Hutton nails myth of overpaid civil servants


Hutton nails myth of overpaid civil servants

Prospect has welcomed Will Hutton’s interim report, which nails the myth of the overpaid public servant and clearly states that sense of public duty should not be exploited in an effort to avoid paying fair reward.

A recent survey by Prospect of 8,000 professionals and specialists working in the civil service showed that:

  • • 48% think that their pay is unfair
  • • 57% of specialists think that their skills are not rewarded fairly
  • • 53% think that they are paid unfairly relative to the private sector
  • • 62% of these think that lower pay is no longer compensated by job security and other benefits.
Prospect’s Head of Research, Sue Ferns, said: “Hutton’s report highlights a range of other concerns, including the tendency to recruit senior executives from narrow pools and failure in the public sector to do enough to develop existing staff into senior roles.

“It also correctly points out that top pay has risen faster and to higher levels in the private sector, and asks the question is it right that only the public sector is committed to fair pay?”

Hutton’s preference is for a maximum pay multiple – pegging the highest and lowest pay levels in an organisation. Prospect, said Ferns, believes that this approach could have some benefits, though a ratio of 20:1 would have little effect in the civil service.

“It is essential that wider issues affecting pay fairness, including pay discrimination and a decent living wage, are addressed at the same time.

“Our members believe that a fair pay framework must also address factors including equal pay, career and professional development, opportunities to use their expertise, a better work/home balance, and the positive value of public service.”