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Discussing the cost of living with colleagues

A request for a pay rise is more likely to be successful when it comes from a large number of staff. 

Before submitting a pay claim to your employer, speak to your colleagues about their experiences with the rising cost of living. This will help you find common ground and establish some key issues you can include in your pay claim.

We’ve suggested some questions you can ask your colleagues below, but feel free to add your own ones. You can also download and print our short survey.

Is the rising cost of living affecting your day-to-day life?

  • Have you been struggling to pay your bills or afford basic necessities?
  • Have you had to start working extra hours or overtime just to make ends meet?
  • Has your mental health been suffering due to stress or anxiety?

Are you cutting back on basic luxuries?

  • Have you reduced the amount of money you spend on social activities, such as trips to the cinema or eating out with friends?
  • Have you stopped going on holidays?

Are you struggling to pay for heating?

  • Has the cost of heating your home risen to more than 10% of your household income?
  • Have you been heating your home to less than 18 degrees?

Are your eating habits changing?

  • Have you had to rely on food banks to feed yourself or your family?
  • Have you started eating more cheap but unhealthy foods?

Are you using your car or public transport less often?

  • Have you been walking or cycling more often to save money?
  • Have you been staying close to home to avoid travel costs?
  • Have you been putting off car maintenance or repairs?

Are you cutting back on health and fitness spending?

  • Have you cancelled your gym membership?
  • Have you stopped paying for health treatments, such as physiotherapy?
  • Have you put off going to the dentist?
  • Have you put off getting your eyes tested or buying a new pair of glasses?

Are you having trouble with your finances?

  • Have you fallen into debt?
  • Are you relying on credit, over-drafts or loans?
  • Would you be able to pay an unexpected bill of £1000?

Are your savings being affected?

  • Have you been unable to save as much as you usually do?
  • Have you had to use up your existing savings to cover the cost of living?

Is your living situation being affected?

  • Have you had to downsize or sell your home?
  • Have you started renting out a room or a parking space to make some extra money?
  • Have you put off making home improvements?

Are you changing your family planning?

  • Have you delayed or reconsidered starting a family?
  • Have you delayed or reconsidered having another child?

Is your pension being affected?

  • Have you decreased your pension contributions, so you’ll have more money to spend right now?
  • Have you opted out of pension contributions entirely?

Are you changing your retirement plans?

  • Have you delayed your retirement so you can continue earning?
  • Have you returned to work after retiring so you can start earning again?