Staff at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are considering strike action over changes to pay proposed by management.
Unite the Union are running a ballot to determine whether FCA employees should push ahead with strike action and claim the financial watchdog is attempting to operate on a “bargain basement basis.”
The union said that upcoming changes will leave staff worse off, with cuts of between 10 per cent and 12 per cent expected if performance bonuses are scrapped, staff outside London due to be paid lower wages and further cuts to pension rights in the pipeline.
A spokesperson for the FCA told City A.M. that changes to its pay and reward policy would ensure it”continues to provide one of the best employment packages of any regulator or enforcement agency in the UK.”
According to the FCA changes to pay would boost salaries for 800 of its lowest paid staff members by £3,800 on average. The regulator said that it is “carefully considering feedback” received during a consultation with colleagues and expects to publish the outcome by March.
“The ballot will deliver a clear sense just how dire workforce morale and employee confidence is within the Financial Conduct Authority leadership,” said Dominic Hook, a national officer for Unite.
“You cannot regulate the British financial system on a bargain basement basis as the CEO, Nikhil Rathi clearly wishes to do. Management must enter into immediate negotiations with Unite the union in order to avoid further damage and risk to the FCA,” Hook continued.
Nikhil Rathi, who took over as chief executive of the FCA in June 2020, has reportedly dismissed concerns about changes to pay as “noise” and insists that staff will benefit from the new system.