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350,000 Public Sector Jobs To Go Over Next 5 Years

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8102121.stm

As many as 350,000 public sector jobs could be lost over the next five years, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is warning.

Chief economist John Philpott says the recession will bring "a bloodbath in the public finances" which will force employers to slash their workforce.

This could lead to "guerrilla war" in the workplace, characterised by repeated strike action, he said.

The CIPD says about 30,000 jobs will be cut at local councils in the next year.

Figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics showed that overall UK unemployment was rising faster in this recession than at any time since the 1980s.

Despite this, employment in public sector occupations such as education, health, and public administration were up 2% year-on-year.

But Mr Philpott believes any optimism based on figures like this is "premature".

"The public sector has yet to feel the full impact of the recession, and the resultant bloodbath in the public finances," he said.

Sympathy will have been frayed by private sector job losses and pay freezes which will have touched many families

Bank policy man warns on jobless

"The CIPD's current estimate is that the fiscal squeeze implied by government plans will result in a total of 350,000 job cuts in the public sector overall between 2010/11 and 2014/15.

"This will be preceded by around 30,000 job cuts in local authorities in the next year."

'Age of austerity'

Mr Philpott said the likely scale of job cuts required would "inevitably have an impact on levels of public service provision".

And he stressed that the "impending age of austerity" would mean that "the greater job security and relative generous pay and pensions packages enjoyed by public sector workers will soon be a thing of the past".

The CIPD is also warning that there could be a dramatic increase in industrial action.

"As a result the coming era of public sector austerity might not only witness large scale job cuts, but also an ongoing 'workplace guerrilla war' marked by waves of major public sector strikes and regular bouts of unrest," Mr Philpott said.

"One brake on this possibility may well be wider public opinion.

"Here sympathy will have been frayed by private sector job losses and pay freezes which will have touched many families, and further exacerbated by a growing awareness of the huge gulf between generous public sector pensions and private sector pension schemes that have been squeezed and in many cases closed."

A report by the NHS Confederation warned last week that the health service in England is facing a real-terms budget reduction of between £8bn and 10bn over the three years after 2011.

And on Monday, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said it would be "ridiculous to pretend there won't be cuts" in public spending in the coming years.

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It needs to be done. But i am scared shitless. What will happen to this country once the inevitable job cullls take place?

Worrying time for the non-essential puplic workforce.

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How many of those have mortgages i wonder, btw it wasnt a surprise, the problem is income tax will need to go up, putting pressure on the rest.

Edited by crash2006

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How many of those have mortgages i wonder, btw it wasnt a surprise, the problem is income tax will need to go up, putting pressure on the rest.

That's the unfortunate part, and I hope they (we?) all find ways to make ends meet sooner rather than later.

The "good" bit is it will mean less intrusive nanny-like gumment. No more council bin 'police', for example....

Edited by Dubai

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This is when the average 'outreach diversity manager' finds out just how valued their skills are in the real world. It's going to be a bit tough persuading a private sector employee of your worth when all you've got on your CV is a series of Guardian non-jobs.

The public sector will of course not focus at first on cutting these jobs. It will, as always, target the jobs that the public actually notice and even value - teaching, nursing, police, fire, refuse collection, cemetries, etc. This will have the intent of causing the maximum pain and disruption and ending the nasty cuts.

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This is when the average 'outreach diversity manager' finds out just how valued their skills are in the real world. It's going to be a bit tough persuading a private sector employee of your worth when all you've got on your CV is a series of Guardian non-jobs.

The public sector will of course not focus at first on cutting these jobs. It will, as always, target the jobs that the public actually notice and even value - teaching, nursing, police, fire, refuse collection, cemetries, etc. This will have the intent of causing the maximum pain and disruption and ending the nasty cuts.

Its actually due to the cowardice of politicians. I've posted details of how this works several times and nobody seems interested so I won't again but this is what it is down to. They want the kudos of making 'hard choices' without getting blood on their hands. But we'd all be better off if they acted like surgeons rather than bureaucrats.

Frankly, for your version of events to be true you are expecting a level of union solidarity that hasn't been seen for a generation and is in any case illegal.

Edited by Cogs

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Cogs - agreed

I would add that there is an element of statist disdain for 'the little people.' It's much easier to demand a 10% reduction in street cleaners than fire the people 'like you' in your office.

It's also much easier to cut services that have previously been outsourced, as per street cleaners. Unless of course they are locked in to long term contracts??

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Cogs - agreed

I would add that there is an element of statist disdain for 'the little people.' It's much easier to demand a 10% reduction in street cleaners than fire the people 'like you' in your office.

It's also much easier to cut services that have previously been outsourced, as per street cleaners. Unless of course they are locked in to long term contracts??

What will happen is that a headteacher somewhere won't have as much as he needs. So the lab technician gets laid off a few years before retirement, the school librarian goes to part time, the roof repairs get put off for a year and they decide they can manage without those two probationers and just not offer those extra A-level options.

Its the sinister side of the 'power at local level' agenda. Certainly the head is in the best position to assess his local needs rather than a minister just saying he is getting rid of X teachers, but really the smart thing to do would be to look at a higher level and just say "the government is no longer in the business of X, Y and Z" and leave the school alone. This would also be great for job creation as it would give private enterprise a clear run, but that would be far, far too much exposure for the current crop of political midgets to take on.

Its the perfect crime really, its the same way the Mafia run their gaming and drugs business. Nobody important gets caught but little people get regularly crucified and everyone is happy.

Edited by Cogs

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Its actually due to the cowardice of politicians. I've posted details of how this works several times and nobody seems interested so I won't again but this is what it is down to. They want the kudos of making 'hard choices' without getting blood on their hands. But we'd all be better off if they acted like surgeons rather than bureaucrats.

Frankly, for your version of events to be true you are expecting a level of union solidarity that hasn't been seen for a generation and is in any case illegal.

Even if you favour a large state sector, you still must surely concede cuts will have to be made.

Just because initial cuts may be made in the wrong areas doesn't mean that cuts don't have to be made. I think this argument is a smokescreen for general squeamishness about any public sector cuts.

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Even if you favour a large state sector, you still must surely concede cuts will have to be made.

Just because initial cuts may be made in the wrong areas doesn't mean that cuts don't have to be made. I think this argument is a smokescreen for general squeamishness about any public sector cuts.

No, it really isn't, I have specific concerns about how this is going to be done. If they are going to focus them closely, and I mean by function rather than ministry or headline numbers, I'd have no objections. What gets axed, gets axed. Something has to give obviously. I want them to make actual choices that can be discussed and examined rather than fudge it. We're better retaining a core of fairly strong institutions and free areas for private enterprise than lapsing into looking like a peripheral member of the USSR where the government still offers everything but its all so run down none of it is worth bothering with.

Edited by Cogs

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No, it really isn't, I have specific concerns about how this is going to be done. If they are going to focus them closely, and I mean by function rather than ministry or headline numbers, I'd have no objections. What gets axed, gets axed. Something has to give obviously. I want them to make actual choices that can be discussed and examined rather than fudge it. We're better retaining a core of fairly strong institutions and free areas for private enterprise than lapsing into looking like a peripheral member of the USSR where the government still offers everything but its all so run down none of it is worth bothering with.

This is inevitable when those on the receiving end of cuts, through their right to vote, hold power over politicans making cuts. In a privately run enterprise this is not the case and the cuts are likely to be more accurately targeted and deeper.

I doubt that either Labour or Tory will make sufficient cuts, under their own free will, and will probably have to be forced to make much more painful cuts by the IMF.

I understand what you're saying and broadly agree but it's a recipe for a raft of studies and white papers that would take an age for any sort of conclusion to be reached. A conclusion which might still well be ignored for political expediency.

Areas I'd look at would be town halls and centralising council tax and rates billing and collection and many other functions that the community derives no benefit from them being administered locally other than a few dozen non-jobs.

Personally, I'd prefer a flat sales tax of 25% and it being apportioned at set rates for different priorities. This would ensure the public sector would expand and contract roughly in line with the real economy. Obviously, anything like this happening is fantasy and we'll carry on with ever more extreme swings of boom and bust in both public and private sectors.

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I remember previous posts by cogs on this and he is right. In many pub sector orgs the people in non-jobs will be taking the decisions about cuts, or their posts will be 'safe' due to compliance legislation (in my sector 'widening participation officers')

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350,000....thats nowhere near enough.

we need 10 times that, and pay cuts as well.

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No, it really isn't, I have specific concerns about how this is going to be done. If they are going to focus them closely, and I mean by function rather than ministry or headline numbers, I'd have no objections. What gets axed, gets axed. Something has to give obviously. I want them to make actual choices that can be discussed and examined rather than fudge it. We're better retaining a core of fairly strong institutions and free areas for private enterprise than lapsing into looking like a peripheral member of the USSR where the government still offers everything but its all so run down none of it is worth bothering with.

+1

There needs to be some serious decisions on what we want the state to do. I tend toward the less side, but that's just me.

We need a zero-based approach where we start with the presumption that the state does nothing. Maybe we never get to reinsert local education authorities, a Navy, cosmetic surgery, free health care for visitors, compliance officers and the like. Would we really be any worse off? For a while we might think we are but after a while it'd be like "why did we do that?".

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No, it really isn't, I have specific concerns about how this is going to be done. If they are going to focus them closely, and I mean by function rather than ministry or headline numbers, I'd have no objections. What gets axed, gets axed. Something has to give obviously. I want them to make actual choices that can be discussed and examined rather than fudge it. We're better retaining a core of fairly strong institutions and free areas for private enterprise than lapsing into looking like a peripheral member of the USSR where the government still offers everything but its all so run down none of it is worth bothering with.

+1000

Change is rarely done well. (The private sector can often illustrate that very well. ;) )

Change is often effective when well planned, quickly implemented and not subject to democratic discussion or interference by local interest groups. Change will always involve losing something. And people can easily see the loss but are less likely to see the gain.

Leaving it to local interests to fudge their budgets simply means that different things, all equally inappropriate are done across the country. As you say a well thought out decision as to what (and what is not) is required across the board is the starting point.

Since we are in the fortunate position of a fairly imminent general election various plans could be put forward and people could choose exactly what they wish the public sector to do. We will not get that. We will get lots of debate about cuts but few real specifics about what will be cut.

We are already seeing this - the debate is about what the "other side" will cut. nobody is asking what we want the public sector to do. Odd really. If asked clearly and honestly its even possible the people's list of what a public sector ought to do might be larger than the current services. The media always write about 'gender reassignment monitors' or whatever. But if you actually ask people to list what they want the public sector to do ..... well some will say nothing at all but I'd not be surprised to see people wanting more done, more often and of a higher (more expensive) quality than before.

Examples: How many people would say it was important to empty their bins more often? I suspect quite a few. Costs more.

Similarly consider the current thread discussing the experience of going to claim benefits. The tone of HPC response there seems to be that benefits should be better run, staff trained more, offices generally more pleasant and that "har dworking folk who've done their bit" should get benefits that they currentyl do not get. Costs more.

I question whether there are sufficient non-jobs to cut in order to fund the real jobs that the public want doing by the public sector.

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I am always shocked at the way some people on this forum gloat with glee about anyone losing their job. Sorry - its just plain nasty.

Public sector job cuts are necessary - but in the end the people who will suffer are the poor, vulnerable, kids and the elderly. I just hope some of the public sector haters here can afford their own private nursing care when they are in their 80s - there might not be a state funded carer to dress, wash them and wipe their backsides.

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It needs to be done. But i am scared shitless. What will happen to this country once the inevitable job cullls take place?

I notice that the prize numpty George Osborne is saying that cuts will have to be made to the public sector, but he didn't say exactly where these cuts were going to be made. Old Tories back with a vengeance: they cut the top rate of tax, while cutting services for the poor in our society.

Where are the Tories going to make their cuts?

Can't be health or education. As anyone who's worked in the NHS or education will tell you, these services are already severely underfunded or overstretched. If anything, MORE money needs to be pumped into these areas.

Cut the number of police? In today's chav-ridden society? You must be kidding.

Local government bureaucrats? That's a possibility.

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