Whut?

Far from being a waste, these activities save taxpayers money in the long run. Research undertaken on behalf of the Trades Union Congress found that, in the public sector, there are 8,000-16,000 fewer dismissals every year thanks to union reps.

Not being able to fire idiots saves money?

43 comments on “Whut?

  1. Research undertaken on behalf of the Trades Union Congress

    Lol. You can imagine how the Guardian would treat Research undertaken on behalf of the Oil Industry, yet when it’s the TUC let’s treat it as Gospel (or in their case the Koran).

    But yes, as you say, it’s bollocks even if you discard the easy target of Whatabboutery. Being forced to keep on your most disruptive, most useless staff saves you money.

  2. In my experience of the public sector they are not measuring the real damage. For every job saved, there are a dozen people who *should* be fired but can’t be, or are appealing, or have some sort of medical protection or whatever. The real economic damage is in keeping people who disrupt offices, fail at their basic tasks, are rude to the public and so on. It is just too much drama to get rid of them.

  3. In the bit of the public sector where I worked, this is at least being recognised.

    I worked for a while with a good head of HR that knew that for every sub par employee, there was a cost- as she put it, if you have a 6/10 person in a job, you are losing the potential of a better hire.

    The problem was that employment law kept her from being able to churn these people out. That, allied to senior managers, who should have been exited previously for just being lacklustre, but rose through time served, wouldn’t play ball with programmes to raise the level of employees.

    You need to sort both sides of the problem to reform the public sector. We couldn’t even get PRP through to incentivise the good and squeeze out the shit.

  4. You assume a one way street Tim. You also need to realise that public sector management are some of the most useless and “I’m entitled” scum who have ever lived.

    Lots of those 16000 will not be troublemakers but –for example–blokes who have fallen foul of the fact that the Civil Service was the first to junk the “reasonable person” test in claims of sexual harassment and adopt the cultural Marxist test–if she feels offended by it (regardless of what you actually said) then it is “offensive”.

    The CS is also in the forefront of trying to reduce staff numbers using every possible trivial pretext to get rid of people–regardless of the black mark that leaves on the employee’s record when trying to get future employment.

    As for the Union reps–most are barely competent but they are possibly saving the taxpayer money. If lots of the 16000 went to a competent employment lawyer then the then arrogant and dictatorial bungling of the CS boss class would cost the taxpayer a fortune in settlements every year.

  5. “things like representing workers in disciplinary and grievance cases”
    This time should not be counted. I’d be surprised if you don’t have a right to a colleague of your chosing to be present, might be wrong but this looks like a cost of employment laws not unions.

  6. Hang on a sec.

    If the taxpayer didn’t subsidise the union, there would still be a union. It would still represent employees who were threatened with dismissal and we have no reason to suppose the dismissal rate would change.

    Ergo this statistic is irrelevant.

  7. There ae a couple of teachers of my acquiantance that have taken 6 months off, the maximum period for which they receive full pay, suffering from “stress”… At the end of which they go back to work for a couple of weeks, become “stressed” again… Rinse and repeat.

  8. There’s a pretty significant multiplier effect, too. For every useless tosser you keep on, half-a-dozen competent staff will think “why should I knock myself out?”

  9. @TDK, unless the union had to put it’s fees up, and that reduced the membership. Could start a death spiral!
    Easy to see why unions don’t like the idea!

  10. The civil service has some right problem staff. Including at management.
    A female friend of mine with 26 years in the civil service and darn good at her job, had a few female problems. Her boss moaned at her about getting hospital appointments daytime – like you get to always have hospital appointments with a consultant in the evening?
    Then she had to have a hysterectomy. Major surgery with considerable time off for anyone, worse for those for whom its bigger surgery and there were complications (6 hours surgery).
    So 3 months off work then by agreement started back at a few hours a week building up over time back to full time.
    Due to complications she was ill one day and was told by her boss that if she had any more time off ill she’d be sacked. Her boss is female.
    So she went in to work and struggled through those few hours, painful for her.

    Now if it was me I’d have been all over that boss regarding required time off for major surgery and complications.
    This woman instead is one of those who you can depend on to get the job done and not cause trouble. A reputation that apparently bites you in the ass.

    I’m not a big fan of the civil service despite 10 years in it. The great staff get rewarded with more work but no extra pay or bonuses. The worst staff who do little get the same.
    Communism in its highest form, all being treated equal. Just those who can get jobs elsewhere tend to do so, better pay and better chance of advancement.

  11. There are some odd interpretations here.

    The ‘costing the taxpayer’ bit means direct payments in benefits, plus loss of NI and income tax payments. I can see that.

    The ‘loss to the organisation’ cost is only indirectly a cost to the taxpayer in lost profits, as the Gov still takes income tax and NI. If that drives one organisation to the wall, then another will step up to fill the role.

    In the Civil Service, the cost of useless feckers is a direct cost to the taxpayer.

  12. Due to complications she was ill one day and was told by her boss that if she had any more time off ill she’d be sacked. Her boss is female.

    I think around about 99% of the times I have heard somebody complaining that their boss is a nightmare because of the way they handle personal issues (as opposed to being merely incompetent, etc.) the boss in question has been female.

  13. “In the Civil Service, the cost of useless feckers is a direct cost to the taxpayer.”

    Agreed. And by miles the most destructive and costly concentration of useless feckers is at the top. Remember the billions on computer systems then abandoned? Boss class fads being curbed by boss class sackings would save far more money than sacking little people at the drop of a hat.

  14. Yes that was a Pollyanna article. One of the problems that is less remarked upon, with the Brexit catastrophe, is that a golden opportunity to reform these failing resources has been squandered on a stupid project that will, make us poorer. Such has been the effort of Frau May not to waste Political capital on anything useful, that she has strayed quite close to Ed Miliband’s agenda. National Socialism woo hoo …what could possibly go wrong with that eh ….
    On which subject ,I daresay Worstall readers have bedrooms hung with Nazi memorabilia and duvets decorated in a jaunty Swastika but contemporary Germany s rather more interesting in terms of Unions. Theirs seem to work quite well (Germany is the words most productive economy).

    In the UK strong Unions lead to economic collapse. It would be very interesting and a good swipe at the doctrinaire neo Liberals to think about why that is .Regional government and banking , custom and tradition , the ability of |Germans to say things like” You are no good at your job”….I don`t know .

    Much wisdom is locked away from individuals encoded in experience and institutions. This is why a good , if not perfect arrangement that works in real life ( the EU) is always better than cooked up by perpetual sixth form debaters who claim that if we only got rid of all the foreigners and went back to 1950 everything would be wonderful .

    With all due respect

  15. I daresay Worstall readers have bedrooms hung with Nazi memorabilia and duvets decorated in a jaunty Swastika …

    Fuck off, keep fucking off, and fuck off some more until you can’t fuck off any further.

    Germany is the words most productive economy

    Not according to the OECD 2015 stats (2016 aren’t yet available for enough countries.) On GDP per Capita, Luxembourg, Norway, Ireland and even the USA are ahead of the Germans.

    On unit labour costs, the Baltic states are way ahead. As is Norway.

    With all due respect

    You don’t convince me in the slightest.

  16. I have books about the Nazis yes. Including a book about John Rabe. – my favourite Nazi party member.
    A Nazi revered in one part of China.
    I also have books about other things, other time periods and other groups.

  17. Oh, and in case you don’t trust somebody you consider an unreconstructed Nazi to do the sums correctly, here is a Time article saying much the same thing using the same source stats. Note Germany down there in 8th.

    Here is the rather confusing OECD website. So you can do some actual research instead of “daresaying” and indulging your prejudices.

    BTW keep fucking off until you fuck off over a cliff …

  18. I daresay Worstall readers have bedrooms hung with Nazi memorabilia and duvets decorated in a jaunty Swastika …

    Meh… Nazis are sooooo cliché these days, darling. I mean the uniforms and leather and shit are still pretty awesome but everyone’s going on about the Nazis now and it’s boring. Genghis Khan is where the real fascists are at. I live in a yurt and drink donkey blood for tea.

  19. As usual it is hard to make out what Newmania is trying to say. It reads like a babelfish translation

    Much wisdom is locked away from individuals encoded in experience and institutions

  20. “the Brexit catastrophe”

    I can’t tell you how happy I am you feel that way. Giggle. Giggle. Laugh out loud!

  21. You mean Raus! Raus schnell !Herr Evil ….On productivity /man hours Germany is 6th. behind Luxembourg Norway Australia Switzerland and the Netherlands. So I take your point – ish (you may bang one out into your lederhosen… ) but Germany at £25.95 hourly productivity is miles better than the UK at £18.64 hourly productivity.
    So why it is that Germany can have a v productive work force and we have not when we have no unions and they have lots?

    I`m not a fan of British unions and I don`t know the answer I just think it’s interesting

  22. So why it is that Germany can have a v productive work force and we have not when we have no unions and they have lots?

    If that was the case, which it isn’t (we still have lots of unions, albeit fewer than before), then that might be the answer.

    In the absence of that, it might be because German unions can see the benefit in capital investment (and have therefore engaged in a large scale not-conspiracy to depress the wages of the German manufacturing worker), whereas British unions don’t see any reason why every single penny of turnover (because they employ idiots like Murphy) should not be paid to their members (note, not the workers.)

    Or it could be one or more of the many other differences between Britain and Germany. Nothing to do with the unions at all.

  23. So why it is that Germany can have a v productive work force and we have not when we have no unions and they have lots?

    German unions are not hell-bent on bringing about socialism, having seen it first-hand in half of their own country. Instead they want to cooperate with the management. Granted, the management is probably much better in Germany too.

  24. German unions are not hell-bent on bringing about socialism, having seen it first-hand in half of their own country.

    Not to mention getting socialism good and hard in the entire country before partition.

  25. ,I daresay Worstall readers have bedrooms hung with Nazi memorabilia and duvets decorated in a jaunty Swastika

    Prick

  26. In other news, Remainers scratch their heads and wonder why they and their Project are fucking despised.

  27. Mr Ecks
    March 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    Remember the billions on computer systems then abandoned?

    I have been in the IT industry since 1975. In those days, us mainframe types got 2 glossy mags – free – each week: Computing and Computer Weekly. The job ads paid for the content, paper, delivery etc. Made up half the mag.

    Anyway, barely a week went by but some government IT project or other was ‘in trouble’, ‘failing’, over budget or just plain broken. I make that 42 of years of reading about that stuff, and nothing changing. Those outside the industry only heard about the really large (and not secret) ones.

    I even got slightly involved myself. One defence contract (can’t say what – I’d have to make it look like I killed myself) was originally sold by my company (before I joined) for £150m. When I left it was up to £330m charged, and still rising. And nowhere near operational.

  28. In the UK Unions oppose capital for efficiency. Look at the history of print or Southern rail …In Germany they so organise things as to be far more productive have more capital investment and combine this with better protection for employees. All good
    Maybe we have something learn from the neighbours we have chosen to cut ourselves off form so we can be a miserable poor Isle of Whitey ?

  29. “Maybe we have something learn from the neighbours we have chosen to cut ourselves off form so we can be a miserable poor Isle of Whitey ?”

    Such as how gas millions like the Germans, sever heads en masse like the French and run corrupt and mafia-based regimes like the Italians and Greeks?

    And once the RoP rule them they will be even bigger shitholes with a lovely dose of mid-east corruption and ignorant cult violence and vice thrown in.

    Any way NewTreasonia you aren’t white with your mug painted Union Jack. You are the scum-dregs of this country. Go join your continental buddies.

  30. If they haven’t learned in 35 years, Newmania, perhaps they never will. By the way, why do you think that this would be a great time to sort out the civil service, were it not for Brexit?

    Awaiting a tide of spliffed-up, incomprehensible and ungrammatical quasi-English nonsense in response.

  31. Tim N – reasonable chance that British management had become institutionalised to the Empire – mercantilism, so easy access to resources and markets, protection from overseas production. This would tend to diminish generationally, so the attitude’s probably in the minority by when? Mid seventies or earlier? Mid sixties? By then tho’, they’re having to deal with a political class obsessed with guaranteeing full employment due to the Russian Revolution and Weimar, probably worsened by WWII apparently demonstrating the efficiency of a command style economy, that promptly went and joined the EEC, just to repeat the error. So God only knows when the whole mess will unwind…

  32. German post-war unions were organised (by the Allies) on a per industry rather than per skill basis. So no ludicrous demarcation disputes.

    At the height of the endless strike period in the UK, most days lost were due to union v union, not union v employer.

  33. Last year my wife’s then boss (who was so good that her public sector manager bosses have since promoted to a really terrible job) decided that the value subtracted by one woman was so great that it was worth the effort to get rid of her (previous bosses hadn’t felt able, or perhaps willing, to make the effort). It took her weeks of work and a file more than two feet high demonstrating why the woman was not doing her job. An open and shut case. The woman, with union support, appealed – the appeal was dismissed. The unions are a benefit to their useless members, not to those who genuinely *work* in the public sector.

  34. Newmania reminds me of that thought experiment where an infinite number of monkeys would eventually type the full works of Shakespeare. In his case someone’s carrying out a real life experiment to find out how many monkeys are needed to type a coherent blog comment.

  35. J 77, your wife’s boss was successful in dismissing the person? Just wanting clarity and closure amidst the ambiguities

  36. Jack c, yes those endless strikes in the 1970s were about differentials, ie pay differences between trades, rather than anything big

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