Pay rates are 8.2pc higher in the public sector according to the ONS
Published at 14:21, Thursday, 05 April 2012
The average worker in the public sector is paid 8.2 per cent more an hour than the average private sector worker, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figure, which refers to April 2011, compares with a gap of 7.8 per cent in 2010 and 5.3 per cent in 2007.
The figures will strengthen calls for a move to regional public sector pay rates which were hinted at by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget.
Critics say the figures do not compare like with like because 40 per cent of people in the public sector have a degree compared with 25 per cent in the private sector.
Public sector workers also tend to be older on average than those in the private sector.
Employers’ organisation the CBI stressed that the average pay figures do not make direct comparisons between specific jobs in each sector.
“Nevertheless, it is clear that public sector pay is still considerably higher than pay in the private sector,” said Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment. “We need to ensure that public sector salaries reflect local labour market conditions, by putting pay decisions into the hands of individual employers at the local level.”
The Unison trade union said that many lower paid jobs in the public sector have now been privatised, such as catering and cleaning, so that staff were working in the public sector but counted as part of the private sector.
“Don’t let anyone be fooled into thinking that public sector workers are enjoying high wages,” said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.
“There are a lot more highly skilled, older and well-qualified staff working in the public sector that skew the figures and mask the reality of low pay for hundreds and thousands of public service workers.
“Millions of public service workers are being hit by the Government’s pay freeze.
“Local government workers are in the middle of a three-year freeze and even the lowest paid have not been given the £250 promised each year by George Osborne.”
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk