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In N.I., private sector workers earn 45% less, on average, than those in the public sector


Glaucon

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Aug 13, 2012
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Aside from any reunification debate, surely the economics of this are totally unsustainable going forward. It seems that the gap has only gotten bigger since the signing of the GFA.

The pay gap between Northern Ireland's public and private sector workers is wider than at any time since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The average full-time public sector worker here now earns a staggering 45% more than an employee in the private sector. In the rest of the UK the difference is just 17.8%.
Furthermore:

For full-time Northern Ireland employees, wages are on average 44.9% higher in the public than the private sector.
For full-time female employees, the public sector wages are an astonishing 71.8% higher.
Public sector wages in Northern Ireland are on average 2.2% higher than rest of the UK.
Private sector earnings are 18.3% lower than the rest of the UK.
Executive under fire over public-private pay chasm - Belfast Telegraph

Half of public expenditure costs in Northern Ireland now go to paying the wages of the public sector.

It also notes that the average public sector wage in NI is now £30,067 (€37,163), whilst in the private sector it stands at £20,735 (€25,628).

In comparison, in the UK as a whole, the average public sector wage stands at £23,660 - a difference of almost £7,000 or €8,652 with Northern Ireland.
 

factual

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Feb 5, 2005
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8,761
Aside from any reunification debate, surely the economics of this are totally unsustainable going forward. It seems that the gap has only gotten bigger since the signing of the GFA.



Furthermore:



Executive under fire over public-private pay chasm - Northern Ireland, Local & National - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Half of public expenditure costs in Northern Ireland now go to paying the wages of the public sector.

It also notes that the average public sector wage in NI is now £30,067 (€37,163), while in the public sector it is £20,735 (€25,628).

In comparison, in the UK as a whole, the average public sector wage stands at £23,660 - a difference of almost £7,000 or €8,652 with Northern Ireland.
Here we go again. Attacks from FG on the public sector.

The right are using the fincial crisis - which was caused by the high paid in the private sector - to attack the hard won conditions of ordinary public sector workers - nurses teachers and other pillars of the public sector.

Rather than calling for a reduction of pay for the pillars of the public sector we should all be working to improve productivity levels in the private sector working people so that their wages can rise.
 

Glaucon

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8,309
Here we go again. Attacks from FG on the public sector.

The right are using the fincial crisis - which was caused by the high paid in the private sector - to attack the hard won conditions of ordinary public sector workers - nurses teachers and other pillars of the public sector.

Rather than calling for a reduction of pay for the pillars of the public sector we should all be working to improve productivity levels in the private sector working people so that their wages can rise.
I am not in Fine Gael factual (perish the thought), nor do I despise the public sector (many people all around Europe do a sterling job therein every day and we should be thankful for their service). However, it is simply unsustainable to have a situation where 70 per cent of an economy is reliant on the P.S., and, furthermore, those working within that sector earn 45 per cent more than their private sector colleagues.

I cannot see any justification for such a scandalous gap in earnings, nor for Northern Irish public sector workers earning, on average, so much more than their counterparts in Britain for performing the same tasks. Northern Ireland is a poor region of the U.K. and living costs, are, one would assume, lower than the average too.

For example:

An administrative officer in the Civil Service, whose job, according to a careers brochure published by the Northern Ireland Civil Service, involves “data input, file management and dealing with public telephone enquiries”, can earn between £17,348 and £22,180 a year.

That compares to £12,000 to £15,000 in the private sector, according to the most recent salary survey from recruitment company Brightwater.
There is absolutely no justification whatever, that I can see, for such a gap in earnings for the same job. If anything, given the guarantee of employment in the public sector, that trend should be reversed.

The public sector in N.I. is out of control.
 

factual

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Feb 5, 2005
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I am not in Fine Gael factual (perish the thought), nor do I despise the public sector (many people all around Europe do a sterling job therein every day and we should be thankful for their service). However, it is simply unsustainable to have a situation where 70 per cent of an economy is reliant on the P.S., and, furthermore, those working within that sector earn 45 per cent more than their private sector colleagues.

I cannot see any justification for such a scandalous gap in earnings, nor for Northern Irish public sector workers earning, on average, so much more than their counterparts in Britain for performing the same tasks. Northern Ireland is a poor region of the U.K. and living costs, are, one would assume, lower than the average too.

For example:



There is absolutely no justification whatever, that I can see, for such a gap in earnings for the same job. If anything, given the guarantee of employment in the public sector, that trend should be reversed.

The public sector in N.I. is out of control.
I think that building up the private sector is absolutely essential. The main problem in NI is that the private sector has still got a low level of productivity. We need to invest more in university level education and also in training and skills at a more practical level. Nobody should be unemployed between 16 and 18 - everyone should be in some form of training.

Invest in education and trainin Glaucon is the way to resolve this. Get some large investments from highly productive firms. It will take a lot of work and effort. Just cutting the wages for that low income guy who inputs data (who you cite) seems like the wrong solution - an easy scapegoat.

I thought you were FG.
 
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Castle Ray

The public sector in Northern Ireland is a total disgrace. The Executive talks about rebalancing but none of the parties on it are prepared to take measures that would deliver this anytime soon. Sure didn't they once even appoint 4 Victim's Commissioners? It's ridiculous.

The DUP are scared of losing the public sector vote yet they talk about growing the economy and efficiencies in the public sector. Their record on both isn't too bad but they have no guts to take action on the things that matter and are hamstrung by the need for cross-party support for actions. However, I believe the former is the reason they don't take the necessary action.

Sinn Fein are a party of big and unsustainable government. They don't talk about rebalancing the economy but focus on relocating public sector jobs into nationalist areas. They talk about Brits in Ireland and yet their policies are the most dependent on "the Brits" funding their views.

The other parties don't seem to want to rock the boat. There is simply no will to tackle the problems. NI is over-governed and over administered. There needs to be fewer government departments and fewer if any councils, Job losses need to happen instead of moving numbers around and waiting for natural attrition to deliver reductions. Surgical actions needs to happen. Public sector budgets should also be based on a business plan and activity required to deliver objectives, not on last year's budget plus x%. Every February and March departments spend money unnecessarily in order to get the budget next year. But the greatest area of waste is the completely unsustainable pension payments. They are absolutely fukking outrageous. But no one seems to want to talk about that issue.

The parties have all got their noses in the trough and no one is prepared to do what is right. Any party serious about a single island-state outside the UK needs to tackle this issue head on and not pussy foot around the issue. The two nationalist parties in NI appear to be against smaller government and promote and almost communistic approach to administration here. An island state is a pipe dream that'll never ever happen if they continue with this nonsensical approach.
 
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Castle Ray

The right are using the fincial crisis - which was caused by the high paid in the private sector - to attack the hard won conditions of ordinary public sector workers - nurses teachers and other pillars of the public sector.

Rather than calling for a reduction of pay for the pillars of the public sector we should all be working to improve productivity levels in the private sector working people so that their wages can rise.
Productivity levels in the private sector need to increase and the private sector. No doubt about that but the rest of what you write is a load of rubbish. It's very emotive to say that nurses and school teachers are being attacked. They are not being attacked. Nurses and teachers are not the totality of the public sector. There is a huge swathe of administrators and so-called public servants that are doing unnecessary / low-priority jobs at vastly inflated pay rates. These are the people holding back the allocation of funds to nurses and teachers.
 
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Castle Ray

I am not in Fine Gael factual (perish the thought), nor do I despise the public sector (many people all around Europe do a sterling job therein every day and we should be thankful for their service). However, it is simply unsustainable to have a situation where 70 per cent of an economy is reliant on the P.S., and, furthermore, those working within that sector earn 45 per cent more than their private sector colleagues.

I cannot see any justification for such a scandalous gap in earnings, nor for Northern Irish public sector workers earning, on average, so much more than their counterparts in Britain for performing the same tasks. Northern Ireland is a poor region of the U.K. and living costs, are, one would assume, lower than the average too.

For example:



There is absolutely no justification whatever, that I can see, for such a gap in earnings for the same job. If anything, given the guarantee of employment in the public sector, that trend should be reversed.

The public sector in N.I. is out of control.
Agree with all of that.
 

Glaucon

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I think that building up the private sector is absolutely essential. The main problem in NI is that the private sector has still got a low level of productivity. We need to invest more in university level education and also in training and skills at a more practical level. Nobody should be unemployed between 16 and 18 - everyone should be in some form of training.
No-one could disagree, but how do you expect people to take the route of entrepreneurship and free enterprise if they earn 45 per cent more in the public sector? It's totally unjust and something needs to be done, quickly.

There is absolutely no justification, none, for someone in the public sector who inputs data into a computer earning 3 or 4 thousands pounds more than someone who does this in the private sector.

Half of all expenditure in Northern Ireland now goes on paying wages for the public sector! Surely neither you nor Sinn Fein can support this going forward - it's unsustainable for British taxpayers, never mind for Irish ones.

Imagine someone sitting in Oxford or Reading (or Antrim, for that matter) and working hard in their own shop, or coffee house, or entry level private sector job - do you think they would be content to pay for public sector workers in Belfast or Ballymena to earn such out of control wages, wages that their tax dollars (or pounds) are paying for? I know I wouldn't.

factual said:
Invest in education and trainin Glaucon is the way to resolve this. Get some large investments from highly productive firms. It will take a lot of work and effort. Just cutting the wages for that low income guy who inputs data (who you cite) seems like the wrong solution - an easy scapegoat.
The economy in Northern Ireland needs rebalancing toward the private sector - as long as there is a 45 per cent pay gap between the public and private sectors, this, quite logically, won't happen.

Why go for a private sector job, when you can opt for a job for life with the government and vastly superior wages?
 
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Castle Ray

It is considered entrepreneurial to get a job in the public sector or work a move to get as many of the array of welfare payments as possible. That is the road to no town but when anyone tries to correct that unsustainable situation, lefties cry "Tory cuts!" and claim that the right hates the poor and that the emotive teachers and nurses are being attacked. Pathetic.
 

Glaucon

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Sinn Fein are entirely dishonest on this topic, as are the DUP and the rest. All are happy to ride the gravy train to oblivion, hoping that taxpayers in Britain don't cast their eye westward and examine what is going on in the province. Perhaps that will continue, but it should not - Northern Ireland is the most dependant part of the UK, benefiting from central government expenditure and funds from the EU; the region needs to be using all this cash to build toward something sustainable, not merely administrative jobs that pay 45 per cent more than their private sector equivalents.

factual's comment of ''attacking the hard won conditions of ordinary public sector workers'' is indicative. No-one disputes that ambulance drivers, doctors, nurses etc. should be paid well, but there is no justification for public sector fat cats doing useless jobs and being paid crazy money for doing so. If there isn't uproar over this story next week in the Assembly, it'll be a indictment on the mentality prevailing there.
 

Aristodemus

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Those statistics are utterly useless. How can you compare the rates of pay of prison officers with the private sector? Well, apparently you find out how much a security guard earns in a shopping centre and compare their salaries. Totally meaningless.
 

factual

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Those statistics are utterly useless. How can you compare the rates of pay of prison officers with the private sector? Well, apparently you find out how much a security guard earns in a shopping centre and compare their salaries. Totally meaningless.
A very good point.

Many of the lowest paid workers in the public sector - cleaners etc - have been franchised out to the private sector and this has tended to make public private differntials look bigger.

Comparing apples with oranges.

Public sector workers are needed. It isn't that the public sector is too large it is that the private sector is too small. We need to help the private sector workers, not attack hard won conditions for nurses teachers policemen bus drivers and hospital workers - pillars of society all.

The financial crisis was caused by the rich and the private sector. Yet the right have used it to attack the public sector.
 

Glaucon

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Those statistics are utterly useless. How can you compare the rates of pay of prison officers with the private sector? Well, apparently you find out how much a security guard earns in a shopping centre and compare their salaries. Totally meaningless.
As mentioned, one cannot make a straight equivalence, and for that reason a pay disparity is to be expected, but not to the tune of 45 per cent, which is far higher than in Great Britain. The following statistics are incontrovertibe:

  • Since 2008, when the global credit crunch first started to bite, Northern Ireland public sector pay is up 17.4% compared to just 3.8% in the private sector.
  • Half of public expenditure costs in Northern Ireland go on public sector wages.
  • The average full-time public sector worker in Northern Ireland now earns 45% more than an employee in the private sector. In the rest of the UK the difference is just 17.8%.
  • Because of so-called pay progression, where staff automatically move up pay scales, public sector average pay in Northern Ireland climbed 3.9% between 2011 and 2012 to £30,067 a year compared to a rise of just 2% for private sector workers to £20,735.
That, in any economy, is a serious problem.

It isn't that the public sector is too large it is that the private sector is too small. We need to help the private sector workers, not attack hard won conditions for nurses teachers policemen bus drivers and hospital workers - pillars of society all.
A spurious argument. Of course the public sector is too bloody large, it employs nearly 70 per cent of Northern Irish workers! The public sector contains far more than just nurses and teachers and bus drivers as well you know, you're pointing to jobs all agree are crucial in order to occult the layers of 'administrators', ''data technicians'' and others who are living high on the hog whilst their private sector colleagues are struggling - there is massive scope there for cuts, and cuts there need to be.

How can you justify an average pay disparity of 45% vis-a-vis the private sector when in the rest of the UK the difference is 17.8%?
 
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ArtyisBack

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Sep 2, 2009
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No party here will cut the civil service - too many votes will be lost in that one. They will do the same as the Welfare Bill. Pass it. Then whinge horribly about the effects of voting for it.

The Tories will do the cutting, and both parties will go mad over the effects, but pass and enact whatever Westminster needs to effect the cuts. It is called running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.

And still the people vote for them
 
C

Castle Ray

A very good point.

Many of the lowest paid workers in the public sector - cleaners etc - have been franchised out to the private sector and this has tended to make public private differntials look bigger.

Comparing apples with oranges.

Public sector workers are needed. It isn't that the public sector is too large it is that the private sector is too small. We need to help the private sector workers, not attack hard won conditions for nurses teachers policemen bus drivers and hospital workers - pillars of society all.

The financial crisis was caused by the rich and the private sector. Yet the right have used it to attack the public sector.
What a load of rubbish.

How can an administrator in the public sector cost so much more than in the private sector? That is comparing apples with apples. Also the public sector has long used job evaluation, in particular the Hay Group framework, to determine levels of responsibility, accountability, technical knowledge, managerial input etc so it's very straight forward to map jobs against private sector roles.

The figures show 45% in the public sector and 70% dependent on public sector. That has nothing to do with private sector or financial crisis. The public sector is simply too big and that has nothing to do with the private sector being too small. When it is entrepreneurial to get a job in the public sector there will never be an entrepreneurial private sector. The incentive just isn't there to take risk and create the wealth required to sustain public services. To argue against that is just foolish.

You should also note that it costs approx £75k in NI and ££28k in England per annum to house a prisoner. There is clearly a NI fukk up there and prison officer costs at the centre of it.
 

physicist

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Mar 29, 2010
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6,274
Aside from any reunification debate, surely the economics of this are totally unsustainable going forward. It seems that the gap has only gotten bigger since the signing of the GFA.



Furthermore:



Executive under fire over public-private pay chasm - Belfast Telegraph

Half of public expenditure costs in Northern Ireland now go to paying the wages of the public sector.

It also notes that the average public sector wage in NI is now £30,067 (€37,163), whilst in the private sector it stands at £20,735 (€25,628).

In comparison, in the UK as a whole, the average public sector wage stands at £23,660 - a difference of almost £7,000 or €8,652 with Northern Ireland.
Not surprised, most new workers in the private sector are working part time, most new workers in the public sector are administers and bureaucrats as they're the only ones who can get public sector jobs now.
 
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