Bank of England staff consider industrial action over ‘disgraceful snub of low paid workers’

Unite has branded the Bank of England 'arrogant and out of touch'

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The Independent Online

Workers’ union Unite has branded the Bank of England “arrogant and out of touch” after some staff at the bank on Thursday started voting in an industrial action ballot over pay.

The union said that staff were angry they had been given a below inflation pay offer for the second consecutive year, and that some employees had been offered no pay rise in 2017 at all.

Unite said that ballot papers would arrive at the homes of employees on Thursday, asking them whether they wish to take industrial action.

The first stage of action pertains to staff working in the maintenance, reception and facilities departments, where some can earn as little as £20,000 per year, according to Unite.

“The imposition of a one per cent pay award leaves them and their families facing financial hardship,” Unite 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,” Unite’s regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said.

“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,” she added.

“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 union said that the dispute was originally caused by the imposition of a one per cent increase in the total pay ‘pot’ for the pay year, which started in March this year.

The amount that each employee gets is then decided by their respective line managers.

In a preliminary consultative ballot back in February members of Unite voted by over 70 per cent to progress to a formal industrial action ballot. That ballot is due to close on 21 June. 

The Bank of England declined to comment.