RMT Rejects 'Average RPI' Figure in Pay Offers

RMT General Grades Committee decision:

That we note that a number of employers have recently tabled pay offers including an element of applying the average rate of increase of RPI based on the preceding 12 months.

We wish to ensure that our members’ pay rise each year at least matches, and preferably exceeds, the rate at which their costs of living have risen over the previous year. This can be achieved through a pay rise (whether flat-rate or based on a percentage, or a combination of the two) which exceeds an agreed measure of how much costs of living have risen.

Where RPI is used as this measure, the figure used should be the annual rate of increase in RPI for a specified month closely prior to the date on which the pay rise is due.

The average of the rates at which RPI has risen during each month of the previous 12 does not indicate how much our members’ costs of living have risen. Rather, it shows the average speed at which prices have risen, which is an arbitrary figure, and is irrelevant to calculating appropriate pay rises. We therefore reject efforts by employers to introduce this as the measure of ‘inflation’, which represent either a lack of understanding of mathematics or an attempt by those employers to reduce the pay rise which our members deserve.

All branches, Regional Councils, lead officers and negotiators to be advised of this policy.