Record pay for bankers but most workers still earning less than a decade ago, says TUC

By agency reporter
May 15, 2019

New analysis published by theTrades Union Congress (TUC) on 14 May 2019 shows that real wages are still £17 a week lower than a decade ago. But they are up more than £120 for those working in the finance sector.

In most sectors of the economy, wages are still worth less than before the financial crisis. However, a small number of industries have bucked that trend. Average real pay in the financial sector has increased by 9.3 per cent (£119 per week) since 2009, reaching a record average of £1,405 per week. Other sectors that have seen real wage growth include, retail and hospitality, which are likely to have been boosted by increases to the minimum wage. Nurses and teachers amongst hardest hit

While pay has recovered for bankers, the story is very different for public sector workers. People employed in health and social work and education are still £36 a week worse off than in 2009. The TUC says this is a clear consequence of the government’s decision to hold back the pay of hardworking teachers, nurses and other public servants behind rising prices.

The hardest hit workers are those working for membership organisations, repair services and in furnishings. Their pay is £86 per week lower in real terms than a decade ago. The next worse performing sector is manufacturing of food and drink, where real pay is still down by £52 per week.

The TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “It's not right that pay is racing ahead in the City when most working people are still worse off than a decade ago. The architects of the financial crisis are earning record amounts while teachers and nurses struggle to get by.

“Workers deserve a much fairer share of the wealth they create.  That's why unions need new rights to access workplaces and negotiate industry-wide rates. Pay inequality helped drive the last financial crash. It can't be left unaddressed.”

To achieve fair pay for all working people, the TUC is calling for:

  • A £10 an hour national minimum wage and an end to discrimination against young workers through lower rates of minimum wage
  • Workers to be elected onto remuneration committees to help curb greed at the top
  • Legal requirements on employers to report on and act to close race, gender and disability pay gaps
  • New employment rights for insecure workers, including a ban on zero-hours contracts and bogus self-employment
  • Full employment rights from day one for all workers, including protection from unfair dismissal

To ensure everyone has fair treatment at work and can negotiate fair pay and conditions, the TUC is calling for:

  • New rights to give unions access to every workplace so that nobody has to face their employer alone
  • New rights for unions to bargain for fair pay and conditions across industries, ending the race to the bottom
  • An end to the unfair and undemocratic trade union act that restricts the right to strike

* Trades Union Congress https://www.tuc.org.uk/
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