Pay increases fall below 3 per cent mark

Pay
awards fell back to 2.8 per cent in the three months up to and including June
2002, according to independent analysts Industrial Relations Services (IRS).

Settlements
had dropped to 2.5 per cent before Christmas 2001 and later rose to 3 per cent,
driven up by above-average increases in April for teachers, nurses and others
in the public sector.

Although
the overall figure is relatively stable, and the spread of settlements has
again narrowed, so that half of all awards over the past three months fell
between 2.2 per cent and 3.1 per cent, two-thirds of settlements this year are
lower than they were last year.

The
figures also show that manufacturing sector pay deals have again pulled the
average down, falling from 2.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent in the past month.

Ben
Louvre, acting editor of IRS Pay and Benefits Bulletin, said: "Our
research suggests that while generous public sector awards are still having an
effect, the overall pay climate remains subdued. And despite some signs of a
recovery in manufacturing, deals in that sector still lag well behind those in
services."

By Ben Willmott

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