Posted by: jugglinbob | December 10, 2013

11% Rise for MPs. 0% for Public Sector Workers…

OK.  Now I’m angry.  Again

This time it’s personal, or indeed, perhaps personnel…

I am a hospital based health practitioner, and my real pay has been cut over the last few years with the current government’s austerity measures.  Although I would obviously prefer that my spending power wasn’t reduced, as I like nice things as much as the next man, but I understand that in order to get our economy back on to some sort of track cuts need to be made.

The government sets the pay scales for the NHS workers, and we haven’t had a pay rise since 2010 (2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-14), and even our paltry 1% rise that was agreed for 2013-2014 is now under threat as:

The Department of Health said the increase was unaffordable alongside the current system which sees many staff automatically receive incremental annual rises

And

“This government has introduced public sector pay restraint up until 2015-16, which has played an important role in consolidation.

“However, the next government will need to continue to reform and take tough decisions on public sector pay and workforce beyond 2015-16.”

A 1% pay rise after 4 years?

And that is under threat because it is “unaffordable”?

Yes, some people get yearly increments, which reward their increasing knowledge and skills in the areas in which they work, but I do not.  I do not receive any increments as I am at the top of my scale.  In order to gain a promotion I would have to move away from clinical practice – the next grade up is a managerial role.  I had an office job when I was 18 and hated it, which is why I swapped careers.  I do not want an office job, and nor is it something that I’m that good at.  I am an expert, experienced clinical practitioner, with 17 years hands on experience.  It took me several years after qualifying to obtain the same the same wage as I earned at 18, but that’s OK; I enjoy my job and it can be rewarding in other non-financial ways – giving something back to society, helping people, saving lives… you know – just the little things!

I’m not doing this job for the money, but yet I still expect to be respected with a living wage.

Having said that though, I want this country to be able to regain fiscal balance.  So I can accept that my wage needed to drop in real terms, after inflation is taken into account, by more than 10% , so that the £100 that I earned in 2010 only has the spending power of £89.76 today, if “we are all in this together”.

Yet the recommendation from the  independent parliamentary standards authority is that MP’s should receive an 11% pay rise this year – way above last year’s inflation rate of 2.8%.

Yes, certain ministers have publically disagreed with this rise, but to pay for the increase the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is

“imposing greater pension contributions on MPs and clearing up discrepancies in the expenses system. A Whitehall source said the “across the board” reform would not cost taxpayers more.

Which indicates that this this rise is somehow owed as expenses issues are sorted out.  The expenses scandals in the UK are still playing out, but these were never supposed to be part of the actual pay, and so to increase the pay whilst “clearing up discrepancies in the expenses system” shows that the money that MPs in effect stole from the UK tax payer is going to be allocated to them lawfully…

MPs and NHS workers are both public sector workers, that is the part of an economy that consists of state-owned institutions, including nationalized industries and services provided by local authorities.  If one part of the public sector’s pay is going to be frozen because a rise is “unaffordable”, then this should be across the board.  I understand that there are more than 1.3 million people working in the NHS  and only 650 MPs  so the maths shows that an 11% increase in salaries for this much smaller number result s in an increase magnitudes lower than that for the public sector as a whole, but it is the principle that counts.

As a team leader, I always make sure that that my “people” are looked after before I am – I do my utmost to make sure that they have rest breaks before I do, that they finish work before  I do, and that they get their share of any perks before I do.  Is it too much to ask that I should expect the same of the government – my ultimate manager?

Sorry for my incoherence with this post.  But I’m angry and in full rant mode…

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