I work in recruitment and have done for the last 6 years. I work in a sector where many of the individuals I place into new jobs work in the public sector and I am constantly surprised by the pay and conditions they receive; one chap who was a Senior Town Planner had been with the same council for 5 years. He was earning a similar wage to a planning consultant at the same level in the private sector, yet he had accumulated 35 days annual leave, (which with the flexi time he was able to build up amounted to 70 days annual leave) a final salary pension and numerous other benefits. He was interviewed for a couple of jobs in the private sector but turned them down because he couldn't match his 70 days off each year and pension and he did so whinging that it was unfair.
I can't speak for individual cases, obviously. Public sector jobs tend to have lower pay than private sector jobs, offset by improved security and benefits. My brother recently took a substantial pay cut to work for his local council rather than contract for them. The alternative was unemployment.
it just seems that those of us who work in the private sector are far more appreciative of having a job in the first place.
Again, that's the rhetoric that emerges when times get tough. "They should be glad to have a job at all."
These sorts of scenarios are repeated throughout the public sector - workers are often apathetic and unwilling to do anything that is outside their job description. It creates waste and inefficiency thoughout the whole public sector and ultimately leads to higher taxes for all. If the public sector was run more like a business and less like a charity then we might be in a position to start reducing national debt and retuning to some semblance of a functional economy.
My mum also works for the local government - in the library service. The effect of efficiency drive after efficiency drive is that experienced and loyal staff are constantly being forced to reapply for their own jobs, and every contract is given to the lowest bidder, regardless of competence. I dare
you to tell my mum she's apathetic or inefficient. She's running two libraries on a skeleton staff. She never takes a fraction of her holiday entitlement: there's nobody to cover for her.
The parcels that get delivered by citilink or similar over the course of the strike will be delivered by workers on a similar wage to the postmen, who have to experience the same increases in the number of deliveries each day and receive very few benefits in return. They knew what the job entailed when they applied.
It's a stark choice - no benefits, no security, or no job. Again, it's a race to the bottom, and a good argument for unions, not against them.
Calmes dans le demi-jour
Que les branches hautes font,
Pénétrons bien notre amour
De ce silence profond.