Pay settlements static

median basic pay settlement continues to stand at 3 per cent in the three
months to August 2004, unchanged from the quarter to July, according to the
monthly data from pay analysts IRS.

Pay and Benefits editor, Sheila Attwood said: “Although we are now in the
quieter months of the bargaining year, pay setters will be closely monitoring
pay settlements patterns during the next few months before the busy January
negotiating round.

employee representatives submit pay claims several months ahead of the review
date – hoping to settle their pay award in advance of the effective date – the
current bargaining climate is an important longer-term indicator.

headline inflation continues its upward path, there is a real possibility that
pay awards will breach the 3 per cent mark for the first time since June 2001."

key findings include:

Inflation outstripping pay
awards: just over a quarter of basic pay settlements in the latest IRS analysis
made an award higher than the current rate of headline inflation (3.2 per cent
in August).

Pay awards condensed: the measure of the spread of pay awards has contracted
this month. At the top end pay awards remain at 3.5 per cent, while the lower
end rates rose by 0.3 per cent to 2.8 per cent during August.

Private sector pay growth above public sector: public sector pay deals have
outstripped private sector deals for every month since April 2001. However,
according to IRS Pay Datbank’s
latest data, basic pay awards in the 12 months to August 2004 are higher in the
private than the public sector.

Manufacturing and services sector in tandem: basic pay awards are now also
running at 3 per cent in both the manufacturing and service sectors. This
represents no change in the service sector, but a 0.2 per cent increase on the
revised July figure in the manufacturing industry.

By Mike Berry



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