Monday, March 05, 2007


One thing which I am interested in when it comes to the debate about public sector pay increases is what the pay increase will be for workers who are providing public services, but who are employed by the private or voluntary sector - e.g. services which local authorities or PCTs have outsourced a service, or where a charity receives a grant to deliver a service which would in past times have been seen as the responsibility of the public sector.

This would be of interest particularly because one of the big changes over the past five years has been the increase in the number of people doing public sector jobs but employed in the private or voluntary sector. My guess is that these pay increases will be lower than for the public sector, but that is not based on any data, and if, as I suspect, no one is collecting this information, then they ought to be.


At 1:18 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for a major voluntary sector service provider, and we've just been told that our annual pay increase is being delayed from April until October. No news yet of how much it will be when (if) it comes, or whether it will be backdated.

(I normally wouldn't post anonymously; on this occasion, I think you'll understand why I did.)

At 6:41 pm , Anonymous Neil Foster said...

I think that's one of the 'attractions' of using the private and third sectors - they are far less unionised and are less likely to negotiate as high a wage increase than their public sector counterparts.

At 7:04 pm , Anonymous Neil Foster said...

Another factor in lower pay increases could be the way the service delivery contracts are negotiated in the first place. Only quite recently have third sector providers able to and claim their full costs. Anticipating cost of living increases, rises in NI increases and wage claims 3 years in advance is a different challenge. For some smaller providers keen to win the contract that will keep them afloat it always risks being overlooked. Interesting topic!

At 9:00 pm , Blogger Eamon O'Hearn Large said...

Having organised former civil sector workers who's work was contracted out to the private sector my firsthand experience is that workers do receive below inflation wage outcomes.

Whilst the level of unionisation is important the primary issue is the two-tier workforce represented by the difference in terms and conditions between existing (or TUPE'd) workers and those brought in to perform services on much inferior terms and conditions.

This is when the levels of unionisation or more precisely the division between members (usually the TUPE'd workers) and non-members (usually newer staff) really becomes an issue when you try to build a collective identity amongst the workers in order to help them increase their bargaining power.

Many companies in this sector are adept at playing off union members and their 'benefits' against non-members who are on inferior terms.

Its really frustrating seeing the bargaining power of workers being undermined so easily grrrr!


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