Just when the public sector unions are pushing for massive pay rises we find out they are useless



In the private sector increased productivity leads to higher wages, in the public sector the exact opposite is true.

While the public sector unions are pushing for massive pay rises perhaps they might like to address their abysmal productivity rates: Quote.

Productivity growth in the public sector appears to be “poor” and some public servants are “actively hostile” to the idea of measuring efficiency, the Productivity Commission says.

Public Service Association national president Glenn Barclay said he would not necessarily dispute the first finding, but was wary of the commission’s proposed remedies.

He did not dismiss the idea that less hierarchical “Agile” work practices, which have recently been strongly embraced by companies such as Spark, could have a role to play in the public sector.

The State Sector Act that was passed in 1988 had created a very “top down” managerial structure, he said.

“Those mechanisms have stood in the way of an empowered workforce.” End quote.

Empowered workforce? How about doing your damn jobs? Agile is not a word used, ever, to describe civil servants. Quote.

The Productivity Commission said it was still uncommon for state agencies to measure productivity and some were not asking the right questions.

Some who work in the state sector are hostile to the concept of ‘productivity’ or ‘efficiency’ in public services and resist its measurement,” it said.

Far too often, agencies are risk-averse, closed to ideas from outside and poor at managing change.” End quote.

In the private sector those types of organisations die and workers with that attitude get sacked, as they should. Quote.

The commission said budgets could be used to “send stronger signals” about the importance of productivity”.

It recommended allowing non-government organisations to bid directly for government funding from ministers, and “tightening the link” between agencies’ past performance and future budget allocations.

Non-government organisations and the private sector are important sources of innovative ideas and processes, but can face hostile or unreceptive public agencies,” it said.   End quote.

Introduce competition, and if necessary privatise intransigent public agencies. That would work a treat.Quote.

Barclay was concerned by the commission’s proposed remedies.

“Trying to drive productivity through funding mechanisms, to me, smacks of the old ‘top-down’ mentality.

“What we would really like to see is what is known as ‘High Performance High Engagement’, with union members having direct engagement within their workplaces to drive improvement.”

Air New Zealand and Kiwirail had led the way creating such “higher trust” workplaces, where unionised workforces worked with management to create the right environment, he said.

“We have just come off nine years of austerity within public service and you could arguably say it has become more efficient, but we have got lots of members who say their workloads have got out of control,” he said. End quote.

Unions are part of the problem and have never been part of the solution. Typical union claims about austerity and the workers know best show how little the union movement has changed. State sector employees wouldn’t know a hard day’s work if it him them in their massive cosseted arses.

It is no mistake that the sector of the economy with the poorest productivity is also the sector with the strongest unions.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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