Bank of England faces strike action over pay
Workers are being balloted by the Unite union, which has branded the bank "out of touch" for a below-inflation pay offer.
Staff at the Bank of England have started voting on whether to strike in a dispute over pay.
Workers are being balloted by the Unite union, which has branded the bank "arrogant" and "out of touch" for a below-inflation pay offer for a second consecutive year.
The union, which represents workers in security, catering, legal, HR and other services at the 323-year-old bank, said the 1% pay rise was "derisory".
It also said the increase was at the discretion of line managers, so some employees could receive less or see no rise at all in their wages.
Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said: "The bank's disgraceful snub of low-paid staff stinks of arrogance and represents an organisation thoroughly out of touch with the reality of the pressure staff face meeting their costs of living.
"It is a source of shame that an iconic symbol of financial services in the UK is choosing to ride roughshod over the concerns of its dedicated and hardworking staff and impose this derisory pay deal.
"Unite is calling on the Bank of England to come back to the negotiating table to discuss a fair pay deal for the employees in order to avoid any industrial action. Unite is prepared to talk and to reach a fair settlement.
"The Bank of England should be setting the highest standards within the financial services industry, not treating its workforce with contempt and forcing them to take a real-terms pay cut."
The union said the first stage of the action involved staff in the maintenance, reception and facilities departments, who can earn as little as £20,000 a year. It said imposing a 1% pay award would potentially leave them and their families facing financial hardship.
Inflation rose to a higher than expected 2.7% in April, as wage growth stuttered at just 2.2% in the three months to February.
Pay rises for public sector workers in Britain have been capped by the Government at 1%. Although this does not apply to the independent Bank of England, it operates in an environment of pay restraint for public officials.
BoE Governor Mark Carney has received an annual salary of £480,000 since joining in 2013, as well as an annual accommodation allowance of around £250,000. He has declined pay increases since joining.
The ballot closes on 21 June.
The Bank of England declined to comment.