In a report published on the 29th December, the Resolution Foundation, a well-respected think-tank focused on improving the living standards for those on low to middle incomes said that 2022 would be the “year of the squeeze” on people’s finances. In its quarterly Labour Market Outlook, it said that the UK faces a “cost of living catastrophe” in April with tax rises and energy bill set to rise dramatically.

The Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation, which is the measure of inflation used by unions when negotiating pay increases, is now at 7.1%, the highest it’s been since November 1990. And it’s likely to get even higher over the next few months.

When combined with the effects of tax changes (including the new social care levy and freeze in the personal allowance), inflation at this level has significant implications for living standards. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Britain’s leading independent microeconomic research institute, “an individual with a salary income of £30,000 in April 2021 (and post-tax income of £24,060) would need to see nominal wage growth of 7.1% to April 2022 to maintain the same standard of living given the forecast 5% annual inflation rate”. If we use the same example but based on the RPI measure of inflation, then the wage growth figure is just over 8%. That’s how much TSB staff will need just to stand still.

Our concern is that Accord and Unite, who are both institutionally incapable of disagreeing with anything TSB does or says, won’t agree to the pay pot but, more importantly, won’t do anything to oppose it either. And let us not forget that Accord agreed last year’s pay deal with TSB. According to the Accord General Secretary it: “signed an agreement to implement the proposals with effect from 1 April but, with rising inflation…. virtually everybody will experience a fall in the real value of their salaries this year”. If TSB staff are not going to suffer another, much bigger fall in the real value of their salaries next year, then Accord needs to grow a spine and oppose the bank’s pay offer.

In any event, TSB staff won’t have to wait long to see the colour of the bank’s money. We expect an announcement on pay shortly.

In the meantime, members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).

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