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Well of course they are

Civil servants are demanding a four-day week for the same pay, it has emerged.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, the biggest union representing public sector workers, has asked for a “significant shortening” of hours with no change to their salary.

It’s a fashionable sort of thing to demand so why not try your luck?

The usual claim here is that productivity goes up with the extra day off. But as we don’t – can’t – measure bureaucrat efficiency that’s not a useful argument for them, is it?

12 thoughts on “Well of course they are”

  1. I’d be happy with a 100% reduction in hours, obviously with a 100% reduction in salary, for 95% of the civil serpents.

    The other 5% can either be happy with a 100% increase in hours and a 50% reduction in salary, or join the others.

  2. OT but but there’s great example of Trump Derangement Syndrome in the opinions of the Torygraph.
    The thesis is “What ‘Seven Days in May’ can tell us about American democracy in the age of Trump” with speculation that may call in the army to deal with protesters.
    So there’s a reference to George Wallace running as VP to Curtis Le May in the ’68 presidentials as “far right”‘. When George Wallace was of course a Democrat running as independent. And what’s the notorious incident when soldiers were called in to deal with demonstrators? That’s the Democrat mayor calling in the National Guard at Kent State, resulting in the unfortunate shootings.
    But the important point is; constitutionally, the President doesn’t get to call the army in on anyone. That’s a State competence by the Governor. He’d have to put the entire US under Martial Law or a State of Emergency & I’m sure that would take Congressional assent.
    The photo is of course Trump in clenched fist pose.
    How to make a fool of yourself in an opinion column.

  3. BiS – by this guy:

    As a documentary-maker at BBC Radio for twenty years

    Once you find out certain things about people, there’s no point in listening to anything they have to say. Because they’re certainly not listening to us.

  4. Yeah Steve. If you’re going base an opinion piece on fiction, at least choose some decent fiction. I can recall at least half a dozen well known novels that have explored this very point. The limitations of Presidential authority within the the USA. It’s usually a vital plot factor.

  5. I remember being told once when we had to reduce staff that what’s difficult is that usually every single person does at least something that is useful even if it doesn’t fill a day. So, the trick is to identify what is done that is useful and to figure out how to resign tasks so that each remaining person can be useful all day.

    With the mystery of math, if we make the assumption that generally useless bureaucrats do at least one useful thing, and if during a four day week they still managed to get it done, wouldn’t that make them more productive as we measure productivity?

  6. I can’t help but notice the demands very carefully avoid the word “work”…

    Yes, unsurprising, but still….

  7. Some bloke on't t'internet

    To be clear, this is what ONE UNION is demanding, and it’s one union with a history of demanding the unattainable. Also, they’ve got a new grande fromage who clearly needs to hit the headlines to get established.
    The rest of us are “not impressed” with them because it feeds the anti-CS rhetoric we get thrown at us.
    I can only speak for myself, but I would be happy with pay that kept up with inflation and industry peers, not having random politically motivated mandates for “60% in office” (not that people at Abbey Wood could do that as they only have enough desks for 40% of the people based there), not having politicians taking cheap shots (like leaving Post-it’s saying “pity you weren’t here” on desks), and other demotivating stuff while I’m doing my bit for national security.
    I can work better from home – the office is a noisy and to be frank “not very nice tin box”, without parking nearby.

  8. Sbot
    I can’t argue that isn’t true for your good self, but would you pace the majority of your work colleagues in the same category? Every workplace will have some lead-swingers, but my experience is that they’re a lot more common in the public sector, because there’s so little that can be done about them (and they know it).

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