Bank of England staff strike over pay dispute

Bank of England

Maintenance, parlour and security employees who work at the Bank of England and are members of the trade union Unite are undertaking a three-day strike in a dispute over pay.

The industrial action began at 8.15am today (Tuesday 1 August) with a demonstration outside of the Bank of England, London. The strike will continue until Thursday 3 August 2017.

The dispute centres around a pay settlement that the organisation imposed for employees working in the maintenance, parlour and security departments without first gaining the agreement of Unite as the employees’ recognised trade union.

The settlement involves a 1% increase in the overall pay pot for the pay year, which commenced in March 2017. The amount awarded to individuals will be decided at the discretion of line managers. Unite is disputing the imposition of a pay settlement that is below inflation for the second consecutive year.

Unite members were balloted in July 2017 on this issue, with 95% of those who took part in the ballot voting in favour of strike action.

A spokesperson at the Bank of England said: “The bank has been informed that industrial action called by Unite will commence […] for three days. The union balloted approximately 2% of the workforce. The bank has plans in place so that all essential business will continue to operate as normal during this period. The Bank has been in talks with Unite […] and remains ready to continue those talks at any time.”

Peter Kavanagh, London and Eastern regional secretary at Unite, added: “The governor of the Bank of England must take responsibility for the fact that his dedicated workforce is today having to make their concerns heard from a picket line. The result of the bank’s failure to negotiate with staff is that the Bank of England now faces its first strike action in over 50 years.

“Unite members from the maintenance, parlours and security departments have been left with no choice but to take industrial action because they are facing another year of having to endure a pay cut imposed upon them.

“Mark Carney [governor at the Bank of England] should come to the picket lines outside this iconic British bank today and explain why hardworking men and women deserve to face years of pay cuts. They are struggling to pay their bills and feed their families because the Bank has unjustly imposed a below inflation or zero pay rise.

“Unite is calling on the Bank of England to come back to the negotiating table to discuss a fair pay deal for the employees. Unite is prepared to talk and to reach a fair settlement.”