The Public Sector Worker’s Lot

Being somewhat right wing and of course politically incorrect so automatically I’m anything but a fan of the Public Sector work force, and having had unfortunate recent dealings with some of these people in the form of a hospital A & E my views have changed not one bit. Though it would be unkind of me to say, having been treated for a broken arm, that there were certainly one or two people who were quick and efficient and the orthopaedic doctor was very good. But then I finished up getting treated by some woman who was complaining that I was lucky to be dealt with at all, considering the amount of work she had to do and the low rate of pay she was on. I later researched this and found that it was possibly about £28,000 a year, which I don’t think was bad for a non-doctor or nurse. But then, like other breakdown people, I live in the real world.

It goes without saying that I am now completely amazed that we are heading for a mass Public Sector strike day. So around where we are that should be about 40% of the work force sitting watching Jeremy Kyle. The first thing that hits me is that these people, because of their already high income, can actually afford to strike. People on minimum wage with dependants can’t even dream of striking but what is more poignant is the mentality and work ethic of these low paid people in not trying to hold anyone to ransom. Many of these civil servants, like doctors, Police, teachers, do a vital job but are servants of the State and should think before withdrawing their services. When you look at the overall picture there is only the Revenue collection service that are an earning workforce; OK perhaps doctors wouldn’t strike, but just about every other State-paid worker is fancying their chance at bringing a Government down.

While I was sitting waiting (5 hours in all), it came to me how would these people, over paid and under worked, fair if they had to put up with the form of payment and terms and conditions that we in the Recovery Industry have to endure. If we take, for example, a teacher (and it could be anyone else, really) if they are paid £150 per day, which I believe is about what they get, how would they suddenly like to be confronted with an interloper, let’s say TMG (Teachers’ Management Group) who decide they will see that teaching is done correctly and more efficiently and the teachers would now be paid £58.75 per shift. Yes! It is starting to sound familiar.

Then, lo and behold, this TMG decide the teachers are not properly trained and they must complete a further 17 courses, naturally at their own expense, if they wish to teach the whole range of children. They might, of course, opt for only doing six modules of training which will allow them to teach bully-boys between the ages of 8 and 11.

But this is not all. When the training is complete they will have to pay a further £30-odd for a certificate which is only issued from EVR (Education Valuation Register). But at least once all this is paid and done, our teacher can go out and earn his shilling or his £58.75 a day. What happens to the difference is anyone’s guess, as it always has been. However, it could be worse, like some of his friends he could easily be working for other Public Sector bodies such as the TAC (Teachers Academic Correction) who pay even less and may require you to teach over a large area with no extra money for mileage covered. With the workload and stress they could finally finish in the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). But at least they do appear to have job security, even if the pension is three times what the State offers a retired Breakdown man.

That is until he finds that one or two people who were once his colleagues, sickened by the culture our teacher has found himself in, have opted to form a Consultancy Group, to quote: “provide better conditions and overlook the whole industry of education”. The remit of this group, as they are quick to point out, is not to make new rules but to obviously give themselves something to talk about between the various glasses of pink gin. They boldly announce that they will help education by starting to reform the three ‘R’s (Reading, Riting and Rithmatic). At least that is what appears to be happening because they are indicating they have started with the first ‘R’ which, of course, none of the teachers want.

So now we all know how to avert Public Service strikes and disruptions. If only it was that easy. I can console myself that apparently in six or eight weeks I will be well again but how long will it take for our Recovery Industry to get well?

Fred Henderson, Breakdown Doctor.
September, 2011