5/8/11, "Public sector pay soaring 'out of control'," UK Telegraph, Tim Ross
"Public sector workers receive almost 40% more in pay and pensions than their counterparts in private companies, as state wages spiral “hugely out of control”, a report has found."
"Government employees have increased their advantage over workers in the private sector since the start of the recession, with higher pay rises, more generous pensions and better holiday deals.
In every region of the UK except Yorkshire, the gap in pay between public and private employees widened between 2008 and 2010, with the largest gulf in Wales and the North-West, according to the study from the
- think-tank, Policy Exchange....
Union leaders said the study should be taken with a “huge barrel of salt”, arguing that the culture of big city bonuses was returning while council staff face job cuts.
But the researchers warned that, on current rates, public sector pay would need to be frozen until 2018
- before state workers in private companies would catch up.
The study called for an end to national pay bargaining from unions and urged the government to allow more flexibility to reward key workers such as accident and emergency staff in parts of the country facing shortages.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, is attempting to restrain public sector pay with a two-year, nationwide freeze and moves
- to reform pensions for state workers.
Based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, the Policy Exchange study found that public sector workers received significantly higher pay than those in private firms
- for doing exactly the same work.
A publicly employed sports and leisure assistant received a typical pay rise of 13.5%, taking them to £10,442 a year last year.
Someone doing the same job in a private company, however, received a 12.2% pay cut, leaving them on £10,280, the report said.
Primary school teachers in state education typically earned £33,140 after banking a pay rise of 2.1%, compared with a 12% pay cut for the same job in a private school, where the average salary
- was £21,159 in 2010.
When calculated on an hourly basis, the typical state employee earns up to one-third more than his counterpart in the private sector....
Even on a conservative estimate, the gap between private and public sector pay has doubled since the start of the recession two years ago, the report found.
The lowest estimates, which take account of the higher qualifications and older workers in the public sector, put the gap at 8.8 per cent.
But when the more generous pensions for state employees are taken into account, the public sector pay advantage rises to 43%, suggesting that an average public sector worker earns almost half as much again as someone doing the same job in a private company.
However, during the same two-year period, many in private sector jobs suffered pay cuts, particularly those on lower incomes.
Neil O'Brien, the director of Policy Exchange, said it was unfair that private sector workers, who are generally more productive and less well rewarded,
- should “make all the sacrifices”.
“Public sector pay has got hugely out of control,” he said. “We need a much better-balanced system of public pay, with organisations like the NHS and schools given greater freedom to vary pay so they can attract staff but also get
- value for the taxpayer.”...
The bottom 30% of private employees suffered “dramatic” real-terms pay cuts.
Unions dismissed the study as an attempt by a right-wing think-tank to “stir up divisions” between public and private sector workers.
Dave Prentis, leader of the Unison union, said: “This a crude attempt to drive a wedge between the nation's workforce and provoke a race to the bottom on pay and conditions.
“The data used is out of date and does not reflect the true picture and it does not compare like with like. It should be taken with a huge barrel of salt.”
Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said both public and private sector employees were having “a terrible time”."...
via Free Republic