asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (1) if she is aware of the discontent among bank employees resulting from her decision to refer to the National Board for Prices and Incomes their application for pay increases and improvements in their working conditions; and if, following her recent talks with representatives of the bank employees, she will now reconsider her decision;(2) if she will make a statement on the results of her talks on 21st November with the delegation from the National Union of Bank Employees regarding their application for pay increases.
On 20th November my right hon. Friend discussed the proposed reference to the National Board for Prices and Incomes of the settlement of the Joint Negotiating Council for Banking with the Banking Staff Council and with the Federation of Bank employers and explained why the Government were unable to approve, without inquiry by the National Board for Prices and Incomes, implementation of the settlement which provided increases of 7 per cent. for men and 10·5 per cent. for women. The two sides are considering the Government's statement that they would, pending the Board's report, be willing to approve an interim increase not exceeding 3½ per cent.