Seasons Greetings bloggers,
Before you think I’ve gone all mawkish and full of Seasonal sentimentality with this week’s blog post heading…think again.
Nor am I referring to the recent meteorological blizzard conditions we’ve experienced across the country – rather I’m referring to the state of public sector finances and workers’ pay – frozen and in a state of hibernation.
The Local Government Employers are currently busy conducting a round of regional pay briefings and consultation with elected members and HR bods to gauge what if anything should be the pay offer for next year. For my part the mood in the camp makes Ebenezer Scrooge look playful as we contemplate a further year of pay freeze, or other frugal measures like slashing terms and conditions of employment. Is Santa Claus coming to town, or are we about to make a change to our employment clause?
As the Hutton interim report (December 2010) on public sector pay notes,’…the public sector is walking a fine line’ i.e. between offering good value to our residents whilst not risking a haemorrhage of talent out of our sector – Hutton warns that without proper checks and balances in place the public sector is at risk of becoming a second class sector within the UK economy.
I’ve no doubt the public sector will resemble Santa on a post-festive season diet as we tighten our belts for 2011. My note of hope is that we see steady economic growth in 2011, stimulation of jobs in small and medium enterprise (SME) and displaced colleagues finding employment there.