Just 6% of public sector staff would link performance with pay

Just 6% of public sector employees see the performance of their organisation as an appropriate factor in determining their pay, compared to a third (35%) of private sector employees.

These figures are among the findings of a new report Coping with Less: Pay and pensions in the public sector by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The survey also found 36% of public sector employees believe they should be paid based on how well they personally perform, compared to 60% of their private sector counterparts, while more than half of public sector employees highlight the cost of living as one of their preferred determinants of their pay, compared to 33% in the private sector.

In addition, 26% of public sector employees point to a trade union negotiated deal as one of their preferred determinants of their pay, compared to just 4% in the private sector.

The report, which forms part of the CIPD’s Building Productive Public Sector Workplaces series, has also called for the urgent reform of public sector pensions to address analysis in the report which reveals that for every £1 contributed by public sector employees outside of local government to their pensions, the taxpayer contributes £3.39.

Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the CIPD, said: “Given the state of our public finances, and with CIPD analysis now forecasting 725,000 public sector job cuts in the next five years, pay restraint in the public sector is vital.

“The public sector workforce is going to have to find ways of emulating the kind of restraint the private sector workforce demonstrated during the recession to have any chance at all of minimising the inevitable job losses to come.

“The need for public sector pensions reform is well recognised. But the revelation that taxpayers are paying £3.39 for every £1 public sector workers contribute to their pensions highlights the urgency with which the issue needs to be tackled.

“There can be no overnight solution to this problem but, as our report argues, short-term action is required to share the cost and risk of public sector pensions more equitably between employers and employees.”

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