The head of the Audit Commission is apparently urging the government to impose a public sector pay freeze this year. Whilst I can see the logical arguments in favour of this (even as a public sector worker), I do not accept his justification for making this statement.
Apparently he feels that the health and education sectors are ripe for public sector pay freezes because he felt that public sector workers had "done well" in the past 10 years and would "tolerate" modest reductions.
Now if this were true, I would be even happier. However my last four pay rises have all been less than inflation increases, and the current three year pay deal (which we have only had one year of) would, if the government had met its inflation targets, have ensured another two years of less than inflation rises.
Now by a strange quirk, the government decision to impose an anticipated less than inflation deal on teachers has backfired and it might actually mean a genuine pay rise because inflation has dropped below the 2.35% that teachers were due to get in September, the head of the Audit Commission feels that he can spout off about how well teachers have done.
As I said, I cannot argue with the logic of pay restraint at this time, but please don't be fooled by this fool Steve Bundred telling people that teachers have "never had it so good", because if he failed to understand that teachers have had years of real terms pay cuts, he really cannot be trusted to be telling the truth on anything else.
The daft thing is that according to the Audit Commission's own press releases, they paid their staff a 4.9% increase this year because of the high level of inflation. Perhaps they should note that when inflation rocketed last year, teachers got 2.4%. So how can they pay 4.9% to their staff (whilst also consolidating bonuses in to pay levels, thus increasing management salaries even further) but demand restraint for teachers and nurses ?