threaten to end national pay bargaining, BBC Radio Four's Today programme
was told this morning.
signal for a move to regional pay bargaining.
But chancellor Gordon Brown told the Today programme national pay bargaining
In his speech yesterday, Mr Brown said: 'The British economy is now better
placed to recognise local and regional conditions in pay, such as the extra
costs for retention and recruitment that arise in London and the south east.
'So in future we plan regional price indices, showing differences in
regional inflation rates, remits for pay review bodies and public sector
workers will include a stronger regional and local dimension'.
Scottish National Party MP Alex Salmon told Today this was the 'Budget
bombshell', meaning lower pay for public sector workers in Scotland and the
north of England.
Jack Dromey of the T&GWU called on the chancellor to rule out ending
national bargaining. The danger is that local government employers will take
advantage of the chancellor's stance and end national pay rates. 'Local
government employers want to pay less to low paid workers in Cornwall,
Cowdenbeath, Cumbria and Carrickfergus', Mr Dromey said.
'If the local government employers threaten national pay bargaining, then
the second national strike within 12 months is inevitable', he said.
But later in the programme the chancellor said: 'National pay bargaining is
bound to continue. What I said yesterday is that the pay remits will have to
take into account regional factors'.
The government's commitment to national pay was demonstrated by the fact
that there is a national minimum wage and a national scheme of tax credits,