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Better pay and conditions .... or.... keep more people in work?

(4 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 20-Jun-11 13:30:49

Assuming the total resource is finite (either from the public purse or the income from order books) is it better to employ fewer staff on the same or better pay and conditions, or reduce pay and conditions but employ more people? The unemployment stats would suggest that companies are opting for the latter rather than letting staff go.... but union action against pay restraint and pension changes is pushing in completely the opposite direction. I'm concerned that if the unions prevail, all that will happen is that more of their members end up out of work.

HarrietJones Mon 20-Jun-11 13:34:30

I think there is a balance.There seems to be a lot of knee jerk redundancies/pay cuts. My work has just made a huge number redundant. Lots of people who took VR were retiring within the next year or so and would have gone anyway. Some forward planning needs to be done. They've also spent a fortune in the last few years using agency staff (at double the cost) due to recruitment freezes.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 20-Jun-11 16:00:40

Definitely bad planning with the expensive temps. I was listening to an edition of 'The Bottom Line' on R4 not so long ago and the argument for retaining staff on reduced t's & c's, aside from sparing people the misery of being out of work, was that it's very expensive to let trained staff go only to have to recruit new people and retrain when things pick up again. Made a lot of sense.

In the case of the public sector unions, I'm wondering if the prospect of going up against the government is getting in the way of their forward planning?

HarrietJones Mon 20-Jun-11 16:04:43

We had recruitment freeze since just after I started so 3 years ish. I spent a lot of time showing new agency staff the ropes/covering shortages and not getting my own work done.

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