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Economists at Britain’s oldest independent research institute to stage two-week strike

ECONOMISTS and researchers at Britain’s oldest independent research institute are set for a two-week strike against below-inflation pay offers, their union Unite announced today.

The walkouts, at the London-based National Institute of Economic and Social Research, will begin on Friday and run until February 4.

They will be the first at the institute, founded in 1938 by reformists including William Beveridge and John Maynard Keynes.

The action means there is a “very real possibility” that upcoming economic forecasts for Britain and countries worldwide, published quarterly since the 1980s, may not go ahead, Unite warned.

The union said recent pay offers — 0 per cent in 2020-21 and 2 per cent in 2021-22 — fail to keep up with the rising cost of living and represent a significant real-terms pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham slammed the situation as “not good enough,” adding: “Unite is determined to fight for workers’ pay, terms and conditions.”

The institute claimed that Covid-19’s impact had been “particularly difficult” for an organisation without core funding, but that it would continue to work with Unite to resolve the dispute.

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