Public sector pay, smart working and quality of service

Many in the public sector understandably want a rise to offset the cost of living squeeze. The government is alarmed by current levels of spending and borrowing. It offers the below inflation rises the Independent Pay Review  Boards propose, based as these are on private sector comparators. Most in the private sector are settling for rises well below current inflation.

Meanwhile productivity, output per person has at  best gone sideways and in many public sector services has fallen since lockdown. This is painfully true of the asylum/economic migrant section of the Home Office. On the railways the collapse of commuter traffic and of passenger revenue has slashed revenue per staff member needed to pay the wages.

In each case the way forward should be a something for something deal. Management should be striving to improve work processes, offering right systems, protocols, training and supervision to raise output per person which could lead to better reward.

In the case of the NHS management is talking more in public about limiting the damage strikes do than about how to end them. Within nationally agreed rises and pay scales local managements have scope to offer increments, regradings and promotions to encourage and reward good people and to attract new full time talent.

In the private sector managers and supervisors help out to keep operations turning in the event  of a strike.

 

115 Comments

  1. Mark B
    December 19, 2022

    Good morning.

    The government is alarmed by current levels of spending and borrowing.

    Yeah ! So much so it has been giving away billions.

    I the Private Sector, it is sink or swim and you all go down together. I am surprised that no one who is in a position to remember the 1970’s and 80’s and the days of ‘Red Robbo’, power outages and the ‘three day week.’

    Thinking about it, and from my post yesterday, it is almost as if history is repeating itself. Why ? Well, one possible reason is, whilst we are all occupied with heating and eating and other things in life, ‘they’ carry on in plain sight things that will, further down the line, have enormous impact on our lives – Fifteen minute cities anyone ?? Digital currency ?

    Oh Mr. Orwell, where art thou’ ?

    1. Ian B
      December 19, 2022

      @Mark B +1 You are required to keep making sacrifice on top of sacrifice as it permits the Government to tax you more, this is cover for your money they throw away without accountability or responsibility attached

      1. Berkshire Alan
        December 19, 2022

        Ian B
        “…sacrifice on top of sacrifice…”

        Certainly that is how it feels.
        Time for the State and all of its workers to realise that they have to live within OUR means, as those of us out in the real World have to.
        Gold plated Pensions schemes, full and endless sick pay, endless holidays are nice, but simply have to be self funding, and this working from home nonsense simply has to stop, especially when London wighting allowance is still being paid out in full.
        Time for all Government employees to understand and get real on the huge cost burden that is being put on the taxpayer.
        Efficiency only seems to be a goal in the private sector !

    2. Christine
      December 19, 2022

      Even poor George has been whitewashed. I caught 5 minutes of a biased TV program last night where the presenter was defending George Soros as someone good and Trump as bad. I had to turn it off before my blood boiled. The ministry of truth is alive and well!

      1. Original Richard
        December 19, 2022

        Christine :

        Which channel please?

        1. Christine
          December 20, 2022

          I don’t know. My husband had it on and I was just walking by.

  2. Cuibono
    December 19, 2022

    At the moment the Unions seem very put out because (they say) the govt. is planning to legislate to outlaw strikes. Workers will apparently lose the right to withdraw their labour.
    Pity the Unions didn’t stand up for people’s rights during the bizarre plandemic. And why were they so keen on national unity and compliance and jabs “for the good of all” then yet now they are happy to rip up the very fabric of this country?
    Not that the govt. is any better…..

    1. PeteB
      December 19, 2022

      The Unions want their people to get as much get as much as possible for doing as little as possible. C19 lockdowns were the gift that (as we see from WFH statistics) keeps on giving.

      There is another alternative to address current public sector problems. Uness the Governmnet has to supply that service move every other piece of work to the private sector. The private sector does more to manage efficiency, service delivery and staff retention.

      Witness insured healthcare in Europe, better service and better outcomes at same or lower cost.

      1. mickc
        December 19, 2022

        Manage efficiently? Really? Ever heard of Capita?

        1. PeteB
          December 19, 2022

          If they screw up then markets and investor react. Hence the Capita share price performance over recent years. What penalty is there in the Public Sector?

  3. Richard1
    December 19, 2022

    We need new no-strike contracts for eg doctors, nurses and teachers – it is shameful for any doctor, nurse or teacher to strike, jeopardising people’s health and children’s education. Perhaps we need a big hike in pay as a quid pro quo, and let’s cut a swathe through the woke managerial jobs in the NHS and elsewhere in the public sector to pay for it.

    In the case of the over-manned railways, where pay levels in many cases are already extortionate on any reasonable comparison, if they are dumb enough to follow the lead of the militant leftists who lead the unions, then let the strikes go ahead. But the consequences must of course be job cuts as the railways become less and less viable economically and relevant to people’s lives. Likewise the post, which is pretty much already an irrelevance. Well over 90% of what I receive by post is either junk or communications from financial services providers which would be much more usefully and efficiently delivered electronically.

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 19, 2022

      There is no direct punishment for breaking the Hippocratic Oath, although an arguable equivalent in modern times is medical malpractice, which carries a wide range of punishments, from legal action to civil penalties.
      Junk mail gets priority over birthday, wedding, Christmas cards. Even letter mail from medical bodies takes a back seat. Posted medication for filling prescriptions does seem to be high priority.

    2. Shirley M
      December 19, 2022

      I disagree about the post. Many older, and some younger, people are technophobes. My husband would rather drive 50 miles to see someone in person rather than use a telephone or email. Make everything electronic and you would exclude a significant proportion of the population. That’s fine if it is just booking a restaurant, but not for essentials such as bank statements, tax notices, etc.

    3. Original Richard
      December 19, 2022

      Richard1 : “But the consequences must of course be job cuts as the railways become less and less viable economically and relevant to people’s lives.”

      Unfortunately the Net Zero Strategy is designed for us to become more dependent upon public transport in order to reduce travel and decrease car ownership to reduce our 1% contribution to the global emissions of plant food.

  4. Peter
    December 19, 2022

    The trouble is working people see the government waste billions on lockdown, covid track and trace etc. Certain firms made fortunes from this.

    There is no penalty for the politicians responsible – notably the current Prime Minister.

    Meanwhile, ordinary folk are expected to carry the can.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 19, 2022

      Lockdowns, track and trace, net harm (ineffective and dangerous) vaccines doses (even for children who were at no risk of Covid), unused nightingale hospitals, HS2, eat out to help out, duff PPE from mates, an ever expanding parasitic sector, blocking the roads, net zero, importing wood to burn at Drax… endless waste everywhere you care to look.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 19, 2022

        Chaos at Heathrow baggage yesterday I understand. People waiting many hours for it to be moved to the collection areas. Not as if the do not know the planned arrivals demand. Total contempt for the paying passengers.

    2. Wanderer
      December 19, 2022

      +1.
      There’s an understandable feeling that the politicians get away with abusing their power, losing or grabbing others’ money, enriching themselves and their mates and telling everyone else they have to lump it. People are now following that ghastly example, if they have any leverage.

      1. Hope
        December 19, 2022

        LL, it is clear Snake and Hunt are on a mission to tie UK to EU and give away N.Ireland to EU so it is not possible to separate from EU. Snake and Hunt are using N.Ireland protocol to quash Brexit.

        By fully complying with EU on employment, environment, state aid, competition UK cannot forge its own way in the world or be more competitive to EU. That is the real plan. Just O’Mahoney being quoted in papers yesterday his counter part would not speak to him for three months because submarine contract changed from France to US/UK. Snake’s and Hunt’s answer give France tens of million more for deliberately failing to honour their agreement!! And I suspect to give the EU the building of our war ships in return for the upset thinking we would not notice or care u dear the guise of N.Ireland!

        1. Shirley M
          December 19, 2022

          Yes. EU before UK. In fact it feels like any country in the world (and non-Brits) comes before the UK where this government is concerned. How many more £billions cash will be given away, or trade worth £billions such as shipbuilding will they give away, and for what excuse? We’ll give them our trade instead of keeping it within the UK, AND we’ll pay reparations for the British Empire, reparations for slavery, reparations for our industrial revolution and reparations for producing 0.01% of 4% CO2. Have I missed anything?????

          1. Hope
            December 19, 2022

            Shirley,
            Yes, how about reparations to UK from Germany?

    3. Peter
      December 19, 2022

      I notice whole lines are currently closed by SW Railway (Hampton Court & Chessington for example) because of overtime bans. Closer to Waterloo, Earlsfield station is closed for a couple of weeks!

      None of this is widely publicised. Possibly because it does not look good for the government. SW Railway could not care less. They are scheduled to lose the franchise next May and they continue to get government subsidy regardless of what goes on.

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 19, 2022

        Well hopefully the new franchise owner will establish whether the ex-SWR drivers/guards went out on strike and those who did will not be employed.

    4. Lifelogic
      December 20, 2022

      Indeed Suank’s incompetence, waste, his tax to death policies, the net zero religion and his currency debasement are the main causes of the problems. Covid and Putin’s evil war are not as he and the government claim the causes. Sunak’s incompetence, the vast government waste, currency debasement, vast tax increases, net zero and the Government’s and their “experts” absurd, negligent and even dangerously criminal over reaction to Covid. Total deaths still running well above normal but significantly down for the last week available, Dec. 2. Under half with the recent rates being just under 100 excess deaths a day (have recent vaccinations fallen).

      Due most likely to a combination of delayed and/or incompetent NHS treatments and ambulances (90mins average for heart attack and stroke victims abulances), vaccine damage or Covid/long Covid. The main rise in is deaths occurring at home.

  5. Cuibono
    December 19, 2022

    The Left used to disrupt Davos.
    “Our world’s not for sale” etc.
    Now the Left including Unions have been bought off by globalists.
    Hence Union leaders happy to spout and follow the globalist agenda.
    Order out of chaos.
    The poor have not eaten the rich..the rich have swallowed them whole!

    1. Ian Wragg
      December 19, 2022

      The left are the globalist now.
      They condone mass immigration, soviet style public services ….you pretend to work and we’ll pretend to pay you.
      They all want high pay and to retain their Spanish practices.
      They run all our institutions and 12 years of faux tory rule has done nothing to address this.

      1. Sharon
        December 19, 2022

        Ian Wragg

        +1

    2. Mark B
      December 19, 2022

      +1

  6. turboterrier
    December 19, 2022

    Whatever happen to the mentality of:-
    Not having what cannot be afforded.
    Don’t get owt for nowt.
    No such thing as a free lunch.
    Granted things have changed but it is too easy not to get a job and still survive. Large swathes of the community are living on benefits doing nothing in return. Then there are those working still eligible for benefits
    Is it any wonder that there is no money in the coffers for those trying to keep a home, raise a family, one holiday a year and all the other items that binds a family together. These are the people paying in but proportionally don’t take the same out.
    This vicious circle has never really been addressed by the politicians where every attempt at change is met with fierce resistant by any number of sectors of life.
    The railway industry cannot survive without customers unless they just shut down and become freight only and that still requires staff loyalty to succeed.
    They either change or perish as a organisation and to survive they need to attract customers with excellent service. But the bosses cannot keep earning on the backs of their workers unless they are fully supporting them in providing service excellent by removing a lot of the handicaps that seem to be controlling all elements of industry are removed.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 19, 2022

      “No such thing as a free lunch” certainly is in the state sector or if you want to supply them with PPE, a diversity or sustainability job etc. and you know the right people.

    2. Ian B
      December 19, 2022

      @TT +1 in all probability in went with the responsibility of Government to manage, and believe in their own entitlement not to account or take responsibility – not duty and service

    3. a-tracy
      December 19, 2022

      A rail blogger on here 38/7 said that the private rail companies are rewarded for all this poor management and closed operations by government subsidy (all of us forced to pay them extra whilst they’re not operating). This person then claims that they are thus still making profits and paying themselves big pay and dividends for failure.

      When strikers come off strike is their lost pay is made back up for lost striking days because our local bus drivers were when they stopped working for six weeks over summer.

      If this is correct John, this is your government failing us. We do not want to reward failed private sector monopolies, everyone takes the cut and losses of these strikes in the private sector without help from government we do not expect your government to reward the controllers or the people striking for causing us such disruption. No-one is enslaved, if they can find better paid jobs with their skills they should take them, then you would have to act to stop the drain. If there were those mythical safer jobs paying ‘more’ they would have done by now.

    4. Fedupsoutherner
      December 19, 2022

      Too right Turbo. +1

  7. Lifelogic
    December 19, 2022

    Many in both the public sector and indeed the private sector want pay “rises” as the government (under Sunak as Chancellor) has so debased the currency and now people are being paid in £s worth more like 80p. As to productivity in the state sector so many produce nothing of value at all and many even do positive harm in inconveniencing the public and the private sector hugely and pushing up their costs for no good reason. Net zero perhaps the largest of these insanities.

    Plans to bring in hydrogen boilers won’t work, say MPs
    RACHEL MILLARD in the Telegraph.
    “PLANS to require that all new boilers are able to run on hydrogen within a few years are unrealistic and the gas is “not a panacea” for cutting carbon emissions, MPs have warned.”

    Not only not a “panacea” but not even remotely sensible or workable. We have no hydrogen mines anyway & it is very expensive and very energy inefficient to produce & store and produces much CO2 in this process should that concern you. Even dafter than EV cars that also generate more CO2 over their lifetime than keeping your old small diesel or petrol car going.

    1. Original Richard
      December 19, 2022

      LL :

      Adding 10% hydrogen is a waste of time for the CO2 emissions saving. Using 100% hydrogen would mean a complete replacement of the entire gas network and boilers. Hydrogen corrodes the large steel pipes, requires 3/3.5 times more pressure to produce the same amount of energy flow, requires far better leakage control because the hydrogen molecule is far smaller than the methane molecule and it is a far more dangerous gas to have around in domestic use.

      Far better to generate green methane and not have to change either our boilers or the entire distribution network. The same applies to using green methane for existing ices rather than bevs.

      But then the real purpose of Net Zero is not to reduce our 1% contribution to global CO2 emissions but to make us poorer and restrict our energy, travel and food.

  8. Cuibono
    December 19, 2022

    IMO one of the worst, most stupid things that govt. did re “Public Services” was to protect the workers from public criticism. ( “ rudeness to staff will not be tolerated “).
    Management was keen enough to to talk of “delighting customers” but legislated to protect staff and thus themselves from understandable customer frustration and justifiable anger.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 19, 2022

      Yes, I rang HMRC and held for about 30 minutes listening to various tedious messages about not being rude to staff, using the web site that was useless for what I needed anyway etc. I had no intention of being rude, it get you nowhere anyway. But then I got cut off and had to call back and wait even longer the second time. Even then I did not bother to complain as there is simply nothing to be gained from it in the state sector. What do they care about your wasted time, money or inconvenience? Once you get through the people are usually helpful & pleasant and do their best with the dire system they have to operate.

      1. Cuibono
        December 19, 2022

        +1

      2. Mark B
        December 20, 2022

        I had no intention of being rude, it get you nowhere anyway.

        I agree.

        Funny enough I too called HMRC yesterday. Yes I had to wait and rolled eyes at the message telling me not to be rude. Funny how these messages have crept in over the years IYKWIM 😉 It is as if people have to be told that the English do not like rudeness as a national characteristic.

  9. Gary Megson
    December 19, 2022

    Here we go again, a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the true cause of this country’s problems, the Conervative party

    1. Lifelogic
      December 19, 2022

      The far more socialist that Tony Blair, tax to death, currency debase and piss down the drain at every turn “Conservative” Party. That we have suffered for 12 years so far. Soon to be replaced by even worse still.

    2. mickc
      December 19, 2022

      You think Labour will be better?
      But I agree that the present Conservative party needs to be torn down…

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 19, 2022

        By all metrics the country was flying under Labour and in the European Union, compared with its abysmal standing under this shower.

        1. glen cullen
          December 19, 2022

          If we go down, well at least its our own choice

        2. Mickey Taking
          December 20, 2022

          Give us some metrics to judge how high was the flight, until crash landing!

    3. IanT
      December 19, 2022

      The problem with your argument Gary is that no one believes the other Parties would be any better.
      I’ve not heard anything from Labour (or the LibDems) that makes me think they can sort out the problems in our Public Services, in fact they might make them a great deal worse. So whilst I don’t have too much faith in the current Conservative Party, I don’t think there are obvious solutions elsewhere. Is Labour any less enthusiastic about Net Zero? Do they have a clear plan to reform the NHS? Are they going to shrink Government and lower taxes? Are they willing to renounce the EU or do we have to suffer that all over again?
      The answer on all counts is No – they don’t..

      1. Hope
        December 19, 2022

        IT,
        They are still following the EU!! They are not going to diverge. Get rid of Johnson and Truss was for a purpose not accident! 277 socialist Tory MPs currently in parliament voted for vassalage under May-who is still there!!

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        December 19, 2022

        They do indeed have a plan. Tax more to give to public services. But don’t worry it won’t be you the voter who has to pay the extra tax, it will be the fabled “rich”.

        Unfortunately when they “rich” find ways to avoid the tax then the burden will fall on all PAYE serfs.

    4. APL
      December 19, 2022

      Gary Megson: “Here we go again, a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the true cause of this country’s problems, the Conervative party.”

      You are right, and you are wrong.

      We recently had a scare with UK bond yields spiking, which led to the coup d’état and the installation of the WEF Rushi Sunak junta.

      Well, first blame where it is due. Gordon Brown forced pension funds to look for more risky sources of income. He taxed the pension funds, ( yes, they were thought at the time to be in surpless ). But the blame for that lies with Gordon Brown.

      But secondly, The Tory administration compounded the problem by forcing interest rates artificially low for the last decade.

      As a pension fund, you have some fairly well defined commitments, and can usually rely on government bonds to meet much of those commitments. However trying to squeeze 3% from a bond that yields .5% is neigh on impossible.

      For the last ten years the Tories did nothing about that, nothing at all.

  10. Anselm
    December 19, 2022

    Public employment had increased by nearly half a million people since 2019 according to the TPA. It must be a vast sprawling heap of relatively highly paid people largely out of control. Lots of working from home. Lots of “opportunities” not “taken”. At the top some very rich people who are simply not doing their job properly – visiting round, listening and seeing for themselves. Lots of important committee “work”.
    To pay for this behemoth, taxes have to go up and now the middle classes (aka journalists an influencers) are beginning to feel the pain. Also very highly paid train drivers.
    We all know this because the Daily Mail has spelled it out for some time, with details of the pay too.
    Please do something. We need a presentable Dominic Cummings urgently. Root and branch.

    1. Philip P.
      December 19, 2022

      According to its own workforce statistics, the NHS employed about 160,000 more people in May 2022 than four years earlier. This included about 5,000 more managers. Given an aging and expanding population, plus the public health crisis two years ago, this doesn’t seem to me to be an unreasonable increase. The problem seems to be much more the quality of management, as James Sunderland MP has been pointing out for a while. Perhaps Parliament should carry out a performance review of NHS managers.

      As for the strike, the government’s offer of a 4.3% pay rise, when inflation is at least 10%, was virtually an insult. If there is a clearly more deserving group of workers in the country than nurses, after what they have had to deal with in the last two years or so, I’d like to know who. Sunak’s argument that a decent pay rise for nurses would set a precedent elsewhere doesn’t seem valid. Railway staff, teachers and driving examiners aren’t there to save lives, and I would have thought the public would understand that pretty obvious difference.

  11. Donna
    December 19, 2022

    I wonder if Sunak, Gove and the rest of the Covid Lockdown enthusiasts who deliberately wrecked the economy over a virus with a fatality rate of 0.02% (original strain and far lower now that strain has been replaced by the variants), know this little rhyme:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practise to deceive

    I expect there are a lot of Pretendy-CON MPs who are now at serious risk of losing their seats who wish they’d at the very least asked a few searching questions two years ago and preferably voted against extending the Lockdown Lunacy.

  12. DOM
    December 19, 2022

    The strikes are POLITICALLY motivated. FACT

    John’s party have been pandering to Marxist unions for years and now WE pick up the cost of their stupidity and ignorance

    1. Mark B
      December 20, 2022

      They see a government that is weak and doing terribly in the polls. They are making hay while the sunshines.

  13. Nottingham Lad Himself
    December 19, 2022

    Managers in the public sector step in during strikes too.

    Anyone remember – in the days when the BBC actually employed people who did things – the BBC strike by operational staff? Well, management flocked to do their “little jobs” in their stead.

    We had management-operated cameras on the golf, where after tee-off the shot would zoom into the sky – and after finally focusing – to follow a seagull heading out to sea, singers trying to mime to a track that only the viewers and not they could hear, and so on.

    It was great, a foretaste of GB News…

    1. IanT
      December 19, 2022

      I do think that the production team at GB News could do with makeover but I suspect that they are operating on a fraction of the budget that the BBC or Sky have avaialbe. It must be galling to both the BBC & Sky to see that GB News beat them both in viewer numbers at key peak times last week – having more than twice that of Sky News. Perhaps if they were more in tune with people outside of London, they might be doing a bit better.

      It might also help if their reporters didn’t ask inane questions like “How do you feel?” of someone who has just lost a child – or shout equally stupid (and often extremely rude) questions at politicians across the street.

    2. Mickey Taking
      December 19, 2022

      I haven’t seen managers delivering mail to my door, managers are not allowed to drive trains, they have to ‘know’ the route – signals etc. Managers’ fingers dancing over keyboards aren’t suited for changing beds, emptying bedpans and taking blood pressure.

  14. Sea_Warrior
    December 19, 2022

    I’m thinking that the government should be adopting a harder line with these ‘public servants’. I would suggest that it just imposes the pay-rises offered and simultaneously announces efficiency drives, involving redundancies and better use of tech, to help pay for it. The industrial inaction would quickly stop. The Sunday Mail reported that the nurses – average pay £36K – don’t have much support from the public.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      December 19, 2022

      Sea Harriet

      See the Royal College of Nurses website for more detailed information about nurses pay, conditions, holiday, sickness pay, and overtime.

      1. Berkshire Alan
        December 19, 2022

        OOps
        Sea Warrior !

      2. Mark B
        December 20, 2022

        After 2-3 years someone on a higher band can earn between £25-40 thousand pounds and someone with 5 years can earn between £50-110 thousand pounds. They also get a milage rate of 45p / mile. Someone in the private sector can only claim 20p / mile.

        I mean, they do work hard and pay on the lower tier is not so good, but the higher you go . . . !

  15. Des
    December 19, 2022

    If the government is so alarmed by levels of spending and borrowing why are they spending billions on socialist projects? Also why was it that all of the people currently selected to rule us were the very ones that encouraged and enabled the illegal and entirely unnecessary lockdown spending sprees?
    The current disasters unfolding are 100% the fault of this government and it’s globalist masters so spare us the pretence that they are alarmed by the very process they caused.

  16. Javelin
    December 19, 2022

    The man who diluted UK money by adding 50 billion to pay for the very harmful lockdowns is now unable to fix the inflationary consequences of his actions.

    Oh And has also been given a promotion.

    1. Mark B
      December 20, 2022

      That’s the State for you.

  17. Javelin
    December 19, 2022

    The interesting thing about the BBC is they are a Government agency. Just like Pravda. Yet they have somehow managed to make themselves independent from the political process.

    This means they do not receive any meaningful feedback like commercial broadcasters do through income or politicians do through votes. Or indeed like scientists do through peer reviews or people do through legal actions.

    It is this lack of FEEDBACK that has led the BBC to become uncontrollable.

    The BBC needs to decide which kind of feedback it will put itself under.

  18. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    Good morning Sir John

    As always for the most part the answer to the situation as suggested, is the Government refuses to manage.

    We have elected a Parliament that then selects a Government to manage the UK. In that we grant powers to ‘tax’, the real and only expectation is that ‘tax’ is spent responsibly and provides tangible returns. But, time and time again the Government is just giving this money away. They sort of beggingly ask for tasks to be done, without attaching responsibility or accountability for outcomes.

  19. majorfrustration
    December 19, 2022

    You dont see many retired MPs or PMs going into the public sector.

  20. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    A pay rise is all well and good for public services if there is a matching return. It is never the amount it is the results produced.

    There are numerous problems that have grown and grown out of control by the Governments refusal to Manage.

    It is illegal to run pyramid selling operation in the UK, also called ‘Ponzi’ schemes, but the Government runs one of the Worlds Biggest. Pensions for the most part and in particular in the Public Sector are simply illegal ‘Ponzi’ schemes – it the taxpayer that is saddled with the bill. This also affects what some people define as pay, in the public sector gross pay is without pension deductions (simply there are none – someone else pays, the taxpayer) in the private sector gross pay is simply that then pensions contributions are deducted. Elsewhere the calculation is the value of the NHS Pension is the equivalent to an additional 20% in income. Wage comparisons are not done equally.

    WFH is for the most part a good idea in some categories, but with Civil Servants then getting full London Weighting extra pay for the travel inconvenience, then not travelling that is fraud, fraud by their line management for permitting it as well.

  21. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    In a similar vein the Government relying on the underpaid under manned Armed Forces, to be dragged away from other duties to fill in for the Governments Failed Management – should in itself be considered a criminal offence on Government.

  22. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    Sir John

    Your Diary contribution today in reality has the same answer as it is to every other subject recently.

    The problems are not with the Public Sector be it Civil Servants, NHS etc. The problem is Governments utter failure to manage, I would go further ‘refusal’ to manage. They give the appearance of marking time, as their ‘game’ is up and they are on their way out. It is the only explanation anyone can suggest for this neglect of duty and purpose.

    Yes we get a ‘sound-bite’, we will sometime down the line do this may-be perhaps. What we don’t get after 12 years of talk is an action, taking responsibility or any sort of accountability. We do however get attacks on soft targets for more and more tax to fill in the holes created by the inability to manage by Government.

  23. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    Interestingly, Daniel Hannan one of the few Conservatives that are still around writing in the Telegraph seems to sugest Blair had a grip on Management of the UK that we haven’t seen since

    ‘What Blair promised in the 1990s was sounder than anything Tories would dare say now’
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/12/17/what-blair-promised-1990s-sounder-anything-tories-would-dare/

    “The Conservative approach to the NHS is to sing its praises and sign its bills. Labour, by contrast, sought meaningful reform. Blair brought private providers into the system, understanding that they would lift performance.”
    “By 2008 we could have as much as 40 per cent of acute operations done in the private sector being done under the NHS banner,” he told health chiefs. That that target was not reached was largely due to what his then health secretary, John Reid, frankly called “a culture of resistance”.

    1. forthurst
      December 19, 2022

      It doesn’t sound is if Daniel Hannan or John Reid have much understanding of capacity planning.

  24. 37/6
    December 19, 2022

    I totally agree with you about railway pay and productivity (lack of) but what is extremely hard to sell in the industry is the fact that directors are getting huge productivity bonuses and the TOCs are allowed to make profits (which are then off shored)

    Until this was revealed to moderately minded workers (the vast majority) had accepted pay freezes for well over two years with a full understanding of the Covid revenue gap and had some support for the Government.

    No wonder Dempsey and Lynch have such a resonance with even Conservative voters. The Tories have a credibility gap – they only know two or three tricks… mass immigration (not even *smart* immigration), high tax, and wage depression for anyone who works with their hands while a top tier scam off the top and that includes many in the Tory party who actually hedge against the pound and make tens of millions from it.

    How can I – a person of innate conservatism – dare speak out in support of that when the Tory party itself won’t think smarter and won’t alter its working practices ?

    Off topic but an executive of the Water Services Regulation Authority warns that we will soon have water blackouts and even with those we will need an extra billion litres of water a day. A bit of a coincidence then that 10×10 million = a billion. (Mass immigration again – water usage.)

  25. 37/6
    December 19, 2022

    Until rampant Covid inflation hit us and greenist-inflation and war-against-Russia inflation had hit us too (totally avoidable btw) the mainline rail unions had not been on strike for over thirty years. They had not been on strike for 13 years of Tory government either… until chickens came home to roost.

  26. agricola
    December 19, 2022

    Sorry SJR this subject is larger and more complex than the one liners your moderation demands. If you havn’t worked out the answers, you will never appreciate receiving them. It is the electorate who ask the questions and for the politicians to provide the well managed, viable service to those via tax who are providing the means.

    1. agricola
      December 19, 2022

      Basic questions from we who pay.
      1. Why is the NHS falling apart.
      2. Why are the railways over invested , overmanned, and overpriced for a shrinking market.
      3. Why is the NIP unresolved
      4. Why is the UK filling with illegal immigrants.
      5. Why are our roads in such a crap state.
      6. Why do we not have a realistic, reliable, self sufficient energy supply.
      7. Why can’t the housing supply and mortgage affordability be solved.
      8. Why can’t covid national debt be treated like war debt.
      9. Why is water supply still an annual problem and why are we still polluting our rivers and subsequently the sea.

      These questions have been around so long that it is reasonable to ask what purpose our civil service and politicians serve.

      1. Mark B
        December 20, 2022

        Question one can be answered by question four.

        As for question five ? Well the ever growing budget for HS2 has to come from somewhere !

  27. a-tracy
    December 19, 2022

    John, its very simple. No matter how many extra perks your governments throw at people, full sick from day one of sickness insurance cover (try buying that scheme in the private sector), free counselling, discount clubs, free gym, free GP consultation, 30% enhancement to 60% they don’t count them value them or even talk about them. They only talk about the BASIC so cut all the frill and concentrate on the gown or start to cost up each tax free perk in the negotiation. Public sector gives away extra holidays like toffees, these days cost double because a replacement temp worker is needed for each place.

    When your government push up the NMW much higher than inflations 7% this year 10% next year – its all about the pay differential. Eventually people realise they are no better off, inflation escalates and more wants more.

    Are the grade of nurses the NHS are short of those degree grade nurses and above? If they are then why haven’t more training places been opened in the UK? How many UK teenagers are turned down for nurse and doctor training places each year?

  28. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    As always a lot of things get lost and distorted mainly through to Political Incompetence. In the early 19 hundreds the UK Government introduced NI(National Insurance) this was to ensure by compulsion that people had in place a system to pay for health and retirement requirements through out there life.

    That concept is still valid to day. For the most part our medical requirements should still be paid from our National Insurance which is still mandatory. But what has it really got to do with the NHS with their refusal to come into the real World? As with an item from ‘Daniel Hannan’ over the weekend the Labour Government under ‘Blair’ told health chiefs. “By 2008 we could have as much as 40 per cent of acute operations done in the private sector being done under the NHS banner,”

    If we are paying Insurance by compulsion for a service, why does the NHS which the Government has demonstrated they don’t run, cant hold accountable and they have no idea what they are doing with our money have to be the only provider. The Labour Party under Blair didn’t see it that way.

  29. JoolsB
    December 19, 2022

    Not only are nurses and Doctors in NHS England the only ones in the UK to be clobbered with £9,250 fees, not only are they the only ones in the UK who have to pay to park at the hospital they work at but Sunak this week has bragged in PMQs in answer to the SNP that the only reason the Scottish Government could afford to give NHS staff in Scotland an extra 7% on average was because of the EXTRA 1.5 billion he has given them. This compared to 3.3 billion in England with at least 10 times the population.
    Morale is low, pay is diabolical and yet newly qualified Junior Doctors working 70 hour weeks for a pittance and newly qualified nurses are paying 41% in tax. I’ve said it before why not write off their debt, like you do for 78% of the mostly useless degrees, on condition they work for the NHS for a minimum number of years.
    Barclay is out of his depth and your Government are a disgrace John.

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 20, 2022

      newly qualified nurses have £12, 750 personal allowance, then pay 20% of the balance to £37,000 the supposed stating pay. National Insurance is also 12% of their pay. How did you arrive at 41% of their pay?

  30. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    Sir John – you also have to ask why is taxpayers money being used to highlight political causes in the Public Services? The notion of ‘inclusion’, ‘diversity’ and what we roundly call WOKE are all Political Statements, primarily aimed at creating discrimination and are based on personal opinions. No taxpayer should be asked to fund discrimination, no Government should be using our money that way. That I would suggest should not be part of the ‘taxpayers’ sacrifices so as Government take our money,

  31. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    Given the promised strikes over the Christmas Period at airports why should we have concerns. Sure some people will loose out on Holidays, they will get a refund, but on the other side the Companies, Airports and Airlines etc. are all in foreign and in some instance foreign state owned. They all pay their taxes in their home countries not the UK, so the problem belongs to others

  32. Iain Moore
    December 19, 2022

    In a Marxist struggle session directed at the Fire Service the Chief Fire Officer on the radio boasted his senior officers were going off to be spend days at diversity training. Mark Doyle on GB News (ex teacher himself) explained teachers were going to diversity training to bunk off for the day . In the course of this Nurses strike a Minister explained the Government had given the Nurses a £1,500 budget for training.

    On a completely different angle , a medical check up I have to undergo , was originally no problem , drive to the hospital get checked out and drive home. Then they said Oh no, no ,no you can’t drive, so I had to organise taxis, then it was ‘Oh no, no, no, you have to be under observation for 24hours after it’, at which point it was a case of, let me sign a disclaimer and just let me get the hell out of here.

    We always had a problem of our bureaucracy gold plating rules . This has become even more toxic by importing the US culture of suing for any perceived failure , and even worse by our political classes lack of spine as they collapse into a heap of self loathing at the fist sign or trouble, and then we have the society destroying Marxist religion of diversity being imposed, which means the whole bureaucracy, that always had a problem with inertia, has pretty much ground to a halt . After the job’s worth, the risk assessment, the diversity training, they can’t fit in any time to actually deliver a service , and as that comes with a risk, much safer to not do anything meaningful.

  33. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    “Decisions on asylum by the ECHR will be respected by the government, says Oliver Dowden”
    The Government demonstrating once more the UK Parliament and its Government are not capable in making, amending and repealing UK Laws. The UK Government is refusing again to permit the UK to become a Democracy in it own right.
    The primary purpose of the ECHR is to remove all rights from citizens at birth and then only permit those rights that ‘they’ deem acceptable. This is not through any real Democratic purpose. It is simply about control of minds and acceptance of being ruled without proper freedom
    All free Democracies in the World only remove rights through the democratic process have been deemed unacceptable and of course can be changed by the same process.
    No Country that calls it self a free Democracy has ever signed up for ECHR jurisdiction. That begs the question why has the Government and the Parliament made its self subordinate to a higher power/court than them selves?

  34. formula57
    December 19, 2022

    Given <i."Many in the public sector understandably want a rise to offset the cost of living squeeze" would it not be a kindness for someone to explain to them that we have become poorer as a country since the last wage round, notably through having to pay foreigners much more for the energy we consume, and that accordingly they can expect to bear some of the burden?

    That message might be made easier to bear were the Government to show its plans to make us richer – so it might do well to get some perhaps?

  35. Bert Young
    December 19, 2022

    Efficiency everywhere is entirely dependent on initiative and incentive ; reward is directly related to result ; money does not grow on trees . The Unions seem to think that labour stoppage is the way to achieve more pay ; they are wrong ; equally management and control has to plan forward and not just run things in the same day to day fashion . Everything starts from the top down coupled with straightforward communication .

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 20, 2022

      Labour stoppage means the customer finds other ways and might not return.

  36. Bryan Harris
    December 19, 2022

    I’ve often wondered what Trade Union Leaders (TUL) do when they are not taking their members out on strike or running recruitment campaigns. In many ways they have the ideal job, with limited responsibilities and too much power when it comes to them picking a fight. We shouldn’t forget their great perks and high salaries.

    TULs by nature are left of centre, some far left, who have a grudge against the Tories and the economic system we are in – they’d prefer we followed the old USSR model. So is it any wonder that strikes are designed not just to get members better wages, but to embarrass the government and harm the nation’s economy?

    While a lot of commentators have repeated the fact that high wage increases will harm the economy and force inflation up, nobody has touched on the worst part of all of this: – If inflation goes sky high, as predicted by many as the cost of settling these strikes, then the wage increases given will mean nothing in a few months time…. and the unions will be out on strike again for more pay before the dust has even settled.

    In other words, we will get into a cycle of never ending strikes and perpetually high inflation.
    TULs surely know this! …and will use it for their own purposes.

  37. Jas
    December 19, 2022

    The ‘something for something’ ‘ – is agreed – but it should be a sufficient pay rise to compensate for the rampant inflation brought about by government mismanagement -I say this because there’s no other way of looking at it since we have ‘taken back control’ – during the campaign 2016 it was inferred, it was shouted from the rooftops, we would take back total control of our own affairs – so now we the people are totally responsible for the state this country has arrived at- agreed – but the people have government to make decisions also legislation and to govern. Notice I did not say 12 years of Tory misrule – that will be up to the people to decide.

  38. Denis Cooper
    December 19, 2022

    Off topic, I have a letter in the Irish News today, preparing the ground for Kemi Badenoch to do the necessary:

    https://www.irishnews.com/opinion/letterstotheeditor/2022/12/19/news/hard_political_reality_coming_down_the_line_for_dup-2947559/

    “Protocol needs to be amended”

    “In your editorial – ‘Progress is within our grasp’ (December 5) – you argue that the arrangements surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol are “fully capable of being amended”.

    Unfortunately, that flexibility does not extend to switching from illogical EU import controls on goods entering Northern Ireland from GB to logical UK export controls on goods leaving Northern Ireland for the Irish Republic. Why is that necessary? Because something like half of the goods crossing the open land border into the EU Single Market have actually been produced within the province, and as they have not been brought in from outside evidently they will not have been checked at a point of entry. At the start of this fiasco the Irish government expressed concern about the possibility that in the future the trickle of goods coming in from the north might include items which did not comply with EU Single Market requirements, perhaps even ‘chlorinated chicken’, and the obvious solution to that relatively minor problem has always been for the UK to be a good neighbour and institute a system of export licences to manage that flow of goods across the border.

    And as luck would have it the UK Department for International Trade already has a Export Control Joint Unit, which runs a simple online ‘Spire’ system for export licences which could easily be extended for this purpose.”

  39. The Prangwizard
    December 19, 2022

    Waste and inefficiency must be campaigned against directly too.

    Which regulators, departments, and offices carrying out useless government work should be closed down? We will get nowhere just generalising and although wishing, as helpful it can be, usually has almost no countable benefit.

  40. Original Richard
    December 19, 2022

    Our Government may like to take notice of the measures Ireland took as a result of their financial crisis. To quote the Guardian dated 26/05/2010 :

    “Ireland’s government has slashed public-sector spending by 7.5% of gross domestic product with a series of drastic cuts this year: public sector pay by 15%, child benefit by 10%, unemployment benefit by 4.1%. Another €3bn will be removed next year, a total of 10% of GDP over three years: these measures are equivalent to the British government slashing its budget not by the £6.25bn planned by George Osborne in 2010, but by an incomprehensibly gigantic £150bn.”

    1. Ian B
      December 19, 2022

      @Original Richard, how strange it is were some Governments see that everyone is asked equally to contribute, the in the UK it is a Goverment of them and us. The trolls pay, we spend

  41. Original Richard
    December 19, 2022

    The cut back of the public sector needs to start urgently with the university educational establishment who are damaging the country.

    They are living very well off the 120,000 Chinese “students” they allow to come and steal our intellectual property and from their large fees for worthless degrees.

    Students today experience not only poor and inadequate teaching, with many of the courses completely useless, but are also subjected to intolerant communist/far left ideology for 3 years and then leave with a very large debt and the inability to be able to discuss and communicate ideas, the inability to be able to think for themselves and with insufficient knowledge to know when they are being conned.

    Even the science community has been so corrupted to preserve their jobs that they do not speak out against the anti-science nonsense that is CAGW caused by life giving CO2.

    1. Mark B
      December 20, 2022

      I so agree with your first paragraph.

  42. davews
    December 19, 2022

    Sir John, you must surely be aware that that trains by SWR through your local station are being seriously affected by the so call overtime ban by RMT workers. Yesterday, Christmas Eve, and January 27 there are NO trains at all on the Reading to Waterloo line and a severely limited service on other days right through to the new year. Other train companies are running a much more normal service but for some reason SWR have decided to take the draconian approach. Can you please address the house and ask why SWR are offering such a poor service to its customers compared with other companies in the South East?

    1. Peter
      December 19, 2022

      Davews,

      SW Railway don’t care.

      They still continue to collect a government subsidy regardless of the level of service.

      They are scheduled to lose the franchise in May due to poor service.

      So basically they are already on gardening leave.

  43. Mickey Taking
    December 19, 2022

    We heard from a friend today that her grand-daughter at Birmingham Uni, with lots more, were allowed to leave late afternoon one day last week to return home. They could catch trains about 5pm to avoid the next day strike.
    What a thoughtful action by the management ! 5 star!

  44. glen cullen
    December 19, 2022

    There was once a mantra across the civil service, QCD
    Quality – Cost – Delivery

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 20, 2022

      That has to be a joke, surely?

  45. Roy Grainger
    December 19, 2022

    I don’t blame anyone for asking for a pay rise in line with inflation but in the public sector it’s simply not affordable as they will find even when Labour are in power.

  46. Alex
    December 19, 2022

    Listening to the debate in the House this afternoon about cross channel immigration with the Home secretary describing them as criminals and then with bizarre contributions from Bill Cash and J R-M – as a foreigner I have to say that you guys are on the road to nowhere if you continue with this kind of stinking thinking.

  47. glen cullen
    December 19, 2022

    Rwanda is a distraction, we should be sending them back to France

    1. Mark B
      December 20, 2022

      Rwanda is a con. For every illegal we send them, they send us an ‘asylum seeker’ in return. One-for-one.

  48. Ian B
    December 19, 2022

    Sir John, It is becoming increasingly clear while the Government expects everyone outside of the State to make sacrifices, go without and cut back on life styles so that they can take more and more in tax. What the Government is not prepared to do is ask State workers for the same, they will not ask for responsibility and accountability for all the addition taxpayer money thrown at them. What the Government is not prepared to do is Manage – they don’t care, they haven’t long left in office

  49. james
    December 19, 2022

    Regarding the high court ruling today about the immigrants – I am reminded that the two Home Secretary’s Braverman and her predecessor Patel, immigrants both, they now seem to be interested only in pulling the ladder up.

  50. Mark
    December 19, 2022

    Today I read that two teachers have been banned from teaching, because they taught their pupils how to pass an exam.

    Also, the Oil and Gas Authority has been fining companies for producing too much oil and gas.

    We are living in an asylum.

    1. glen cullen
      December 19, 2022

      BEIS Secretary the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP confirmed this week at committee that the governments commitment to producing 40GW of power generated by wind-turbine 2030 is still achievable …its pantomime season folks

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 20, 2022

        ‘Oh no you won’t ‘
        Look behind you, Grant !

    2. Mark B
      December 20, 2022

      It is like we are living in the old days of the EU and wine lakes and butter mountains. Caught too many fish ? Throw them back while people in other parts of the world starve.

  51. XY
    December 19, 2022

    Increments regradings and promotions?

    That’s just sleight of hand to pay the same people more for doing the same job, increasing staff costs and fueling more demands for cash from the NHS.

    That useless service is costing us half of the GDP of the 5th richest nation in the world.

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