For too long we have been operating in the UK a publicly funded job creation scheme, which in itself would not be such a bad thing were it not for the fact that those taking from and taking out of the public sector would appear to be entirely motivated by money. That, in public service, is fundamentally wrong.
We had last weekend the well publicised story of the former leader of South Somerset District Council leaving his post and accepting a pay off in salary, redundancy payments and pension contributions of £569,000 after 6 years service.
Yes, that’s right, you read it correctly, FIVE – HUNDRED & SIXTY NINE THOUSAND POUNDS!
My issue is that none or certainly nowhere near enough of the money that is spent on wages in the public sector goes to those that deserve it most. Nurses, Teachers, Police Officers, Fire Fighters. There are countless others I can add to that list. These are the people that should be reaping the benefit of the increase in standards that we have seen in the last 10 years in public sector pay and conditions. So why aren’t they?
The problem is that those that enter public service in these posts do so generally out of a sense of vocation, purpose and to serve others. They don’t do it first and foremost for the money, they do it for a whole host of other reasons. Therefore they tend to be at the back of the queue when it comes to being rewarded for the great work that they do. They deserve a great wage for doing great work. They don’t get it. That sucks.
I don’t buy the argument that Public Sector bodies need to pay great salaries to attract great talent at the top. If you are motivated by money ( and there is nothing wrong in that ) then by all means stay in the private sector, take your risks, take your chances and fill your boots.
If you are motivated by a desire to serve the greater good and public service ticks that box for you then by all means go run a hospital, a local council, but why on earth should you even think you should be paid more than the Prime Minister for doing so? Who is running the remuneration committees in these organisation?
Certainly don’t walk away with in excess of 1/2 million quid for voluntary redundancy when the vast majority of those in your employ are earning less than 25 times that number! That disgusts me. It smacks of greed, lining of one’s own pocket from the public purse. I know it happens, it is just not right and something needs to be done to stop it.
I would be delighted were I to be evidencing the average median hourly rate in the public sector was 30% higher than the private sector because nurses were paid so much more. That figure is so high because those at the top have their noses in the trough, and its our trough.
If the CEO of a FTSE 100 company is being paid millions that is an issue for his or hers shareholders. It is their money, not mine ( unless of course they are a bank! ) Time to redress the balance. Give the money to those that deserve it most. That is the basis of great public service.