Hmm

As the FT notes the real explanation is falling incomes.

OK, UK incomes are down from 2007/8.

More than that though, it has imposed specific costs. Nurses, teachers, the police, and so many other key workers people depend upon and value have said that austerity and their consequent penal pay awards has gone far enough and they can take no more. And people agree with them: these key workers are very obviously only saying what is reasonable and justifiable.

Hmm, I wonder. If all of our incomes have fallen then shouldn’t theirs too?

15 comments on “Hmm

  1. But here’s the thing on public sector pay. We are ALWAYS told how far the poor public sector has fallen behind in pay since 2010. But if we look at where they were in 2011, we find from a report by Policy Exchange from that year…..

    “The six million state employees have increased their advantage over workers in the private sector since the start of the recession.

    In every region of Britain, except Yorkshire, the gap in pay between public and private employees widened between 2008 and 2010, with the largest gulf in Wales and the North West,….

    When calculated on an hourly basis, the typical state employee earns up to 35 per cent more than his counterpart in the private sector, the report finds. But when the more generous pensions for state employees are taken into account, the advantage rises to 43 per cent.

    The researchers said that, on current rates, public sector pay would need to be frozen until 2018 before workers in private companies would catch up.”

    So, not so much poor public sector as not-as-well-off-as-they-were public sector.

  2. It’s like those facile ‘multiples of salaries needed to buy a house” comparisons with 30 years ago.

    Without taking the comparative interest rates into account it tells you nothing.

  3. I seem to recall that when the shit hit the fan back in 2008, private sector employees agreed to reduced hours and wage cuts to keep everyone in work. I can’t remember the public sector volunteering much of anything.

  4. Who are these people who agree with them?

    Similarly, we depend on some of them because the state had decided to take out our ability to choose or provide the services ourselves.

  5. @monoi: quite. The State crowds out some sectors and regulates out of existence others then points to the (now) lack of alternatives to itself as an argument for why it can never be removed or cut back.

  6. Don’t we have a labour market?

    With unemployment below 5%, surely if public sector overall terms & conditions were so much worse than in the private sector, we would see an exodus from public to private employment.

    Until we do, which as yet it seems we don’t. then there is no argument to put up public sector pay. If you choose your employer knowing your pay is decided by politicians, then this is going to happen sometimes. Choose more wisely.

  7. “With unemployment below 5%, surely if public sector overall terms & conditions were so much worse than in the private sector, we would see an exodus from public to private employment.”

    There are double the number of suitable applicants to nursing courses than the number of places. Nurses aren’t fucking off abroad or rushing away to the private sector.

  8. > we would see an exodus from public to private employment

    It appears to be happening in education. I know several teachers who have gone from the state sector to the private sector; or into other professions entirely.

    I understand that the state sector actually pays slightly better than the private sector (especially once pensions are taken into account); but the work is more enjoyable in the private sector.

  9. Andrew M

    I’m sure you are right – some will be moving (likely the better ones) but haven’t they always?

    I do think that good teachers are worth their weight in gold. It seems to be quite hard to pay classroom teachers according to their worth, without them having to take on ‘managerial’ responsibilities such as Department Head etc. Progression takes them, at some point, out of the classroom which neither they nor we want to happen.

    Still, with collective bargaining, all too often you can only pay good teachers more money by also raising the remuneration for bad teachers.

  10. @ Jack Hughes
    ” some will be moving (likely the better ones) but haven’t they always?”
    “Still, with collective bargaining, all too often you can only pay good teachers more money by also raising the remuneration for bad teachers.”
    There are two reasons why the better ones move – and you have explained the second: the private schools can pay the good teachers better than the NUT-imposed rates. The first reason is that kids in private schools are there because they want to learn (or, at leasst, their parents want them to) and those teachers who have a vocation are able to carry it out.

  11. Jack/John,

    It’s the total work/pay package that counts, not just pay. Private schools don’t pay more (they often pay less), they just have better working conditions. The ability to kick out disruptive pupils is part of that; having a supportive management who aren’t hamstrung by union rules and government edicts is the other part.

  12. “austerity and their consequent penal pay awards has gone far enough”

    As long as the deficit is like it is and we’re spending more in interest on state debts than we are on defence, then actually “austerity” hasn’t gone anywhere near far enough.

    When will these people (or anyone, actually) understand that living within your means is a fundamental duty of honourable and responsible people, not something dreamed up out of pure badness by the “evil tories”.

  13. The complaints about pay rises never include things like scale points. If you look at teachers they start on £25k but they get rises to about £32k over the first few years, providing they reach the standards required, which pretty much amounts to “not being dead”

  14. ” If all of our incomes have fallen then shouldn’t theirs too”
    No. Only an indoctrinated socialist would say so.

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