British civil servants' pay to increase

50 per cent hike intended to attract private sector

It’s a good time to be a British civil servant. They’re in line for a 50 per cent wage hike. That makes the five per cent wage hike in each of the next three years currently demanded by Canadian federal civil servants seem like small potatoes.

The Senior Salaries Review Body, acting on a consultation paper prepared by senior officials, plans to propose pay increases and changes to pay grades for 3,000 civil servants next month. The revisions will link pay more closely to performance and will bring salaries closer to those paid in the private sector. The move is motivated by the government’s desire to attract “outsiders” – private sector recruits –and retain them.

The nine current senior pay grades would be consolidated and reduced to three. The first level, covering about 2,300 civil servants, would range from £49,000 to £87,500; the second, affecting 600 bureaucrats, from £67,500 to £129,000; and the third, applicable to 100 officials, from £83,000 to £183,000.

The range for all British civil servant salaries (excluding those of permanent secretaries) is now between £42,000 and £127,000. Someone earning the top level of £127,000 could receive as much as £183,000 once the pay increases take effect.

Note that a British pound is worth approximately C$2.23.

Civil servants would progress through the salary scales according to performance. Poor performers might get no pay raise.

Under the new proposal, civil servants would also be eligible for bonuses of at least 10 per cent, and possibly as high as 15 or 20 per cent in future years. The plan calls for initial bonuses to be modest, until a bonus “pot” is built up.

The consultation paper recognizes that there may be unfavourable public reaction to the proposed increases and bonuses. Opposition is expected from public sector workers like teachers, nurses and doctors, who received a 3.7 per cent increase this year.

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