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To be fed up with the way the Government and the Daily Mail are provoking arguments between public and private sector workers?

(47 Posts)
josephinebruce Wed 18-Sep-13 22:06:01

I'm a public sector worker - have been for years in education and now in the NHS (a management position so I'm hated by everyone). I have no problem with the private sector: at my level I would be earning double what I am now in the NHS. I do appreciate that some of the lower bands in the NHS are probably better off in terms of pay and conditions than the equivalent in the private sector.....but at my level - it is not.

I have paid a lot into my pensions and have suffered financially in the present to do so. As my current NHS pension is going to be based on average earnings and not final salary - like it used to be, then I am going to lose a lot of money when I am eventually allowed to retire.

I never get paid overtime - yet I work it every day.
I have to put up with constantly moving goalposts from the Government and have to meet targets that are totally pointless and often impossible to meet.
I have to then put up with headlines and stories in the press about how useless I am and how I should be sacked.

I don't moan about private sector salaries or perks (we're not allowed to spend public money on 1st class rail tickets even if they are cheaper, not allowed to even hold meetings in venues that sell alcohol, have to have most of our meetings by phone....). I made my choice of career and I'm happy with it.

But what does annoy me is that this stupid fucking government uses these imagined divisions betwen public and private sector for their own benefit and to screw us even more.

It also annoys me that some people are so fucking stupid that they don't realise it.

Sorry if this rant doesn't read perfectly - but I've been working since 6am and so am probably not as eloquent as I might have been.

BraveMerida Thu 19-Sep-13 14:34:56


Loopylala7 Thu 19-Sep-13 14:55:15

Fefifo, I would also like to take issue with your point about the m&s statement. Yes people do die in the NHS if the health care professional fucks up, that is why HCPs should be trained thoroughly, why they constantly have to do exams for each stage of their career, are constantly held accountable for their actions and in my mind should be rewarded for their good work with a decent wage and pension (although I'm sure many nurses would despute being well paid). People always focus on the negative rather than pointing out that most HCP do a wonderful job, and if the statistics had to be turned round, looking at people who benefit from treatments, and recover after operations the percentage would be a lot higher than the figures the newspapers and broadcasters peddle at us about the small percentage of botched operations. I'm not even a HCP btw.

If you want to compare private sector fuck ups, look no further than the banks. There were many senior bankers who received 24 carat pensions and pay offs for messing up our whole economy. And what happens then, the tax payer has to bail them out, and they still get their cash 'reward'. Craziness.

Echocave Thu 19-Sep-13 15:59:07

I think YANBU to say that some media outlets do pitch public against private but YABU to make out that you are harder done by than senior private sector workers.

My SIL works at a senior level in the public sector (not NHS or police, its clerical). She has also worked in the private sector and has professional qualifications. She has much more flexibility in terms of working hours, better holiday entitlement (and many senior people in private sector don't actually take all their holiday because they are too busy but she and her colleagues take all their holiday because its a cast iron right in the public sector) and actually even with a pension freeze she'll probably be as well off as many in the private sector whose pensions are a massive rip off (see today's press on OFT investigation into pension).

But the thing I notice most about my SIL's department is that there is no real incentive to perform well, improve etc. the private sector is cut throat for good or bad and good people get made redundant for simple cost reasons. This seems rare in many parts of the private sector.

My cousin in the private sector often works with my SIL's team and he has previously said that the expectations and standards of work in SIL's team would not be tolerated for long in the private sector.

Echocave Thu 19-Sep-13 15:59:58

Sorry for double posting!

Fefifo Thu 19-Sep-13 16:32:10

loopy 'sweeping statements', kind of difficult not to make them really when the OP is suggesting that the government and the fail are creating arguments between the Whole of the private sector and the Whole of the public sector don't you think? They are kind of made up of at least a few different components so to lump every sector into two parts is part of what is so annoying about the OP.

Why on earth would you mention the bankers to back up the OP's point?What, because they were lauded by all sectors of the media and parliament for their screw ups? Erm, nope, they were mauled by the Mail and the government as hard if not worse than any public sector body and bloody rightly so. The main difference being that the protagonists at least had the decency to slink off quietly to their Cotswold mansions with their gold plated pensions instead of calling tribunals and whingeing and whinning about how the departments that they are paid to manage can't be adequately managed, before slinking off to their mansions with their gold plated pensions.

UnexpectedStepmum Thu 19-Sep-13 16:41:43

Fefi I am a public sector manager who got the best results in the country for the service I manage. Can I have a gold plated pension please? Or a rise in pay in line with inflation?

samuraispider Thu 19-Sep-13 16:48:34

Sorry but I agree with a lot of what Fefifo says. I think you need to get your facts straight before spouting off.

What makes you think you would be earning double in private sector? Most people I know in private sector haven't had a payrise in five years.

Pensions are virtually non-existent in private sector these days. DH's company operates one with NO EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS.

Unpaid overtime? Yes, pretty much all of us do that every day including the Office Mignon on £12k per year. The only people who earn overtime are hourly paid (i.e. the cleaner, the office temp).

1st class rail tickets and business class tickets? Not in my company either... Conf calls and video conferences are always the first option because of cost.

It's not that different. Everyone is feeling the pinch. It's called a recession.

Fefifo Thu 19-Sep-13 17:05:32

Actually loops did you even read my first post? As I said I don't know anyone who doesn't have tremendous respect for those working at the coal face of public sector bodies. Absolutely no one I know who works in the private sector walks around saying look at those greedy nurses, down with their pensions. In the same way that nobody during the banking crisis thought great, glad all those cashiers at Northern Rock lost their jobs, awful drains on the country they were. Where the private sector does take umbrage with nurses and teachers etc. is their ability to strike, simply because it is bloody inconvenient. It's not actually a reflection of the high esteem in which we all regard these professions or the way in which they are rewarded.

The only people that are generally disliked are the well rewarded managers who mismanage and they are disliked universally, by public and private alike, whether public or private themselves. The only difference, in my opinion is that like the OP those that are in this position in the public sector have a grating tendency to to whinge about their frankly pretty darn good lot much more.

Echocave Thu 19-Sep-13 17:12:54

This is a difficult argument because as has been pointed out, not all public (or private) sector jobs are the same.
It does seem harder to get rid of under performers in the public sector though and personally that irritates me.

Fefifo Thu 19-Sep-13 17:18:22

Unexpected I was a manger who delivered the best results ever for my team in the private sector company in which I worked and was made redundant. Can I have my job back please? Or any kind of pension at all?

But actually, you're all right about those wonderful private sector perks. At our last office Christmas party before I left work we were treated to a night at one of the swankiest clubs in London. Drinks flowed, hotel paid for. Great night. In fact I'm sure the mere memory of it will warm me from the inside when I'm old and my pension doesn't stretch to heating.

geekgal Fri 20-Sep-13 07:56:05

I agree with some of the later posters, I think the argument was there between private and public sector workers anyway, the government and the fail are just prodding it to try and distract people. Well, the government are (which they'll regret when people refuse to finance any public sector workers anymore as that also includes them!), the fail are just doing it to sell papers, and the majority of people in this country are in the private sector so they want to appeal to them.

Loopylala7 Fri 20-Sep-13 10:13:36

Fefifo, I'd quite happily slink off to a mansion in the Cotswolds if somebody decided to reward me with millions for doing a bad job and not taking legal action against me.

As for unions and striking, I believe it is a fundamental right for any workers who are being treated unfairly to display their opposition to unfair work policies. If you strike you loose a days pay anyway, so they are loosing out to make their point. I have great respect for those who stand up to bad work policies. We fortunately live in a democracy, and no doubt have all benefitted in some way from others striking. It wasn't so long ago that women were paid a completely unequal wage to men - not that it's perfect now, but what would have happened if they'd done nothing? Watch Daggenham Girls, highly recommended.

Would you suggest we just lie back and say, yes to wage cuts, yes to longer working hours, yes to less holiday, yes to less pension and so fourth. Hmmmm....somehow I don't think so.

Fefifo Fri 20-Sep-13 10:30:30

Jeez Loops, seriously, read my posts before you respond! Why on earth have you presumed that I, personally, am anti-strikes? I could outline my feelings on the importance of workers rights to withhold their labour to achieve better conditions and the great improvements these brave people have made for all of us, in every sector, in our working conditions but you've made the point so eloquently yourself.

The point I was making was that public sector worker's right to strike and the their implementation of that right is what I think most greatly annoys private sector workers, where it inconveniences them. It doesn't necessarily mean that people in the private sector would thrill at the prospect of a lessining in conditions for those who we all know perform extremely challenging jobs for all of our benefit.

SeaSickSal Fri 20-Sep-13 10:48:51

What a load of old rubbish. Leaving aside the fact that people in the private sector are not jetting about on 1st class tickets (because the whole point is to make a profit, not spend willy nilly).

The whole difference is that the public sector is heavily unionised and the private sector is not. In the private sector there is little job security, working rights have been severely eroded and wages shot to shit.

I worked in the public sector when the Poles were let in and my husband who works in the building trade saw his (not particularly high) wages decimated overnight. All these wonderful lefties in the public sector crowed about how marvellous the diversity was and how wonderful it was they could get a cheap plumber. They'd go on strike in a heartbeat if their wages were affected by even a tenth of what happened to many people.

But the public sector have an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude and are prepared to see the worker bees who pay for it all suffer lowering wages, job insecurity and poorer standard of living because they know they are in their protected bubble and that's all they really give a shit about.

SeaSickSal Fri 20-Sep-13 10:51:45

But Feifo, the unions and public sector workers have never really spoken out or shown any solidarity with private sector workers when shit happens to them. The unions aren't trying to expand or campaign for better rights for workers in the private sector with any real gusto.

Labour is funded by the unions but they didn't really make any effort to increase unionisation in the public sector.

They're happy with the status quo and bloc voting from the public sector for them. They don't give a shit about private sector workers and their rights, the unions don't, Labour doesn't and the public sector worker doesn't. They want rights for their rump of voters and that is the public sector.

geekgal Fri 20-Sep-13 11:41:32

SeaSickSal - truth, FTW!

ExitPursuedByADragon Fri 20-Sep-13 12:11:16

I had the best of both worlds until I took a voluntary redundancy package. I worked for BT which whilst private was still tied to all the public sector restrictions with a strong union and final salary pensions. They are slowly changing but it will take a long time.

CairngormsClydesdale Fri 20-Sep-13 12:15:35

OP - do you actually honestly believe that people can take their cues only from central government press releases and/or The Daily Mail? Haven't you ever met anyone in your life who was intelligent enough to analyse a variety of data and draw their own conclusions?

If you were in fact to leave the public sector you might encounter some of the aforementioned intelligent analysts. wink

Fefifo Fri 20-Sep-13 18:29:39

Sea, your first post is absolutely nonsensical. What on earth does immigration have to do with any of this pray tell? You do realise that when they 'let in the Poles' they didn't all just run into the building trade to pinch all the jobs from your hubs and his mates? This will really rise your hackles, but did you know that they're actually allowed to work in our very own British public sector too? And some of them even do as well!!

On your other point, if you really do think that the huge sacrifices that some public sector workers in the past have made in order to further their pay and conditions has had absolutely no impact on the advance in working conditions for those in the private sector you're deluded.

The 'worker bees' are actually being hit across the board right now, public and private, that's the point and neither had that much to lose. Those higher up the tree, on both sides are losing out too, the only difference being they are losing out much less of much more. What rankles the private sector is that here those people are more likely to have the good grace to shrug their shoulders and and murmur market forces, whereas those in the public sector, like the OP seem much more inclined to bore on about how hard done by they have been, when really they haven't in the grander scheme of things.

josephinebruce Sat 21-Sep-13 17:28:25

I stand by what I've said. I'm very sorry for those people who work for shit employers and yes, I do wish you had my terms and conditions. Equally, however, I do believe that you haven't got a fucking clue what it is like to work in an organisation that gets re-organised on a political whim by idiots who know fuck all about what we do all day. Idiots who then turn around and blame us for our failings.

I wish that did have a gold plated pension, rather than the £5k a year or so that I'll maybe have in about 40 years time.

Or I wish I had a £1 for everytime some clueless knob accused me of having a gold plated pension. Maybe then I might have one.

Sorry if I have offended anyone with these views.

itsnothingoriginal Sat 21-Sep-13 17:40:51

Well said ^^ my service is in precisely this mess at the moment and guess who is suffering as a result - certainly not the people who created it but the public (young people in this case) and the workers on the ground angry

Timeforabiscuit Sat 21-Sep-13 18:17:49

I work for a local council, but the people I'm angry with are Councillors - they are the ones in control and they normally have the wit of damp weetabix paired with the voracity of a piranha and the ego of a silverback.

It is an election year here - that means that NOTHING that I suggest, be it to improve service, save time, save money NOTHING gets through without passing the vital question what does the do to my election chances.

They actually did an announcement where they thought they should turn off their phones and stop looking at iPads while council officers did presentations as it "gave the wrong impression" then they cheerfully announce another 15% to save and redundancy round is at Christmas - just like every year.

I want a quorum

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