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19
Feb
2008
Public Sector Pay

I have a lot of sympathy for employees in the public sector like nurses, Police and teachers about the current situation they find themselves in with regard to their pay increase.

The government has set up an independent pay body for these groups to advise on what their annual pay increase should be from the appropriate review date, which is the same date each year. The government then decides that this should not be implemented in full.

The public sector paybill has increased from £61bn in 1997-8 to £138bn in 2005-6. A big factor in this is the government’s continual public service initiatives which have increased the number of public sector workers by 600,000 in the last years.

OK, the pay body’s remit is to advise, but having done so, it seems completely inappropriate for the government to ignore their advice and decide something else, be it the percentage they think is right or the date from which it applies. Adding insult to injury, the employees in England and Wales are treated less favourably than those in Scotland! This is extremely unfair and won’t do much for motivation in our public services.

If the government are not willing to take the advice of the pay bodies they should be abolished, leaving the appropriate government department to decide on the appropriate increase having taken instructions from the Treasury.

 

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