Bank of England staff will strike for the first time in over 50 years to protest a 'derisory' pay deal

Bank of EnglandJim EdwardsThe Bank of England

LONDON — Staff at the Bank of England have voted to strike in protest at a “derisory” below-inflation pay rise this year.

Unite, the union which represents workers in security, catering, legal, HR, and other services at the central bank, said that 95% of its members balloted voted in favour of strike action after they were awarded a 1% pay rise this year.

The rise is lower than inflation, which currently stands at 2.9%, meaning the pay rise actually equates to a fall in income in real terms.

Unite’s members working in the maintenance, parlours, and security departments will take four days of strike action on July 31, and August 1, 2, and 3.

Unite said that if the bank fails to resolve the pay dispute, it will consult its members across other departments of the bank as part of its “escalation plan.”

The Bank of England said in an emailed statement:

“The Bank has been informed of industrial action being called by Unite the Union.

“The Union balloted approximately 2% of the workforce. Should the strike go ahead, the Bank has plans in place so that all sites can continue to operate effectively. We will continue to have discussions with Unite and hope that there will be a positive outcome.”

Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said a statement on the union’s website:

“Mark Carney needs to get his own house in order. It is nothing short of shameful that the 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. The governor can no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening on his own patch.

“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.”

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