How hard can it be? Now just need to think of a name.
Sherlock? Nah – been done. Ishityounot? Nah – sounds like a Micronesian beach hut. I have it – ‘The Wellduh! Foundation’.
Oh, I think I need to sit down. You mean… the public sector is a hive of cosseted fuckwits, leeches and educationally sub-normal wasters?
This is all too much to take in.
Margaret Thatcher transformed Britain. But there is one place where nothing much changed after May 1979; a lost world where strikes are commonplace and powerful trade unions still rule the roost. It’s a slice of 1970s Britain preserved in aspic, where productivity falls, pay surges and nobody gets the sack. All that’s missing are the Austin Allegros and Donny Osmond.
That place is the public sector. Review the facts: public sector productivity fell almost 4% in the 10 years after 1997, whereas private sector productivity grew 28%. Public sector pay has grown by 15% more than private sector pay. But despite that, people in the public sector aren’t happy: in fact, compared with the private sector, twice as many managers say morale is low in their workplace. Sickness rates are 50% higher and the number of days lost to strikes is 15 times higher.
Strikes? Right – down in the unions like a ton of bricks for a start. And perhaps we should redeploy those 10,000 Tasers Jacqui Bigtits ordered for plod.
There are many reasons why the public sector is underperforming. Four-fifths of public sector workers have their pay set not on the basis of individual performance but by national pay bargaining agreements.
Quite – no incentive to perform better as an induhvidual.
In much of the public sector, promotion is automatic each year and doesn’t reflect effort or ability.
Errr. What? The? Fuck?
Public sector organisations are saddled with top-heavy management and expensive pension schemes.
Yes – a cull is indeed necessary and those pension schemes need to be chucked over the side of a transpacific freight liner, in a sack full of rocks.
Perhaps the most important reason is that it is very difficult to hire or fire anyone. Almost no one is ever sacked for underperforming in the civil service. And whole teams of people who are no longer really needed remain because it is difficult to make people redundant. According to the Cabinet Office: “There were fewer than 100 compulsory redundancies between 2005 and 2008.” That means just 25 people each year out of 525,000 civil servants.
There are 6,000 in my company in the UK and I know 25 personally who were made redundant last year. Boo hoo. So how come?
In 2008 the government and the trade unions agreed a “protocol for handling surplus staff situations” under which the government will almost never force through compulsory redundancies. So people have to be bribed to leave with generous pay-offs. For example, in 2005-8 almost 300 people agreed to take early retirement from the Foreign Office with an average payout of £162,000 — on top of their generous pensions.
Do read on, though it doesn’t get any better.