The ‘Public Sector Worker’

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2008 Local Government Service Group Conference
22 February 2008

Conference notes that the Local Government Employers have introduced the idea of the ‘Public Sector Worker’ in recent discussion documents. They have suggested that there should be core pay and conditions, providing for equity and protection for employees moving between sectors and in to shared service arrangements. The idea is also being discussed with the public sector trade unions in Wales, by the Wales Assembly Government.

Discussions are also underway in the NHS Social Partnership Forum around the concept of a portable ‘terms and conditions and pensions passport’ to ensure that employees do not lose out if transferring from the NHS to the independent or private sectors to deliver NHS services.

Conference also notes that currently there are significant variations in pay and conditions across public sector bargaining groups. Overall, local government workers fare worse than other groups, in terms of both pay and conditions. This has been established in the 2008 pay campaign. However, they will increasingly be required to co-operate with those groups on more favourable pay and conditions in joint service delivery partnerships. This is set to continue in light of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act, increased marketisation of public services and use of the Third Sector in service delivery.

This Conference believes that the Service Group should explore the arguments for common, core, quality employment standards for all public service workers, including those contracted out, based on the principle of using the best pay and conditions to ‘lever up’ those in local government and elsewhere.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Continue to research the differences in pay and conditions across the public sector;

2)Use the research to ensure that we aim for the best conditions in the public sector in the review of the Green Book;

3)Use the research to support co-ordinated claims for improved pay and conditions across sectors within Local Government to reach the level of the best within the public sector;

4)Develop the concept of portable NJC terms and conditions for all employees delivering local government services;

5)Work with other service groups and the NEC to consider the arguments for core, high quality employment standards across public services and the idea of the ‘Public Sector Worker’.