The union representing civil servants working at City Hall is seeking a pay rise of at least £1,380 per head to help staff cope with the rising cost of living in the capital.
In an email to members, Unison says it will seek “a consolidated increase of 3% to basic pay, or £1380, whichever is the greater for individuals” when it meets Greater London Authority officials to discuss a new pay settlement.
Average wage rises in the private and public sector are around 2.5% but Unison says the higher demand can be justified because staff have endured a number of pay freezes since 2011 when the Retail Price Index rate of inflation grew to 5.2%.
Although RPI is now 2.5%, some forecasts expect it to climb above 3% over the next few years.
Unison’s email says: “We all work and live in (or around) London, one of the most expensive cities in the world. We all therefore, experience the highest costs for housing, living costs and transport.
“I don’t think we need to point out that fares on buses, tubes and trains – both inside London and coming into the capital are continually raised every year – often way above even RPI – up to about 8% per year.
“Again, We don’t think we have to reiterate that gas and electricity prices are increasing inordinately, as have petrol and diesel. We are also in the middle of a property boom and new builds are not providing enough affordable housing making rents in and around London even more expensive.
“It seems unfair that the cost of living is increasing at such a high rate, but that our employer does not reflect this is our wage increases. We need this pay rise.”
Members have been told that a tapered settlement – where better paid staff receive lower increases or even a freeze – “is out of the question”.
This, the email says, is because the acceptance of tapered awards in recent years “has resulted in a great deal of compression between the banding of the lower pay grades within the organisation.”