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Those poor public sector buggers with their low pay

So, public sector pay has been lagging private this recent past.

What is apparent is that the Covid crisis created a disconnect between public and private sector pay that it is clear that this government is determined to maintain.

Well, you know, sorta and maybe. Let’s start at the beginning of the cycle shall we? 1997, when the One Eyed Viking started spraying our money up against the wall. From the same sources, ONS and ASHE:

Using median, just because we should use something. Public sector was £275.1, private £268.7.

Today public is £595.3, private £517.5.

Note that we can ignore how public sector jobs cover a different mix of the workforce – that mix hasn’t changed in the past 25 years. So, even if the preponderance of – just as an example – highly trained doctors means the public sector should be paid more we can indeed ignore that. For the claim here is that while the jobs mix hasn’t changed, the pay differential, public to private, has fallen.

It’s also possible to point out that the changes will be larger than wages as recorded here. There were still some private sector defined benefit pensions back in the 1990s, there aren’t now. But the public sector still has them – increasing public compensation with respect to private over this period. But let’s ignore that too.

In 1997 public sector median pay was 102% of private sector pay. In 2022 public sector pay is 115.0% of private sector pay.

What fucking decline in the pay differential?

Just for completeness’ sake the public/private median in 2010 was £446.1 to £385.0. Or 115.8%.

The public/private pay differential today is higher than it was in 1997 and fractionally lower than it was in 2010. We could, in fact, solve this thing being complained about by giving the public sector a 0.8% pay rise. Which would be fun to do, obviously.

But the people complaining here are fucking lying, aren’t they? Or, of course, – and this is a possibility that always needs to be considered – they’re just fucking ignorant.

17 thoughts on “Those poor public sector buggers with their low pay”

  1. My brother in law works in the public sector. Got 6 months paid sick leave for stress. In my firm it goes to SSP after 10 days.

  2. Plus pensions of course. And the millions of non-jobs & skivers. As anyone with friends or relatives in the public sector knows, it supports a colossal number who do almost nothing.

    And these parasites also damage their colleague’s productivity. I have a relative who has always worked hard at her local council job, but is now coasting (but still doing her job, which is more than others can say) because she’s sick of all the arseholes taking the piss.

  3. I don’t know if the current industrial action has yet spread to the Equality and Human Rights Commission for example but I do recall in the 2000s they threatened to go on strike but backed down when confronted with the stark realization that in a functional economy the entire department could have been dismissed without compensation and the only impact would have been on sellers of expensive booze and entertainment venues coping with the demand from any private sector firm unfortunate enough to have come into contact with them.

    There’s a lot more departments of that ilk with the whole AGW/ Climate Change scam and the profusion of woke nonsense. It’s estimated what UKIP called ‘the bonfire of the inanities’ under Brown (The dismissal of all non productive public sector jobs) would probably encompass around 4 million public sector employees now.

  4. It’s easy to tell if you’re in a public or private sector business with your eyes shut – there’s no sense of urgency or interest in what’s needed in the public sector. Just visit a council office – time stands still, except around the coffee machines. Much chat, not about work of course, but almost zero productive work being done.
    And these mainly idle and already overpaid lumps want more? F.O!

  5. Comparing private and public sector pay is not comparing the same thing.
    The pension in public sector is much better.
    Private schools were told by the Government that they had to increase their pension contributions by 44% – so I guess 5% of pay.

  6. But the people complaining here are fucking lying, aren’t they? Or, of course, – and this is a possibility that always needs to be considered – they’re just fucking ignorant.

    Yes, they’re lying. There’s no way in a million years that the FT can publish a chart of annual increases and mistake it for absolute values. Or publish an entire article about the public/private pay differential without, as you did, mentioning what it is.

    They’re hoping (and doing their level best to ensure) that the public are ignorant.

  7. @ Sam Duncan

    “There’s no way in a million years that the FT can publish a chart of annual increases and mistake it for absolute values.”

    The chart was lifted from the FT by Spud and the comments quoted are by him.

  8. Ah, well then. (I should have seen the RonR tag, but I wish Tim would post links.) Yeah, he’s an idiot. But he’s still hoping everyone else is too.

  9. I think the FT chart is annual growth in percentage terms. Looking at the chart, it is easy to see how the public sector pay was able to catch up. Which is the point, I believe, that Tim was making.

    A example of taking a perfectly good chart and then misrepresenting it to make a bogus point.

  10. The important thing to remember when looking t this sort of graph is that although historic differences can be put down to routine fluctuations about a trend, recent differences are *always* evidence of a radical departure from that historic trend.

    It’s almost impossible to find an example of a graph where the last year’s results are anything other than exceptional.

  11. These morons don’t understand multiplication – or they do and they just plain lie. Ten years of +10% vs +5% puts you huuuuugely ahead even after years of swapping to +5% vs +10%. Just like the screaming harpies going on about “20% increase in ten years!!!!!” Yeah, so 1.8% per year.

  12. Rarely mentioned is that every penny given to those parasites has been taken by force from someone else.

    At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.

  13. A single data point is that I nearly doubled my salary (better t&Cs, worse pension) going from public to private sector.

    A big difference being that in Government service I got paid for turning up, and going above and beyond – me, or my team members- got a teeny tiny nudge above the ‘not quite sacked for incompetence’ mob and no more. Incompetence was tolerated because it was too much effort to deal with, ability couldn’t be rewarded because… reasons.

    Private sector, I have to be picked for jobs and demonstrate ‘we will pay a premium to get Mr
    Lynch on the team because he’s worth it”, otherwise I’m booking to the ‘nobody likes me’ code while explaining why I should still be employed… but I’m good / lucky enough not to have a problem with that.

    There are some very good, determined people in the public sector, like my customer I was working with in Warminster yesterday. But, they are staying against a system that rewards mediocrity and ignores commitment and effort.

  14. if you don’t include pensions when comparing public to private sector wages then (a) you’re not being serious and (b) you’re a grade A bona fide wanker.

  15. Saw a Private Phsyio on Thursday, I’d hardly sat down before called in

    NHS in past it was waiting room for 15 to 50 minutes

    Also, Private Phsyio will email me and GP with diagnosis, treatment, medication recomendations. Diagnosis was what I’d diagnosed myself without using google

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