Monday 29 October 2007

Pay - fat cats and the rest of us

Today's paper reports findings by Incomes Data Services (IDS) that the earnings of the chief executives of FTSE100 companies are still going up - fast.

Last financial year, the average salary was £737,000. Don't worry though, they didn't really have to scrape by on that, once you include incentive schemes and share options their average earnings rose to £3,174,000!

Meanwhile we've seen average earnings for the rest of us falling behind prices for the first time in 20 years. Sadly, Gordon Brown is leading the way on the employers' side, trying to hold public sector pay down below 2% - a significant pay cut in real terms. Naturally every other employer wants to copy this.

It reminds me of a slogan I saw years ago "To make the rich work harder, we pay them more. To make the poor work harder, we pay them less".

Productivity keeps rising, but the share of what we produce that working people get keeps shrinking.

The outcomes of disputes involving the CWU in Royal Mail, PCS in the civil service and UNISON in local government will have a big impact on whether employers in public & private sector alike continue to get away with it.

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