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Councils 'could Cut 500,000 Jobs And Not Harm Services'

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So, according to consultancy firm Knox D'arcy many in the public sector are unproductive and if they were as productive as those in the private sector they could reduce the public sector headcount by 500000. That's a hell of a lot of waste.

Unfortunately, in the BBC article, it only really refers to "juniors" ... one day they will realise that leadership stems from the top as does, I expect, productivity?

/ snip / Knox D'Arcy, which carried out 1,855 workers' surveys, said firms had better systems to ensure targets were met.

"Put simply, by matching average private sector staff utilisation levels, local government could increase its productivity by roughly a third," said Paul Weekes, the report's author and principal consultant at Knox D'Arcy.

"This sort of dramatic increase would help significantly offset the cuts that are on the agenda as part of the Government's austerity package." / snip /

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So, according to consultancy firm Knox D'arcy many in the public sector are unproductive and if they were as productive as those in the private sector they could reduce the public sector headcount by 500000. That's a hell of a lot of waste.

Unfortunately, in the BBC article, it only really refers to "juniors" ... one day they will realise that leadership stems from the top as does, I expect, productivity?

I don't disagree that there is some slack but I do feel the whole private/public sector worker productivity stuff is a load of rubbish.

On the directly comparable roles such as call centres and IT support (both of which I have dealt with in both private and public sector organisations) there is NO difference in how good the staff are or how hard they work. This is through personal experience of almost 10 years and I have no vested interest in saying this.

Of the non-comparable roles I don't really see how the productivity of a social worker can be compared to the private sector.

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If we assume the average junior employee is on £15K / annum, then using the rule of thumb measure that total costs for an employee are 2 x that figure (to allow for office space, training costs, pension contributions, employer NICs, etc, then the total cost of the excess 500,000 staff is £15 billion. A truly staggering figure. And that's just to get to match the productivity in the private sector which is not that good in itself.

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I don't disagree that there is some slack but I do feel the whole private/public sector worker productivity stuff is a load of rubbish.

On the directly comparable roles such as call centres and IT support (both of which I have dealt with in both private and public sector organisations) there is NO difference in how good the staff are or how hard they work. This is through personal experience of almost 10 years and I have no vested interest in saying this.

Of the non-comparable roles I don't really see how the productivity of a social worker can be compared to the private sector.

I'm of a similar background, again with no VI, but my anecdotal evidence is the complete opposite to this. Saw massive waste and everyone and their dog trying it on in Public Sector (always sick on Monday's, massive amounts of long-term sickness, never staying late, maxing out flexi-time etc.). My experience in the private sector is that they do work harder (probably due to less lax management) and take less time off sick.

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If we assume the average junior employee is on £15K / annum, then using the rule of thumb measure that total costs for an employee are 2 x that figure (to allow for office space, training costs, pension contributions, employer NICs, etc, then the total cost of the excess 500,000 staff is £15 billion. A truly staggering figure. And that's just to get to match the productivity in the private sector which is not that good in itself.

Interesting, but your "rule of thumb" is more likely 1.5 x rather than 2 (for a junior) ... still, £7.5 billion is still a lot.

From my perspective I would rather see more, keen juniors and less, not so keen, middle management yes men, but that's in the private sector too!

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I'm of a similar background, again with no VI, but my anecdotal evidence is the complete opposite to this. Saw massive waste and everyone and their dog trying it on in Public Sector (always sick on Monday's, massive amounts of long-term sickness, never staying late, maxing out flexi-time etc.). My experience in the private sector is that they do work harder (probably due to less lax management) and take less time off sick.

Yes, I agree with you, however, I still see this in the private sector and often, though not always, from those who were previously in the public sector, they seem to have a different culture.

But I shouldn't generalise as I do know there are some excellent, hard working and dedicated people in the public sector!

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I don't disagree that there is some slack but I do feel the whole private/public sector worker productivity stuff is a load of rubbish.

On the directly comparable roles such as call centres and IT support (both of which I have dealt with in both private and public sector organisations) there is NO difference in how good the staff are or how hard they work. This is through personal experience of almost 10 years and I have no vested interest in saying this.

Of the non-comparable roles I don't really see how the productivity of a social worker can be compared to the private sector.

My wife worked in local government for a while - until a couple of years ago. Her experience, I am afraid, confirms everyone's worst stereotypical view of local government.

Dentist's appointment? Take the rest of the day off.

Feeling ill? No problem - 15 days sick was the average.

Overworked? Errr no, the opposite. Endless hours surfing the web looking for holiday deals, flights, dates - anything.

Haircut? No problem - take as long as you need.

As for actual issues - the outstanding items list for each meeting agenda just used to get longer and longer and longer. No-one would make a decision - local councillors are a joke. Self important twerps with too much time on their hands.

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In addition to the more lax working environment in many public sector organisations, the other aspect that affects productivity, is that many public sector jobs now pay more than the equivalents in the private sector, especially when pensions and holidays are taken into account.

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And, of courses, there is no profit motive and no competition. And, in local government, no yardsticks. They just meander along doing whatever they want. No urgency. No deadlines. Nothing.

It's extremely demoralising and zombiefying. Which is why my wife left and returned to the private sector. She could feel herself growing more stupid and apathetic every day.

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And, of courses, there is no profit motive and no competition. And, in local government, no yardsticks. They just meander along doing whatever they want. No urgency. No deadlines. Nothing.

It's extremely demoralising and zombiefying. Which is why my wife left and returned to the private sector. She could feel herself growing more stupid and apathetic every day.

The public sector is about people not profit. Its not about how productive a worker is its about helping people.

Its a different ethos that business cannot understand.

Thats why privatising public services always leads to a worse service.

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I don't disagree that there is some slack but I do feel the whole private/public sector worker productivity stuff is a load of rubbish.

I also disagree. I have a number of friends in the public sector and while they are diligent, company type people they report there are significant numbers of those with not much to do or do not know how to do their jobs. From my analysis the main problem is the HR department, this is radically different to the private sector.

Public - You need a person, write a specification, HR do interviews and send you someone that meets the requirements (in their non-expert opinion), usually most of the questions are admin based (as thats all they know), and they seem to have a different interpretation to qualifications to most experts. HR deal with all aspects of discipline. Clocking systems are against human rights apparently.

Private - You (as a manager) need a person, write requirements for an advert/agency, HR help you make sure it legal etc, and organise the collection of candidates, you do preselection and interviews with HR assistance and chose the person you (in your expert opinion) want. As a manger you are responsible for all discipline, but HR may assist with clocking system lateness, you still have to do the interviews and decide on appropriate disapline. Again HR assist to help you stay with the law.

The private can get it wrong too, as is human nature, but at least those poorly performing companies with alot of wastage get shaken out eventually (in theory). Conversely the public sector can get it right aswell, but this seems to be rare.

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I'm sure those of you who are giving examples are doing so in good faith, and I'm sure you are right, there are definately some of my public sector clients who are much more "relaxed" than others.

The major difference I see when doing training etc is that in the private sector everyone is expected to learn quickly and to have a positive attitude - it doesn't always happen but it is what management expect.

When I put in new systems in the public sector I am often met with quite hostile questions and rolling eyes / sighing about how much extra work they'll have to do etc etc. If they spoke out like this in front of private sector bosses who had ordered the product they'd be in trouble.

I also don't like to stereotype the entire public sector - I was out for drinks last night with my wife's colleagues all of who are 25-35 year old scientists working for the government - at about 11pm when people were starting to head home about a third of them instead went back to the lab to continue working. I reckon most of them (not my wife!) do 60+ hours a week all for about £25k a year with no overtime and no security of tenure.

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The Public Sector is VAST encompassing millions of people who work in a wide variety of different roles and environments.

Yes, some public sector wokers have it incredibly easy and are lazy feckers no doubt. If they went tomorrow no one would notice.

Yes, some public sector workers work damn hard and provide an important service to the nation. If they went tomorrow I am sure we would notice.

My problem with the public sector is not the health workers, the environmental health people, the fire fighters, the people who take our refuse away - i.e. those who do somethin of value... but in the hundreds of thousands of paper shufflers who seem to create endless red tap, rules and regulations to occupy the lives of those who are busy and who have something better to do.

I am sure all of us would be quite happy if they were fired today.

In the past 10 years Labour has turned large parts of the UK in some kind of Cold War style Soviet regime with hundreds ofg thousands of people merely creating hassling for the rest - and the rest paying for it.

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What wrong with "Maxing out flexitime" That's what it's for!

tim

Gordon Gekko had a thing to say about that.

Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

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Interesting, but your "rule of thumb" is more likely 1.5 x rather than 2 (for a junior) ... still, £7.5 billion is still a lot.

From my perspective I would rather see more, keen juniors and less, not so keen, middle management yes men, but that's in the private sector too!

The overhead costs for junior staff is going to be greater than for senior staff as much of the "office" costs are fixed costs rather than a percentage of salary.

tim

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My problem with the public sector is not the health workers, the environmental health people, the fire fighters, the people who take our refuse away - i.e. those who do somethin of value... but in the hundreds of thousands of paper shufflers who seem to create endless red tap, rules and regulations to occupy the lives of those who are busy and who have something better to do.

This is the point that have local councils I work at yelling in agreement.

Local councils carry out the functions that are passed to them by central government - and governments of both parties, via the civil service, feel the need to meddle constantly.

If they just said "Councils are to do X, Y and Z however they think best" and left them to get on with it then things would become far more efficient. You'd come across examples of bad practice no doubt but we elect local cllrs to sort out such problems.

What actually happens is that governments produce reams and reams of guidelines, best practices, purchasing rules etc that councils have to follow.

Even the "light touch" "small government" Tories are just as bad. Saying "publish all spending over £500" actually comes with quite a significant cost to councils, not to mention making sure it is in a format acceptable to the public and not to mention the fallout that will come from each and every cost.

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The overhead costs for junior staff is going to be greater than for senior staff as much of the "office" costs are fixed costs rather than a percentage of salary.

tim

sure, top brass get the latest DELL every two years, the underlings get a networked PC handmedown.

personal office refurbishmnet and new leather chairs...real flowers in the doorway..car allowance, enhanced holiday package, no clocking in, enhanced pension....yeah, the underlings are certainly cheaper to run in the "Entitled" community.

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The overhead costs for junior staff is going to be greater than for senior staff as much of the "office" costs are fixed costs rather than a percentage of salary.

tim

Whatever ...

The 2 x rule is for those with phones and cars, everyone else is 1.5.

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I don't disagree that there is some slack but I do feel the whole private/public sector worker productivity stuff is a load of rubbish.

On the directly comparable roles such as call centres and IT support (both of which I have dealt with in both private and public sector organisations) there is NO difference in how good the staff are or how hard they work. This is through personal experience of almost 10 years and I have no vested interest in saying this.

Of the non-comparable roles I don't really see how the productivity of a social worker can be compared to the private sector.

I too don't buy this whole private secotr is generally great and public sector generally not But and its a pretty big but there is a problem and its the human condition which lends itself towards a desire to empire build.

In the private sector this is dangerous and sometimes results in a collapse caused by overeaching etc... think RBS and ABN, think worldcom, think enron etc.

The problem is that it also persists in the public secotr where civil servants/ governement departments /local councils continue to want to do stuff/ introduce stuff/change stuff often without putting a value hat on.

Many things doen by the public service have a value, but if they had been introduced/rejected within the much tighter budget that we should have been running over the last few years then cuts would not be necessary becasue we wouldn't have an overly bloated list of services. Many of which are luxuries which we simply canot afford but which now becasue they have been introduced people seem to think are a right.

- Why should people with plenty of cash get a winter fuel payment ?

- Why should people with plenty of cash get child benefit ?

- Why should we pay unemployment benefit to people and not ask them to work doing something in return?

- Why should people who do not pay NI get free healthcare ( think the thousands of foregn heath tourists or all those self-employed people paying themselves dividends and avoiding NI)

- Why should we be paying to translate pretty every govt document into 30 languages ( people should speak english) why do we provide so many translators.

The list is endless and I wouldn't necessarilly class evrything or anything as wastage its just that so much that we spend money on we shouldn't becasue the money shouldn't have been there to allow these "projects" to be prioritised in the first place. If many of these things had never been introduced becasue we couldn't afford them then ( which we couldn't ) then there certainly wouldn't be all this ballyhoo now about cuts etc.

My view is lets be honest... cuts will mean cuts to both jobs and services but lets also be honest and admit that we shouldn't have been spending money on these things for so many years in the first place... its time to get real and spend within our limits and if that measn jobs will go, pay will be frozen, services cut then so be it. I am not one to claim these things are all valueless I do however think they should never have been "prioritised" in the first place.... it was Labour's desire to build it's empire and do pretty much everything that came onto its list with no degree of control whatsoever that casued the problem.

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I'm of a similar background, again with no VI, but my anecdotal evidence is the complete opposite to this. Saw massive waste and everyone and their dog trying it on in Public Sector (always sick on Monday's, massive amounts of long-term sickness, never staying late, maxing out flexi-time etc.). My experience in the private sector is that they do work harder (probably due to less lax management) and take less time off sick.

I have worked in both sectors. There is no doubt that it is a good deal cushier in the public sector. Having said that, the idea that all public services are the same is a nonsense. Some will work as the private sector does, but with departmental waste thrown in. What we need , is to weed out all the non job, no point stuff. We need to ask the simple question - why does the Council need to do this? What is the benefit? If still needed, Can it be covered in some other way without public funding? Then reorganise the rest over a resonable time frame.

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I have worked in both sectors. There is no doubt that it is a good deal cushier in the public sector. Having said that, the idea that all public services are the same is a nonsense. Some will work as the private sector does, but with departmental waste thrown in. What we need , is to weed out all the non job, no point stuff. We need to ask the simple question - why does the Council need to do this? What is the benefit? If still needed, Can it be covered in some other way without public funding? Then reorganise the rest over a resonable time frame.

we can start by cutting salaries by 50% over 25K

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And of course then there's all the job creation for jobsworths and all the pc style jobs created for social engineering and so on that councils also seem addicted to.

The creation of new rules such as having to use all the different coloured plastic bins and all the spinoff of new rules surrounding these along with the bin spies all to create more jobsworths and contracts for buddy bin manufacturers and bin lorry manufacturers et al.

Then there's the exploitation of temporary workers including them being put on contracts to subsidise the permo pension fund but the temporary contracts being just a bit too short to give the temporary workers full pension rights themselves.

500,000 in job cuts really seems a bit low :blink:

Edited by billybong

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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