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29 March 2010

Gap closes between new and existing long-term pay deals

Those waiting for evidence of a pick up in pay settlements may have to wait a bit longer but there is now little gap between new deals and those under existing long term agreements.

The latest figures published in the Labour Research Department's Workplace Report magazine, based on LRD's database of negotiated settlements, suggest that the trend is still almost flat with a mid-point of just over one and a half percent (the increase in lowest basic rates).

But these figures mainly reflect deals effective at the start of the year (January). Higher inflation and more positive conditions since then could see new deals picking up.

  • For the three months up to and including February (December-February) LRD's published midpoint for settlements monitored was 1.6% (it has now crept up to 1.7%). This is only slightly up on the previous 1.5% figure (November-January), pay freezes still accounting for just over a quarter (28%) of December-February settlements.

  • For new settlements only (excluding existing long-term agreements) the mid-point for the three months up to and including February was 1.5%, pay freezes making up almost four out of ten (39%) of these.

  • The lack of clear water between the all-settlement and new-settlement figures contrasts with the position last year when they acted as an 'anchor' holding up the overall trend.

"A drop-off in the number of pay freezes, when it occurs, will be an indication that the labour market is returning to its pre-recession path" added Lewis Emery, LRD's pay and conditions researcher.

Notes for Editors

  • For further information about Payline and pay trends contact: Lewis Emery
  • Payline is LRD's database of negotiated agreements reported to LRD by unions. It includes around 2,300 agreements with information on pay, terms and conditions and other aspects of the employment contract.
  • Community, FBU, GMB, NUJ, PCS, RMT, TSSA, UCU, UNISON and UNITE union members have access to this database as do BFAWU officials and the TUC. For more information contact pay@lrd.org.uk
  • Labour Research Department is an independent organisation founded in 1912 to produce research on behalf of trade unions and the labour movement. More than 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, are affiliated to it, representing more than 99% of TUC membership.
  • Pay settlements are negotiated rises on basic pay, and exclude bonus, increments, overtime and other allowances.
  • For further information about Workplace Report contact the Editor Rebecca Johnson at rebecca@lrd.org.uk.


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