Saturday 19 May 2012

Public sector 'workers'?

It has long been accepted that most public sector workers receive far superior pensions to most private sector workers. It is also no longer the case that the pension makes up for inferior wages, Gordon Brown and Ed Balls massive and reckless increase in public spending (disingenuously described as 'investment') went largely into the pockets of public sector workers. In addition recent figures revealed that the average public sector worker takes 12 days off sick every year and that civil servants, teachers and other public workers are absent for 20 per cent more days than employees in the private sector; all at a total cost to the taxpayer of £9billion.

Today I read in The Telegraph that'Civil  servants are being permitted to take up to three extra days’ holiday a month if they work more than 36 hours a week under controversial “flexitime” contracts.'

The Telegraph article reveals how parts of the public sector are in a completely different world to the majority of the private sector:
'A growing number of officials are understood to be working nine-day fortnights by cutting short their lunch breaks and extending normal hours by staying in their offices until 6pm. Civil servants are also allowed to count delays in arriving for work because of late trains or traffic congestion towards their contracted working week.'
The majority of the private sector workers that I know usually work through part or all of their lunch breaks and for most leaving on the dot of 5:30pm is but an idle dream.

For too long the public sector has been indulged, mollycoddled and indeed cosseted. It's time that the public sector had to face the reality that the public purse is not bottomless and that they will have to tighten their belts in the same way that the private sector has had to do. Of course the trade unions, their political wing (the Labour party) and their propaganda arm (the BBC) will plead the case of the public sector workers as they have done for so long, they must be argued against- Labour almost bankrupted this country, now the medicine must be administered.


DerekP said...

"extending normal hours by staying in their offices until 6pm..." [but not answering the phone after 4.45pm, and being paid for playing on the internet while avoiding the frustration of rush hour congestion.]

There, fixed!

Thought the telegraph missed the rather obvious point that public sector workers could come in earlier (to make up for late trains and miss morning traffic congestion), but then that would mean they would be in the office when members of the public might contact them!

The Rev said...

I would advise anyone reading this extraordinary piece of propaganda in the Failygraph to also read the comments section on the website. Here you will learn that this "perk" has actually existed since 1973. Scarcely a current news item! Why haS this suddenly become "controversial" after 40 years?
The article has been so phrased as to give the impression that we Civil Servants are being given three free days off a month. Hardly.
All flexitime means is that we can take up to three "flexi" days a month off if we have worked that extra time over and above our contracted hours. What on earth is wrong with that? If you worked overtime would you not expect either to be paid for it or given time off in lieu?

It is one of the few remaining privileges in a Civil Service which is completely unrecognisable from the tea-swilling days of the past. Our call centres operate until 8pm each evening not 5.30 and are extremely pressured environments in which to work. And anyone taking more than 8 days sick a leave in my department would likely be disciplined. Notch that up to 12 and you have a good chance of being out of the door.

I wouldnt mind following a Failygraph journalist around for a day to find out how stressful his job truly is...

Not a sheep said...

The Rev: You still don't get it do you? Try working in the private sector with attitudes like yours... A blogpost will contain my full response.