USDAW to “look closely” at new Sainsbury’s deal to increase staff wages as paid breaks and bonuses are axed

USDAW to “look closely” at new Sainsbury’s deal to increase staff wages as paid breaks and bonuses are axed

- in Unite, USDAW
Sainsbury's store
Shop workers union USDAW has welcomed the decision from Sainsbury’s to increase pay to £9.20 per hour for retail staff – making it the first UK supermarket to pay over £9 per hour.

Sainsbury’s has announced it is to increase its basic pay rate for shop-floor retail staff, but paid breaks, premium pay rates or Sunday workers and an annual bonus will all be axed – which will result in a pay cut for some workers.

The supermarket group revealed that most staff would see an increase of about 8% in their annual pay, after the removal of the paid breaks is taken into account.

However, the increase of 8% does not take into account the proposed loss of an annual performance-related bonus paid to non-management staff, which can often amount to hundreds of pounds.

Sainsbury’s said that it was spending £100m to improve pay and that the majority of retail staff would benefit from the proposals in terms of more money, and argued that the latest pay rise to £9.20 per hour has come after three years of consecutive 4% pay rises.

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has welcomed the announcement, but warned that they would be looking closely at the detail of the deal.

Usdaw National Officer Joanne McGuinness said:

Usdaw has long been making the case for the real living wage and beyond, so this deal takes Sainsbury’s staff 45p per hour above that £8.75 rate. While this is welcome news for Usdaw members working in Sainsbury’s we will be looking closely at the whole deal, as we understand the company are proposing some contractual changes. Consolidating pay can benefit staff, but we want to check the effects on all individual workers. We will now enter into talks with the company.

Unite, which has 12,000 members working at Sainsbury’s, also welcomed the move to a £9.20 basic pay rate but criticised Sainsbury’s for giving with one hand and taking from the other.

Unite’s acting national officer for food and drink, Bev Clarkson, said:

We are in a classic ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ situation, which we don’t think will benefit our members in the long run.

There will be no further increase in salary until 2020 and given what our members have been asked to give up in return for this headline rate, the overall package doesn’t look that attractive. We are recommending rejection and will decide on the next steps after our members have expressed their views in the consultative ballot, which should be known by the end of April.



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