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The year of discontent, 2022


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11 minutes ago, oaksoft said:

So what? That's life I'm afraid. Endless growth is unsustainable. You've got a hell of a shock coming when you retire and your income halves overnight. What do you want the Scottish Government to do about that?

And how should they pay for it?

Already happened, and perhaps about to happen again…no shock, just appraisal.

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1 hour ago, oaksoft said:

Actually, it's more to do with the fact that a 10% rise in your outgoings is a smaller amount than a 10% increase in your pay.

Example:

£3k take home pay and £2k outgoings.

10% increase in outgoings is £200.

10% payrise is £300.

In act only an increase of 6.7% is needed to take care of the increase in outgoings.

The problem is that as someone above has alluded to, people are spunking every penny and racking up debt and expecting the government to step in and protect them. That is simple not sustainable or reasonable. In fact it's rank entitlement.

It's also fascinating to see that not one of those screaming for a huge pay rise has had the decency to suggest what public services should be cut to pay their rises.  That tells us everything we need to know about their true socialist credentials.

To summarise, people that don't have a grand spare every month must be spunking money and have no right to ask for fair pay for skilled work because they work in the public sector. 

I disagree. 

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10 hours ago, oaksoft said:

Actually, it's more to do with the fact that a 10% rise in your outgoings is a smaller amount than a 10% increase in your pay.

Example:

£3k take home pay and £2k outgoings.

10% increase in outgoings is £200.

10% payrise is £300.

In act only an increase of 6.7% is needed to take care of the increase in outgoings.

The problem is that as someone above has alluded to, people are spunking every penny and racking up debt and expecting the government to step in and protect them. That is simple not sustainable or reasonable. In fact it's rank entitlement.

It's also fascinating to see that not one of those screaming for a huge pay rise has had the decency to suggest what public services should be cut to pay their rises.  That tells us everything we need to know about their true socialist credentials.

Thanks for that.

Actually, you’ve taken the time to outline what I was thinking but didn’t have the time to post.

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10 hours ago, Deanburn Dave said:

Public sector wages have consistently been below inflation for 20+ years.  When inflation was low public sector workers would grumble but grudgingly accept it due to job security.    

With high inflation and the plan to cut/freeze spending for 5 years job security will disappear so add that to more work for less money and  there is a feeling that enough is enough.

STRIKE !!!!

The only way that you can increase wages for fundamentally the same tasks across the entire public sector is to significantly increase productivity. Which means 'more work' per worker (though there's still a fair amount of slack that technology and competent management could eliminate, which would focus the actual workload to what matters). 

To get higher productivity and wages, you cannot retain jobs that are no longer required. Unions can't have it both ways and opposing any form of modernisation that involves job losses (see the utterly farcical strikes to preserve rail guards a few years ago - a guy who gets extra money for pressing a button) has contributed to this outcome. 

To be fair, the public sector also contains many roles where productivity is hard to quantify or you wouldn't necessarily want to prioritise. Nurses for example - most people would rather have a comfortable excess of nursing care in a hospital, rather than the most productive minimum. That also creates resiliency to deal with something like a shan cold without trying to set the rest of the economy on fire because there's no capacity to deal with it. It's also difficult to treat ill patients or teach children at a radically more productive level than previous generations. But that is the real world brake on public sector wages rising consistently and unions just pretending that it doesn't exist is either stupid or dishonest.

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I don't know about other LAs but ours isn't going down the redundancy route yet. Over the last few years we've been mostly not filling posts where folk have left/retired. However we apparently have a £51million shortfall over the next three years. that should be fun 😂

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Take home pay of £3k?! You'd need to be earning pretty much £50k and be making no pension or student loan contributions for that.

On £30k your take home is about £2k.

Might be fine for some folk but folk with families will definitely be feeling it. Food shopping costs have gone up. Interest rates, and thus mortgages, have gone up. Rent has gone up. Fuel has gone up. Energy prices have gone up. Transport costs have gone. It all adds up, and it's going to get worse soon, and continue to get worse.

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2 hours ago, virginton said:

The only way that you can increase wages for fundamentally the same tasks across the entire public sector is to significantly increase productivity. Which means 'more work' per worker (though there's still a fair amount of slack that technology and competent management could eliminate, which would focus the actual workload to what matters). 

To get higher productivity and wages, you cannot retain jobs that are no longer required. Unions can't have it both ways and opposing any form of modernisation that involves job losses (see the utterly farcical strikes to preserve rail guards a few years ago - a guy who gets extra money for pressing a button) has contributed to this outcome. 

To be fair, the public sector also contains many roles where productivity is hard to quantify or you wouldn't necessarily want to prioritise. Nurses for example - most people would rather have a comfortable excess of nursing care in a hospital, rather than the most productive minimum. That also creates resiliency to deal with something like a shan cold without trying to set the rest of the economy on fire because there's no capacity to deal with it. It's also difficult to treat ill patients or teach children at a radically more productive level than previous generations. But that is the real world brake on public sector wages rising consistently and unions just pretending that it doesn't exist is either stupid or dishonest.

That's all assuming that the wages were in line with productivity before and have anything to do with productivity. 

Wages depend more on bargaining power than actual value and despite unions being more active in the public sector than in the private, the state is massive and has considerable bargaining power. The Unions haven't had the upper hand since the seventies. 

George Osborne was going to bring in market facing pay because of his perception that the public sector was overpaid. In the course of trying to work out how much they should cut by in each region, they found out that overall they'd have to pay the public sector more. And there have been pay freezes or below inflation rises since then. 

When i was in a civil service department, the return on investment that you had to generate to get a business plan approved was round about 60x. In the private sector it's more like 2x. Most problems in the public sector productivity aren't to do with the contribution of people but with the lack of capital investments. If you want to use the old productivity = wages fallacy, it needs to be the marginal productivity. How much people can do with what they've got. 

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Don’t ask me to quote from it, but, about a week ago I read a report (can’t remember where from) which stated that public employees had done better than private ones over the last 10 or so years in terms of remuneration when you take into account pensions and benefits.

In addition, public employees in Scotland did better than their colleagues elsewhere in the UK.

Take from that what you will?

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14 minutes ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

Don’t ask me to quote from it, but, about a week ago I read a report (can’t remember where from) which stated that public employees had done better than private ones over the last 10 or so years in terms of remuneration when you take into account pensions and benefits.

In addition, public employees in Scotland did better than their colleagues elsewhere in the UK.

Take from that what you will?

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8 minutes ago, coprolite said:

Thanks for pulling that up.

The Covid period seems to have caused the recent distortion but, maybe I should keep quiet on stats?

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In addition, public employees in Scotland did better than their colleagues elsewhere in the UK.



Not the case in my sector certainly. I'm not complaining about my wage but it's still one of the lowest across Britain in that field.
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31 minutes ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

Thanks for pulling that up.

The Covid period seems to have caused the recent distortion but, maybe I should keep quiet on stats?

Can’t help put my head up ‘to get shot at’ but do those stats include pension benefits which I’d guess are better in the Public Sector but hey??

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2 hours ago, DA Baracus said:

Take home pay of £3k?! You'd need to be earning pretty much £50k and be making no pension or student loan contributions for that.

On £30k your take home is about £2k.

Might be fine for some folk but folk with families will definitely be feeling it. Food shopping costs have gone up. Interest rates, and thus mortgages, have gone up. Rent has gone up. Fuel has gone up. Energy prices have gone up. Transport costs have gone. It all adds up, and it's going to get worse soon, and continue to get worse.

Folk with families will more often than not have a household wage rather than an individual job.  Mortgages have not gone up much at all for anyone who chose to fix theirs by the end of the summer- the alarm bells were all clanging well in advance of the Truss omnishambles. The government is not responsible for that degree of piss-poor financial planning at household level - and if anyone doesn't fancy the extra payments then the property can of course be sold and the payments recovered.

Energy costs have not gone up significantly for a large number of people, because of the cap that we're all paying for in enormous IOUs, as well as the direct bungs being handed out to every household regardless of ability to pay until the spring. It's mind-boggling that this is being treated as normal practice already. 

I certainly agree that things will probably get significantly worse soon, but there's no serious discussion of how to actually fix that. There needs to be a change in the political economy of how states operate and take tax - there also has to be serious scrutiny of the bottomless pit that we've decided to chuck money into in Ukraine. Those are decisions that require fundamental political change over the next ten years or more: they do not change the reality of what public service budgets are tomorrow or next year. 

Edited by vikingTON
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32 minutes ago, Dawson Park Boy said:

Can’t help put my head up ‘to get shot at’ but do those stats include pension benefits which I’d guess are better in the Public Sector but hey??

I'm not going to go through all the appendices to check but there are a couple of relevant points that aren't related to the composition of the figure. 

That graph shows rates of change, not absolute levels. That graph could describe a situation (although not the case in real life) where public sector wages are higher but growing less. 

So you don't need the level of pension benefits but the change to them. Public sector pensions are getting worse (no new final salary schemes. Lower fractions per year). Private sector has improved (auto enrolment). 

Public sector pensions are undoubtedly at a better level, but the direction of change is the same. 

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2 hours ago, oaksoft said:

Do you understand what "an example" means?

Do YOU understand that a good number of folks have bill that pretty much mirror income? The steady erosion of the social safety net in the UK and U.S. has left very little cushion for many who are suddenly staring up at living paycheck to paycheck as a goal. Look at so called payday lending schemes and their explosion.

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17 minutes ago, TxRover said:

Do YOU understand that a good number of folks have bill that pretty much mirror income? The steady erosion of the social safety net in the UK and U.S. has left very little cushion for many who are suddenly staring up at living paycheck to paycheck as a goal. Look at so called payday lending schemes and their explosion.

Many of these same people champion #NetZero, repeatedly called for the extension of furlough, repeat that we (i.e. including them) must stop Putin "at all costs*"?

They are getting / got what they want, but now don't want to accept the resulting impact all of the above on them personally.

It's almost as if throwing endless amounts of money onto bonfires is unsustainable.

 

 

 

*any reduction in their standard of living not included

Edited by Todd_is_God
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Had a Lithuanian boy round the house the other day to collect some widden pallets to use as firewood. He was saying that the price of wood has increased as well. Not surprising I suppose seeing as everything’s gone up but still, poor guys trying to save on energy bills by using his wood burner but the increase in wood price makes it more difficult. Terrible state of affairs, just can’t win.

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