Economic forecasters are set to stage a two-week walkout over, ironically, below-inflation pay offers.
Researchers and economists at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) are set to walk off the job from January 21 to February 4, the Unite union said on Monday.
The move comes after management froze wages last year – effectively forcing staff to take a pay cut after inflation is factored in – and a basic pay deal for 2022 worth 2%. It is even more embarrassing for the NIESR given its own staff have, highly regarded forecasters of inflation, and have estimated average pay growth across the economy next year of 4.5%.
Unite said there was “a very real possibility that the forthcoming forecasts for the UK and global economies, which have been published quarterly since the 1980s, will not go ahead”.
“NIESR staff will be unable to deliver on project work for external partners and funders, and will be unable to participate in events and other dissemination activities. The pay offer fails to keep up with the rising cost of living and represents a significant pay cut in real terms,” a spokesperson for the union said.
The Retail Prices Index, which includes house prices, hit 7.1% at the end of 2021, while the Consumer Prices Index, which excludes real estate valuations, stood at 5.1%.