Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you will be aware that the public sector has to make huge
cuts savings. The recession doesn’t just affect Blockbusters, HMV and Woolworths, it affects the public sector too.
The public sector faces a double whammy of reduced government grants and increased demand on services – from things like an ageing population and a rise in the number of children in care.
There is a perception among some sectors of society that the public sector is full of lazy jobsworths who clock off at 4 and are on big ‘fat cat’ pensions. That is so far from the truth. People in the public sector work hard for little thanks. They get a fair salary, but not a generous one. Many people in the public sector haven’t had a pay rise in the last few years.
This same sector of society, who are busy sat in front of their computers criticising the rest of the world call for ‘efficiency savings’ in the ‘wasteful’ public sector. What else is left? What else can we cut?
To make savings, people have been made redundant, others have taken early retiremnet. Under-used buildings have been disposed of, commissioning and contracting arrangements have been made more effective. Less staff are providing services for the growing number of residents who need them.
We don’t have post-it notes, we write on cheap notebooks (many people just buy their own), we buy our own tea and coffee and pay for our own Christmas parties – we always have.
And still more savings need to be made! What can be done?
And then someone where I work came up with a brilliant idea. I don’t know who they are, but they have been promoted to one of my favourite people EVER.
When our big boss told us about it she said she wasn’t sure why anyone would come up with this idea and why anyone would want it. Indeed, why would anyone want TWO WEEKS’ UNPAID LEAVE?!
Needless to say, the big boss has no kids.
This is like the answer to my prayers. We’re not poor (my husband works in the private sector, you see!), so I can afford two weeks’ unpaid leave. Sorting out my leave and childcare for the school holidays is an endless headache for me This takes my leave allocation for the year up to eight weeks and I can probably squeeze one or two flex days out of that too (another perk of my fat-cat job – awarded to me because I’ve worked the damn hours in the first place). OK, so the kids are still off school for 13 weeks a year, but this is a big weight off my mind.
Thank you, public sector. Right now I love your