Staff union challenges ECB inflation and pay policy


IPSO, the main union representing staff at the European Central Bank (ECB) has published the results of a survey of employees revealing around two-thirds of workers had concerns about the ECB policy on pay, inflation and interest rates. Widely reported in the media, the union says that it was not just unhappiness about the 4% pay increase awarded to ECB employees (less than half the current inflation rate in Germany) but also the bank’s reliance on interest rises as a tool to control inflation. IPSO’s message to staff said that the ECB policy of wage moderation was in its view biased against workers. IPSO quoted former International Monetary Fund chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, who said: “arguing against second-round effects […] implicitly asks workers to accept the real wage cut implied by the increase in the energy price”. IPSO underlined the need for negotiations over pay and adjustments for inflation rather than putting the whole burden on workers.