Saturday, July 23, 2011

Playing the averages

I got quite cross the other day reading an article banging on about that old canard about the average public sector worker now being better off than the average private sector employee.

I get very impatient with averages. Especially when they are the mean figure for a whole host of variables that aren't self-explanatory.

The fact that the average public sector worker is better paid is scarcely surprising and owes nothing to the efficiencies of the market and the private sector's ability to keep down labour costs. It's simple, really; the public sector has been haemorrhaging low-paid jobs for the past three decades.

Most of the front-line workers; all the school caretakers and bin men and traffic wardens and street cleaners; the swimming pool attendants and men what paint the white lines down the road: they don't work for the council any more. The municipal departments that once employed them are replaced by two or three people whose job is to manage the contracts. Less than half of my colleagues at work are actually on the council payroll.

And so it will continue. With The Big Society, The Localism Bill and wholesale cuts in public sector budgets the logical end point is for each council to have outsourced all those services that have survived "we're all in it together" leaving just a chief executive and a handful of contract managers.

And the journalists will then complain that the average council employee is paid almost as much as a hack writer on a national daily.

3 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

Yes Kev, life will only get more miserable... but this is still no reason to repeat yourself.
[bottom line, sweetie]
Sx

Is the Wiz said...

Thank you Kevin, once again you express succinctly what I can only fume about.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ta Scarls. Some day I'll master the copy & paste functions on the 'phone.

Wiz: Ta!