Branch Secretary :

RPI inflation hits 3.6% What about our pay?


Only senior executives avoid real terms pay cuts


Unite members will face a further squeeze as RPI inflation - the most realistic indicator of costs faced by workers - came in at 3.6% in figures announced today


There are a range of pay settlements in our sector and the improvements in sick pay, annual leave and other terms and conditions recently achieved by plumbers in Unite are to be welcomed.  But the fact that most workers in the social housing sector will get pay increases less than the rate of inflation means that the only workers in most housing associations likely to avoid real terms pay cuts are senior executives.  Given that most associations continue to book healthy surpluses its worth bearing in mind when considering pay claims!


Household incomes take a pounding


Commentating on the latest inflation figures released today, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Inflation has held this month but there is no getting away from the fact that household incomes are taking a continued pounding. Today's huge leap in rail travel costs will put tremendous strain on workers, millions of whom have suffered a year on year fall in the real value of their wages.

“Although inflation has remained stable it is still far outstripping increases in wages, meaning that workers are getting poorer. The problem is more acute than the official figures as the real cost of living is shown in the RPI figure which is significantly higher than the official CPI level, the measurement used for wages.

“The UK now has horrific levels of personal debt as people borrow to get by. This is a sure sign that all is not well in our economy.

“The ability to change this rests firmly with the government and chiefly the chancellor. He has access to the gears that can make the economy purr or park. So far he has only pulled the austerity brake. He has to do something other than cut as it is clear that this approach is making our economy unwell and our people poorer.”


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