top of page

Pay Restraint - win the argument, don't have a war

It seems possible based on some of today;'s media that the Government's approach to the current industrial unrest in the UK is to wait until the unions run out of cash. I can see why they would do it - it may have an added benefit (from their perspective) of depriving the Unions of funds to donate to the Labour Party.

But it is a bit of a moral cop-out, it just ignores the arguments when there is an imaginative way forward. We all know that taxes are high at the moment and we also know that the UK has a productivity problem. So why not offer the Unions a win-win solution. Offer the lowest paid workers an inflationary pay rise and then do a deal where future pay rises are linked to targeted productivity gains, with salaries taking a share of the savings and the rest being returned to the exchequer or the relevant department? This has the benefit of the public sector becoming more efficient whilst also increasing salaries to deal with the drop over the last few decades.

Ministers need to come to the table, it cannot be right to just ignore the arguments, especially when it is they that set the framework for the Pay Review Bodies which they are now relying on as their get-out for not negotiating. It would make a change to see them trying to lead the way out?


bottom of page