a "sickening blow" for public sector workers

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a "sickening blow" for public sector workers

Post by falkor » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:44 pm

11 October 2012 | By Asa Bennett Plans to review holiday entitlements and flexible working hours for 450,000 public sector employees have been condemned as “sickening”.

A letter was sent to every human resources director across the civil service, seen by The Guardian, outlining the scope of potential reforms and how staff would be affected.

By the end of this year, Whitehall directors are expected to have examined the terms and conditions of their workforce and outlined how to make their jobs more like the private sector.

Many aspects of civil service working conditions would be placed under review, including employees’ annual leave, occasional days’ leave, sick pay, hours of work, the ability of employees to move from one job to another and probationary periods.

Public and Commercial Services Union chief Mark Serwotka said the plans would be a “sickening blow” for public sector workers.

“Amid an imposed pay freeze, and cuts to pensions and redundancy terms, the Cabinet Office now wants to undermine some very basic working conditions that any decent employer should offer,” he said.

“It is impossible to separate this from the Tory-led government’s wider political project to unpick the welfare state and drive down pay, conditions and employment rights across the economy, and we are determined to oppose it at every step.”

In the leaked letter, from civil service HR director William Hague (not related to the foreign secretary), Whitehall chiefs are told that their review “should ensure that your department, and collectively the civil service, continues to be a good employer, offering terms and conditions comparable with, but not beyond what a good modern employer would provide”.

According to Hague, the civil service should review its conditions in order to be more “flexible”, and better emulate the private sector.