This seminar will explore the implications of the Chancellor’s announcement in the 2011 Autumn Statement that he was asking the Pay Review Bodies to consider ‘...how public sector pay can be made more responsive to local labour markets.’ Supporters of local pay bargaining argue that a single wage across the whole country (notwithstanding a few top-up payments for London) inevitably leads to wasteful overpayment in some areas, alongside underpayment and staff shortages in more expensive areas. Opponents argue that local paysetting would be unfair, too time consuming or expensive and would drain resources away from struggling areas.
To address these issues, Policy Exchange is hosting an event to explore both sides of this argument with relevant experts and stakeholders. It will consider:
- Do national pay deals undermine growth in certain parts of the country?
- What options for reform are there: regional pay, zonal pay or individual pay and how do these compare to the private sector?
- What effect does the current system - or any proposed reform - have on public services?
- What historic or current examples of attempted reform are there? What were the problems/results?
- What are practices in the public sector in other countries and precedents for reform (Sweden, for example)?
- Are there other aspects of the system we should also address (pay spines, links to performance for example)?
- Are there ways to mitigate the impact on fiscal transfer between regions any reform might have?
- Would reforms help rebalance the economy?
CHAIR: Laura Kuenssberg - ITV News Business Editor
Rachel Reeves MP - Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Professor Carol Propper - Centre for Market & Public Organisation
Alice Hood - Senior Policy Officer, TUC
Neil O’Brien - Director, Policy Exchange