Responding to the report published today by Policy Exchange arguing for reform of the public sector pay and pensions frameworks, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest UK teachers’ union, said:
“This report appears to be another example of supporters of the Coalition Government seeking to rally support for localised pay in the face of a dearth of evidence to back up the Coalition’s proposals for the abolition of national pay frameworks for public services.
“This report is based on anecdotal evidence. There are no hard facts to substantiate its claims about public sector pay or public sector employees.
“Recommending that pay progression be frozen and a system of performance-related pay be introduced in the short term not only demonstrates a complete ignorance of the pay systems currently in place, but also demonstrates a high degree of contempt for hard-working public servants who are already experiencing an imposed four-year pay freeze, higher pension contributions and spiralling job losses.
“The report carries on the tradition of this Government and its supporters in attempting to shift the blame for the current economic crisis onto hard-working public servants.
“Claims that ‘inflated’ public sector pay and pensions are hampering job creation and financial growth are, quite frankly, ludicrous. It is the flawed economic policies of this Government which have left millions of people unemployed and unable to find work.
“There is no evidence that national pay frameworks are undermining standards or are deterring high-quality public service workers from joining or remaining in their professions, quite the reverse. What the report conveniently ignores is that national pay frameworks are not just a feature of public services; many private sector companies also use them because they are cost effective and aid recruitment and retention.
“Rather than finding more and more ways of attacking and penalising public service workers, time and energy should be spent on pressing the Coalition to clear up the economic mess.”
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