LONDON — A pay dispute that saw Bank of England staff walk out on strike last month for the first time in decades has been settled.
The Unite union said Tuesday that its members, who included security staff and cleaners, accepted the revised offer from the bank to end the dispute, which had led to a three-day strike in August.
The strike by some 40 of the bank’s lowest-paid employees got publicity, with some wearing comical masks depicting the face of Governor Mark Carney and others carrying signs reading “Bank of England staff want fair pay.”
In a ballot, Unite said 60 percent of its members backed the new offer from the bank, which includes more annual leave for staff and a payment to lower-paid employees during the 2017-2018 pay review.
Mercedes Sanchez, Unite regional officer, said the deal secures “significant improvements” for staff.
“Unite members have shown that by standing firm against an employer attempting to ignore their rights they can succeed,” she added.
A bank spokesperson said the agreement includes a range of measures focused on “improving our relationship with Unite and involving them more in pay discussions.”
The agreement, the exact details of which were not immediately available, comes at a time of mounting pressure on the government to abandon its seven-year policy limiting pay increases for public sector workers to just 1 percent. At present, that’s way below the inflation rate of 2.6 percent, straining the living standards of public sector workers.
Though the Bank of England is independent of the government, it has mirrored the government cap over the past few years.
There’s mounting expectation that Britain’s Treasury chief, Philip Hammond, will announce a relaxation in the policy in his budget later this year. The policy was introduced in 2010 as part of the government’s strategy to reduce the budget deficit in the wake of the global financial crisis.