Intelligent Issue 07 | Page 26



For the public sector , the first half of this year has been defined by industrial action and disquiet . And , despite high hopes , the Chancellor ’ s Spring Budget did little to nothing to allay fears . While individual negotiations have taken place and deals have been reached , the issue still remains that public sector pay is at an all-time low .

Although the entirety of the country has been faced with a severe economic downturn and 10.4 % inflation , the public sector has been disproportionately affected . In fact , the average pay growth for the private sector from September to November 2022 was 7.2 % – the largest rate seen in the private sector outside of the height of the pandemic . The public sector only saw a growth of 3.3 %.
In light of this , it ’ s easy to conclude that the government should be increasing its expenditure on staff pay . And , of course , they would be remiss to not offer some form of compensation , most likely in the form of an incremental increase in budgets and pay packets . However , while this would be a positive result , it is a short-term solution to a long-term problem . Not only will the increase not likely match inflation , but it will do little to get to the core of the issues driving the situation , for example , an intense skills shortage . Skilled staff in the public sector are leaving in droves . A decade ago the percentage of paramedics leaving their job in the UK was 4.8 %. That number has now jumped to 10.3 %. Not only is this simply disheartening , but it ’ s creating a serious issue for these services . They can continue hiring and training new staff , but if experienced employees are leaving , efficiency and quality of service are going to continue to suffer .
We need to see tangible changes to how these areas are run and provide better experiences for those currently working in the public sector . For example , reducing administrative tasks and back-office duties that only serve to cause a backlog for the general public and frustrate the staff who are merely trying to do the job they are dedicated to .
I would like to see a concerted effort from the government towards investing in the public sector ’ s Digital Transformation journey . It may take more investment in the short term , but in the long term will lead to shorter wait times , easier scheduling and greater retention of staff .
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