Branch Secretary : info@housingworkers.org.uk
  

Inflation hits 6% RPI

Unite leader says wage rises must at least match inflation as RPI hits 6% or workers will pay for the pandemic

 

Unite’s Sharon Graham says the union will continue to base claims on the RPI figure rather than CPI because it better reflects the actual price rise experienced by Unite members. In the future Unite will also develop its own ‘Bargaining Index’.

 

Sharon Graham

 

Speaking on today’s inflation figures, Sharon Graham said: “Today’s rise in inflation reflects a growing crisis in the cost of living for ordinary families. Energy prices - the cost of gas and electricity - and shortages are major factors in today’s figures. So, workers’ wages will have to at least match the inflation rate because otherwise they will be facing a calamitous drop in their standard of living. Unite is now focussed on defending workers’ jobs pay and conditions, which includes making sure workers do not pay the price of the pandemic.”

 

Unite has won more than 25 above inflation  pay claims

 

In recent months, Unite has won more than 25 pay claims above the current inflation rate when workers took industrial action or voted for it. Time after time, employers increased their initial pay offer when faced with workers’ claims, proving they had the money to pay more in the first place.

 

Sharon Graham challenges the use of the CPI instead of RPI by the Office of National Statistics as potentially “a hidden tax on workers’ wages”. The ONS CPI figure for October is 4.2 per cent while the ONS RPI figure is 6 per cent.

 

Unite bargaining index

 

Sharon Graham said: “The RPI, which includes housing costs, is a more accurate cost of living index than the CPI, which is always lower as it does not include housing and related costs. Employers favour the CPI as it creates a lower base rate for inflation as an element in possible wage claims. In that respect, the CPI is a hidden tax on workers’ wages if it is used as a base for cost calculations. That’s why in future Unite is going to produce its own calculations of price inflation - in what might be determined a Unite Bargaining Index - so that the base level for wage bargaining is much more accurate.”

Wednesday 17th November

 

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