>> Bank of England staff are voting on whether to strike over pay, Reuters can exclusively reveal. The Unite union launching a ballot on Thursday, consulting its members on industrial action. Reuters UK economics correspondent Andy Bruce says staff called the current pay terms derisory.>> They've been offered a 1% pay rise for this year, so it's the second year in a row where the pay offer has been below inflation.
And they have called the Bank of England arrogant and out of touch over this.>> The union hasn't announced what it's requesting, at least not publicly, but will be hoping the bank returns an improved offer. Unite represents some employees who work in security, catering legal, HR, and other services.
Industrial disputes out of the 323-year-old bank are rare. And while the fallout from any action wouldn't impact its operation significantly->> But it is embarrassing for them. They place a lot of their economic forecasting on wage growth. They expect to see a big pickup next year. And so, some of the Bank of England employees might be asking, if you're expecting a big pickup in wages next year, maybe you should be the ones to start doing it.
>> The dispute is some ways symptomatic of what's going on with companies in the public sector around Britain. With inflation rising fast, companies are finding it hard to keep up in terms of pay. The bank has declined to comment on the potential strike action, but will surely be closely monitoring the outcome of the ballot when it closes in three weeks' time.
If members vote in favor, strike action could begin in the summer or autumn.