Public sector pay reform 'absolute disaster for Wales'
Published: 21st Mar 2012 07:01:17
The chancellor has been urged not to introduce regional pay in the public sector as he prepares to deliver his Budget.
A union representing public sector staff said it would be an "absolute disaster", depriving the Welsh economy of more than £1bn.
The UK government is examining how public sector pay can be brought into line with the private sector.
But critics say it would mean a pay cut for people in poorer parts of the UK.
Last autumn, Chancellor George Osborne asked independent pay review bodies to report in the summer on whether the public sector could be "made more responsive to local labour markets".
But the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which has members working for the UK and devolved governments, said the proposal would hit Wales particularly hard.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Wales has the biggest public-private pay gap in the UK.
Women in Wales can earn an extra 18.5% and men an extra 18% in the public sector than they could expect to make working for private companies, the think tank has said.
PCS senior national officer Jeff Evans said: "What these figures demonstrate is that regional pay would also be an absolute disaster for the Welsh economy."
The gap could be only be closed by holding down public employees' pay while wages in the private sector rise in line with inflation, he added.
"The real impact on the Welsh economy would be even greater, however, since the reduced spending power of public sector workers would translate into reduced revenues and wages in private sector businesses that currently benefit from that spending," he added.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has described the proposal as "ludicrous" and as "code for cutting pay in Wales".
New Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood on Tuesday night invited him and other Welsh party leaders to unite in opposition to the proposal.
Treasury officials say it would ensure the UK has a responsive, modern labour force.
They see the move as "pro-growth", saying it would help make the private sector become more competitive.
At 17:05:48 in SportLeicester City manager Nigel Pearson insists he is not worried about his unresolved contract situation.
At 16:55:25 in SportHead coach Garry Monk says he will not consider his own future until Swansea City secure Premier League survival.
At 16:52:24 in EnglandA father whose son's life "ended abruptly" at Hillsborough had his dreams cut short through the "failures of others", an inquest was told.
At 16:52:17 in SportFormer Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing believes the entire city would be lifted if the Reds end their 24-year wait to win the league title.
At 16:51:11 in BusinessThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants minimum age restrictions and health warnings on e-cigarettes.
At 16:48:47 in HeadlinesJust two months ago the message on Syria was very simple.
At 16:44:30 in Northern IrelandA nurse in the Republic of Ireland who admitted taping a patient's mouth to keep him quiet has been given the Probation Act.
At 16:44:14 in ScotlandScottish retailer Scotmid has warned it does not anticipate "a meaningful retail upturn" this year after reporting a slump in operating profits.
At 16:38:29 in ScotlandPolice have appealed for witnesses after a man was assaulted in the Cowgate area of Edinburgh on Easter Monday.
At 16:37:22 in WalesA boy accused of raping a fellow pupil at a north Wales primary school has told a jury the alleged attack never happened.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Public sector pay reform 'absolute disaster for Wales' [Online] (Updated 21st Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1417705/Public-sector-pay-reform-absolute-disaster-for-Wales [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
A boy accused of raping a fellow pupil at a north Wales primary school has told a jury the alleged attack never happened.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
A father whose son's life "ended abruptly" at Hillsborough had his dreams cut short through the "failures of others", an inquest was told.
An orchestral work by the Pet Shop Boys about the life of wartime codebreaker Alan Turing is to have its world premiere at this year's BBC Proms.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson insists he is not worried about his unresolved contract situation.
Scottish retailer Scotmid has warned it does not anticipate "a meaningful retail upturn" this year after reporting a slump in operating profits.