Survey reveals union rep fears

Union reps and officials are pessimistic about the prospects for the economy and their own futures, a survey has shown.

The Labour Research Department survey revealed that 44% think the economy will shrink in 2011 and 54% expect a below-inflation pay rise.

Lewis Emery, LRD pay researcher, says the findings show the Government cannot expect “an easy route out of the economic doldrums”.

A total of 188 union workplace contacts and officials took part in the survey from both the private and public sector.

More than a quarter (28%) feel that pay is likely to rise at or above the rate of price increase for most workers, with 6% expecting a pay freeze and 2% a pay cut.

Worries about pay extend to job cuts, with 80% expecting reductions in the public sector and 60% in the private sector anticipating staff levels will be reduced in 2011.

As a result, more than half (57%) say job security is their main priority, with the trend more evident in the public sector where four in five, compared to a third in the private sector, say it is of greatest importance.