Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Defending a few of us in the public sector

As the strike goes on out in the streets of London and across the nation I'm sat inside watching the picket from the comfort of my desk. I have a cold bottle of Doctor Pepper and a comfortable chair, there is hand sanitiser and obligatory foot rests below the desk.

I am one of those evil Public sector workers you hear about, work shy, expensive and unnecessary.

Or am I?

Strikers in Medway
I do work in the public sector, as do all of my colleagues. I do work in an office with the chair, mandatory foot rest (I find them ghastly) and hand sanitiser (if you had to use some of the keyboards after one colleague in particular you'd want it cleaned!!!) but I am not work shy, expensive and nor am I unnecessary to my division.
I agree there are parts of Government and Public sector that exist for the sake of existing and can play fast and lose with public money, I wish I could site examples but for job security purposes I cannot. But this story covers a good couple of examples.

These are the Civil servants and Public sector workers that give the rest of us a bad name.

I work in a non-necessary section of the department of Liesure and Tourism (loosely) in the form of security at a London Museum - hence the desk, comfy chair and mandatory foot rest but my wage is not exorbitant... In fact I'm on £20K P.A with not a pay rise in sight - in fact as of the Autumn statement I will only recieve a 1% increase a clear 4% below inflation so in a very real sense I am getting a pay cut for the next four, five maybe even six years. I am also being asked to put more into my pension so that's more money out of my pocket, tax credits that help my wife and I put our daughter into nursery may come under attack and my train fare is rising by 6% (though this is great compared to the 8% rise that was threatened!).

I agree, to an extent, with the strikers and had I not had REAL issues with the way our local PCS branch was run, I might have been out there with them, though I can't really afford the day's pay I would have lost!
Out there, teachers, bin men, ambulance dispatch, passport officers, security check in, council workers, countless support staff across the entire nation - people you would never think of as working in the public service, toil away for your benefit underpaid and under appreciated.

Yes there are departments (and managerial incompetence) out there which are monetary black holes but not of all of us are on the scrounge.

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