CAMBS: County Council's �95,000 a year HR head calls for public sector pay to be scaled back

By JOHN ELWORTHY A CLARION call for public sector pay to be scaled back- and a reduction in the numbers employed- has been made by the �95,000 head of Cambridgeshire County Council s HR department. Stephen Moir, director of people and policy at the counc

By JOHN ELWORTHY

A CLARION call for public sector pay to be scaled back- and a reduction in the numbers employed- has been made by the �95,000 head of Cambridgeshire County Council's HR department.

Stephen Moir, director of people and policy at the council and president of the Public Sector Managers' Association, told Personnel Today magazine that he's "disappointed" that a recent local government pay arbitration decision missed that point.

"That said, I don't hold with freezing pay for teachers, social workers, police officers or nurses. Instead, what must be writ large throughout any deals are affordability, sustainability and flexibility," he said.


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Mr Moir said it was time for a change and he advocates a "total reward approach" to the public sector that brings pay, conditions of service and pensions bargaining together to create a full and true cost of any proposed increase.

But he defended the defined benefit scheme of the public sector pensions policy although reform was ongoing with changes to improving cost sharing and increasing employee contributions.

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Mr Moir said he was against removing a real benefit that UK public sector workers can access, from the school cleaner to the Permanent Secretary.

"And, while on the subject of pay and pensions, does the private sector really have the right to comment upon public sector practices following the Fred Goodwin fiasco and the banking bonus bonanza?"

But Mr Moir believes that if public services have to live within their means- and he says they should- then the number of people they employ will need to reduce across the country.

"This is already happening in local government, one in seven councils have cut jobs, and more than 20 per cent have a recruitment freeze in operation," he said. Managing headcount was important but a pay freeze would simply mean another round of catch up awards.

Mr Moir, who said he had never claimed to be "paid modestly", said he was HR director of an organisation that serves 570,000 people, is the custodian of �500 million of public funds, and which employs 18,000.

"If that's not enough bang for your buck, I'm also responsible for corporate strategy, communications, partnerships, shared services, payroll and pensions," he said.

He was "throwing down the gauntlet" to those whose opinions differ and called for a mature debate to address them.

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