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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Oh unions, unions, I want to support you but


When will unions make arguments that
everyone can support, a policy idea 

Working for the government is for the vast majority basically being on 'benefits plus', they offer no more to the community and economy than those who choose not to work but live on income support or disability benefit due to 'depression' a 'bad back' or other unconfirmable but at the same time undeniable 'illness'.

Changes to terms and conditions are needed; an end to paid sick pay, a reduction in paid holidays to two weeks a year, a change from final salary (or average salary) pensions to a personal pension account with a defined value.

There also needs to be some evidence. We need an independent review of public sector wages taking into account: ease of recruitment into a range of jobs in the public sector versus the private sector, job comparability with a range of private sector jobs (but taking true accountability into account – businesses go bust if manager makes a mess), job security versus the private sector, ease of retaining staff in the public sector, overall sickness and absence comparisons with the private sector, and pensions comparability. Only when this is done will there be a proper picture of how the public sector compares.

If such a review were undertaken it would clearly demonstrate that most of the Civil Service is overpaid, most but not all...

It seems that accountants in the Civil Service are underpaid compared to their private sector counterparts and so too are Nurses, who are underpaid even compared to similar grades in the Civil Service and they actually provide a service which benefits the public.

The JEP reports
FURIOUS unions are threatening industrial action after the States’ negotiating body broke off pay talks and imposed a controversial wage settlement on thousands of workers.
In a statement yesterday, Chief Minister Ian Gorst said that after nine months of negotiations, all attempts to resolve the pay dispute between the States Employment Board and the unions had been exhausted. 
And he said that the board now had no option but to impose its final offer of a 1% one-off payment this year, 1% rise and one-off payment next year, and a 4% rise in 2014 dependent on workers accepting changes to their terms and conditions. 
But in a strongly worded joint statement, seven public sector unions said that the forced public sector pay settlement had ‘severe implications for future negotiations’, and warned that they are now seeking legal advice.
Now I have no objection to 1% pay rise I do not object to for those on lower grades (1-2), but a 1% pay rise for the Bailiff is £3,600 per year or £300 per month.

Something needs to be done to flatten the pay grades for the upper echelons which are out of control.

I would like to see pay hinged at say grade 7 (whose pay would remain unchanged) with grade 1's getting a 6% rise, grade 2's getting a 5% rise and so on  with grade 13's and up getting a corresponding 6% decrease down to grade 8 getting a 1% decrease.

How is it fair to decide that one man's work is worth £1,350 per day (the Bailiff) whilst another man's work is worth just £70 per day (grade 3), why are the unions not complaining about this? In many European countries there is a rule that the highest paid worker in an organisation can get paid no more than 10 times the salary of the lowest paid worker. It is time such a rule was introduced in Jersey. Are any of our States Members going to bring such a proposition? I would imagine it would be a crowd pleaser...

Where are the unions when it comes to making demands such as these which everyone can support?