News archive 2010
Report into pay bargaining arrangements01 Feb 2010, PR 23/10
A new report by Professor Alison Wolf, Department of Management, published today by liberal think tank CentreForum, calls for sweeping reforms in pay bargaining arrangements.
In ‘More than we bargained for: the social and economic costs of national wage bargaining.’ Professor Wolf attacks national pay systems that ignore local differences, handicap struggling regional economies, and make it impossible for public sector managers and institutions to cope sensibly with our fiscal crisis.
As Professor Wolf explains, ‘The current national pay system may seem equitable at first blush. In fact, it is nothing of the sort. It does real damage to local services and local economies up and down the country. And it is the poorest and most vulnerable that are hit the hardest.’
Five million people employed in
Schools in neighbourhoods like Tower Hamlets in
There are problems for the NHS as well. As Professor Wolf explains: ‘Where local private sector wages are high, recruitment is much more difficult and large numbers of expensive agency staff are needed to fill the gaps. Agency staff are expensive, bad for productivity and bad for patients - tightly regulated nurses’ pay and a strong local labour market have been linked to significantly higher fatality rates after admissions for heart attacks.’
The report finds, for poorer regions, inflexible public sector salary scales do damage in another way: they can handicap the private sector.
Individual pay scales are perfectly feasible, Professor Wolf argues.
Notes to editors
A copy of ‘More than we bargained for: the social and economic costs of national wage bargaining’ by Professor Wolf is available at www.centreforum.org/assets/pubs/more-than-we-bargained-for.pdf
CentreForum is an independent liberal think tank seeking to develop evidence based, long term policy solutions to the problems facing
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