Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Cameron on public sector pay

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As part of an attempt to portray his party as a ‘radical’ party, ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron is looking at linking the pay of public sector executives to the pay levels of the lowest paid in the organisation: pay at the top should be no more than twenty times pay at the bottom, as part of an initiative on ‘fair pay’.

Two points, really:

1. there is no private sector ‘authority’ for doing this, as Cameron’s article appears to claim: there may well be ‘some’ private companies that operate similar practices but let’s not kid ourselves that the private sector is setting a lead here: it isn’t. We can all cite one or two, but I’d challenge Cameron to use two hands to count the numbers of private sector companies that actually use such multiples.

2. pay levels are actually more compressed in the public sector: the lowest paid tend to be paid higher than their counterparts in the private sector; the private sector pays better for those with higher education and degrees. So, the differential between high pay and low pay is much less in the public sector than it is in the private sector, where the need to tackle unfair pay is, therefore, much greater.

Is that a vote for a high pay commission then, Dave?

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Written by Calvin

09/04/2010 at 11:11 am

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