In a sure sign that both the board of Northern Rock and the union representing the staff there have collectively lost touch with reality, it has been agreed between the two bodies that Northern Rock will pay staff a bonus of £200 plus a one off payment of 2% this year together with a payrise of 4%.
No doubt, under normal circumstances, they might be deserving of a bonus and rise.
However, circumstances are very far from "normal" at the moment.
Northern Rock is relying on £30BN of public money to keep it afloat.
Seemingly Northern Rock was warned by Unite, the union representing the staff, that without its staff there would be no company left to rescue.
Well, here's a newsflash for the board and the union:
THERE IS NO COMPANY LEFT, THE PREVIOUS BOARD DESTROYED IT.
If Northern Rock is sold successfully, its name and loan book will be absorbed into the new company; it is as dead as the parrot in the Monty Python sketch.
No matter how delusional the union and the current board are about awarding pay rises, this simple reality cannot be ignored.
You do not reward people for failure.
This agreement is beyond belief, and indicates that neither the board nor the union have any grasp on reality.
This sends a very bad message indeed to the customers, shareholders and prospective buyers. It may well scupper the sell off, and quite possibly the staff will find themselves without a job in less than a year.
What use then a pay rise?