Branch Secretary :

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



Before Posting

We welcome debate and discussion on our website, but we also want an open, respectful, inclusive space in which forms of abuse or personal attack will not be tolerated. Comments will be moderated and will be removed if they are found to be unduly offensive. You should also be very careful in posting information about your employer. Employers do visit the website and if you think a comment could get you into trouble for releasing confidential or sensitive information, or for bringing the employer into disrepute, please do not post it. It remains your individual responsibility to ensure that what you post is appropriate. Please therefore just give a moment's thought to what you are saying. The types of comments that are likely to be moderated are:

  • Personal abuse or attacks on an individual.
  • Information which breaches another person's right to confidentiality.
  • The use of offensive language, including swear words, or language which is racist, sexist, or otherwise breaches equalities standards.
  • Anything that might place the Branch or the wider union in legal jeopardy.
  • Adverts or information which is posted for commercial gain.

* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* field is required