Pay freezes in the credit crunch

Public sector spending and borrowing requirements have a major impact on the whole economy and in the current climate will need to be scaled back.

However, should pay awards be frozen? No. The public sector will remain a major employer during the recession and already provides opportunities that mean more people can remain in employment, the majority of whom are paid modestly for what they do – contrary to the image of ‘town hall fat cats and Whitehall mandarins’ that gets peddled by some uninformed commentators.

The public sector is often the largest single employer in any given area and if our employees feel undervalued and singled out, then it will lead to problems with recruitment, engagement and retention and ultimately may affect the services we deliver. We can’t go through another recession and then have to play ‘catch up’ on public sector pay for the next decade, as has been the case in the past.

Stephen Moir is president of the Public Sector People Managers’ Association

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