It’s really refreshing to see a recruitment consultancy come out and talk about the potential time bomb that the war on local government salaries is creating.
The article in this weeks MJ focusing on the Penna research into local government salaries is for my part welcomed. Every colleague I am working with in local government is in an environment more pressured than ever before. The workload has increased, the number of people has reduced, training and development has been by and large eradicated, and for want of a more elegant turn of phrase, we are worse off.
It is true that the moral value of working for the public sector for many outweighs financial reward, but that does not mean that financial reward is not important, and in fact for all it is a practical essential.
We must start putting in place transparent and appropriate career packages for individuals in public service. By doing this we can increase morale and pride in the sector, and then in return hold people to account for greater performance. One might argue that the crisis in children’s social care staffing and management has been fueled by the lack of appropriate training and reward – why else would staff with a high morale compass and public sector ethos leave the sector to work independently; its about more than just money.
Unless we tackle the issue of providing an appropriate environment for staff to thrive and receive appropriate reward morale is in danger of declining further. With lower morale comes lower productivity and lower quality – two hallmarks of an unsustainable system.