help staff make their say loud and clear.”

The City watchdog’s 2023 pay package does not come into effect until April, which the union argued gives the regulator enough time to talk to staff, before reconsidering and improving its offer.

Unite has called the offer “the poorest cost-of-living adjustment of any regulator or financial firm we know”, saying it will not make the difference needed when inflation is 11-14 per cent. 

Meanwhile, the FCA argues it is “one of the best” overall employment packages of any other regulator or enforcement agency in the UK.

Submissions from staff members for Unite’s ‘Rethink Pay’ campaign, which can be up to 50 words, will be accepted until March 1. 

The union is also calling for “improved working conditions and benefits” to make the difference between inflation and the pay adjustment, which it said “many other financial firms and regulators have done”.

And for staff in Edinburgh and Leeds, the union is calling for “greater [pay] equity”, arguing London employees are paid more for the same work.

An FCA spokesperson said the regulator has made improvements to pay beyond what it set out last year, and that the changes will help it continue to rebalance our overall salaries and narrow pay gaps. 

“We attract a high calibre of talent, and we’ve successfully recruited more than 1,000 new colleagues over the last 12 months as our headcount grows to meet an expanding remit,” they said.