You’ve spent your working life loyally in the service of an ungrateful public, working long hours often for a pittance; you’ve endured public anger, ridicule, sometimes violence; you have been the subject of many a tabloid editors prejudices, and been compared unfavourably with the dynamic, forward-thinking private sector. But despite these hardships, you ploughed on, cushioned by the knowledge that at the age of sixty-five or less, you could put your feet up and enjoy your index-linked final salary pension.
Unlike your private sector neighbour, you won’t have to continue working to keep up with the demands of an inferior money-purchase pension scheme; and where in the private sector, getting caught in a compromising position with a photocopier at the Christmas party would guarantee summary dismissal; in the public sector, such an occurrence would ensure free drinks at least until Easter.
Where a day of sick in the private sector would bring accusations of slacking, in the public sector, a mere sniffle would see you sent home on health & safety grounds. Where in the private sector you were only as good as your last set of results; in the public sector you effectively had a job for life, cushioned by subsidised meals and bars where licensing laws were slacker than the MOD’s procurement programme.
But that’s enough about being an MP.
Many public sector workers would certainly recognise most of the comparisons described in the first paragraph. At least those fortunate enough not to be contracted out, or because of TUPE legislation, managed to keep their former terms and conditions as their new employers were scared off by the cost of harmonising contracts.
However, not content with fleecing the taxpayer and letting bankers walk away with their ill-gotten bonuses, these same MPs have decided that in order to balance the country’s books, they will do what MPs always do: protect their own interests by screwing the rest of us; especially the old, the sick, the disabled and for them, the real cause of the country’s ills, the bloated, bureaucratic edifice that is the public sector! (Eric Pickles Italics)
According to a Daily Telegraph report last week, The British Chambers of Commerce conducted a survey among 4,000 businesses which concluded that although the labour market is showing signs of improvement, some 4 in 10 firms would be reluctant to take on former state employees. Apparently there is still a perception among some employers, that former public sector workers would not make a good cultural fit into their workforce, as they lacked the skills sets needed to assimilate properly. What it doesn’t make clear however, is what those skills sets are. If this is true, then it puts a rather large monkey wrench in Dave and Nick’s plans for the private sector to pick up the slack for all those public sector workers being shown the door.
So there you have it: ex-public sector workers are likely to remain surplus to requirements in all but exceptional cases.
The exceptional cases of course being former MPs; this is one group of ex-Public servants who never seem to have a problem gaining useful employment in the private sector.
All in this together are we?