Posts Tagged ‘public sector pay’

Budget preview: abolishing national public sector pay rates is right

20/03/2012, 12:00:32 PM

by Rob Marchant

As part of the Budget run-up, on Friday Britain’s labour movement was convulsed at the thought of the latest Osborne proposal: that national public sector pay rates might be scrapped.

But, before we join the voices of the major trade unions and the TUC who are, understandably, trying to look out for their own interest group, as a party whose interests are not always identical to those of our union colleagues, it might behove us to take a few minutes to take a step back.

Now, while no-one would suggest we should be adopting the Tory Budget wholesale, smart opposition is about determining which bits to oppose. A regional bargaining system would likely increase some pay-rates, as well as decreasing (or failing to increase) others.

And it is surely difficult to argue that the current, entirely inflexible system of fixed national pay rates, which was put in place decades ago in a corporatist state era, is fit for purpose.

First, as the Treasury points out, there are absurd variations depending on where you live. In some places pay rates can be artificially up to 18% higher than their private sector equivalents. And furthermore, applying the only current regional exception to the national system, the addition of London weighting, the system even then visibly fails to attract, for example, enough teachers to schools in inner London because many cannot afford to live there. So some people are still not paid enough. Result: poor levels of public service.

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The sheer effrontery of right wing attacks on local government pay

16/02/2011, 12:00:36 PM

by Andy Dodd

Last week, the institute of directors released a report claiming that the country’s debt position could be greatly improved by “progressive” measures such as abolishing the right to flexible working hours, eliminating time off for training and removing the right to a free hearing at an employment tribunal.

And now a strange study, from the independent incomes data services, bowls another full toss for the right wing to hit into the orbit of planet loony. It cites senior executives in local government who earn more than the prime minister. Predictably enough, by teatime, the forums on the Daily Telegraph web site were loaded with comments about “fake CEOs” who “take no risks” and are paid “vast sums”.

Without constructing a blanket defence for all local authority chief execs, some of whom may well be overpaid, it is a little confused to take the PM’s salary and argue that this should be the arbiter for senior management pay in the public sector. And, given the challenges currently facing senior managers in inner city local government, to say that they take no risks and are fake is absurd. (more…)

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