Public sector employers can prevent escalating strike action by communicating the benefits of being employed in the sector, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has claimed.
The comments come as thousands of teachers and civil servants prepare to strike on Thursday 30 June over proposed changes to their pensions.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers voted in favour of strike action earlier this month, and the NUT’s general secretary, Christine Blower, has accused the Government of not taking pensions negotiations seriously.
However, according to the CIPD’s reward adviser, Charles Cotton, pensions in public sector organisations are better than many in private sector companies.
“The simple fact is that the proposed changes will improve the long-term sustainability of public sector pension schemes,” said Cotton.
“Even after the changes are implemented, public sector pensions will still be better than those typically on offer in the private sector; as will other benefits such as sick pay, access to occupational health services, paid leave and flexible working. The challenge for the Government and public sector employers is to communicate this.”
Cotton urged the Government and unions to “move away from monologue to dialogue” and negotiate a pension scheme that meets both the needs of public sector workers and taxpayers.