Manual workers want 3% cost of living rise

Public sector employees were yesterday threatening to take industrial action after rejecting a pay freeze ‘offer’ from the States.

Public sector employees attend a meeting at St Pierre Park Hotel yesterday to discuss the States 0% pay ‘offer’. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1313171)
Public sector employees attend a meeting at St Pierre Park Hotel yesterday to discuss the States 0% pay ‘offer’. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1313171)

Public sector employees were yesterday threatening to take industrial action after rejecting a pay freeze ‘offer’ from the States.

Around 200 manual workers attended a meeting at St Pierre Park last night to discuss the States’ intention of a 0% settlement.

They eventually voted against taking action but decided that the matter would be taken to a full industrial tribunal, where they would fight for a 3% cost of living increase.

However, Bob Lanning, the regional officer of union Unite, said the threat of disruption was far from over.

Comments for: "Manual workers want 3% cost of living rise"

Geoff

How dare the manual workers ask for more! They should follow the example set by our political leaders in these crippling financial times. Oh, they didn’t take a pay freeze did they?

islander

Manual workers asking for a 3% cost of living rise should be merited for reasons of devaluation of their living wage.For the last 12 months the cost of living has increased by that amount.

A manual working earning £380 per week has seen his wages downgraded to £368.60 per week and who knows what the value of their wages will be if cost of living increases further.

Highly paid workers will not notice a non cost of living rise for a further 12 months.

Employers need to value their work force and consider where money can be found to support their lowed payed employees.

Backchat

Strange the Airport firemen get cost of living & more every year, why are they different?

Walrus

Simple, if we don't give them what they want, the planes don't go.

guern

If the Deputies can give themselves a pay rise why not the manual workers have one.The manual workers work in all kinds of weather can you see the Deputies doing that NO. NO.

mrspinthepantry

Normally round about now I'd be trotting out how many private sector employees haven't had a payrise for several years (still true BTW)

BUT as stated above, the States have put themselves in a position where they can't really say no. They didn't freeze their own pay, why should they expect the manual workers to be any different.

The right decision for Guernsey of course would be that neither of them got pay rises. As it is though what's good for the goose etc...............

A.J.

It is difficult in this modern world,for some to disassociate themselves, from what others are recieving,when asking for a rise. But, what others are paid is irrelavent.More and more we are hearing from all walks of life and all ages,"I want what he's having." This is no reason for applying for an increase in wages,in fact it sounds more like a case of, 'sour grapes.'

Good luck!

A Le Page

On the contrary, this is anything but a case of sour grapes. More like a case of trying to keep paying the bills, many of which are levied by the States departments. Island government, at both States and Parish levels have been one of the largest contributors to inflation in the last few years. But, like Oliver Twist, they just keep asking for more. Yes, we all know that other elements like energy prices have had a big impact on our lifestyles, so why then have successive governments continued to waste public money on unecessary 'projects', not to mention paying the number of Deputies now accumulated. Some of the financial institutions here are paying obscene salaries to those fortunate enough, but they don't keep the cogs of the Guernsey wheels turning daily.

Think on this next time you have to go to hospital,have your cesspit emptied, or have your autistic child taken to the specialist school.

Castiel

What the States are really bothered about is if the manual workers get a rise they will then have to give the Civil Servants the same, or like most years more. And on their salary's that's a much larger bill than the manual workers. The Deputies should have led by example and frozen their pay but they didn't did they.

Dave Jones

Probably because it had already been frozen for 4 years so they had already had 4 years of leading by example

islander

Deputy Dave Jones.

Did some deputies reject the pay rise and gave it to charity?

Dave Jones

lsander

What rise? there has been no rise, States Members pay is not due to be reviewed unti May 13 secondly it will be reviewd on the median average so it is just as likly to go down as go up.

guern

Let see if you Deputies will go out and do or the manual workers work for there pay and you can give your pay to to them.Any takers Yes or No can one or more of you Deputies reply maybe not.

Oilcan Annie

3%? They deserve every penny. I never see (or hear!) my bin men and as I snooze , warm and comfortable in my bed they face the elements every week to keep us all clean and comfortable. Nor have I met Gary my much appreciated sewage cart driver but his card through the door every week lets me know he has been and I don't have to think or see about a family size load of sewage ! These must be two of the dirtiest jobs and we should all be grateful someone is prepared to do it and a living wage is surely deserved.

geezerboy

guern.

agree with you there, and they don t all attend, they should have there pay deducted if they miss a states meeting, manual workers are the back bone of this island, don t see mr trott helping them like when he stepped in when they shut the airport. would challenge any deputy to live on there earnings for a month?

shepp

guern.

agree with you there, and they don t all attend, they should have there pay deducted if they miss a states meeting, manual workers are the back bone of this island, don t see mr trott helping them like when he stepped in when they shut the airport. would challenge any deputy to live on there earnings for a month?

Geoff

So a deputies basic pay is the same today as it was 4 years ago?

Dave Jones

Geoff

What I said was that it had already been frozen for 4 years, the last time the independant review panel reviwed States members pay was just befor the last elaction after a period of a four year freeze.

Guern

The manual workers deserve a pay rise, try living on £300 a week. The states have money to pay teachers and lectures large salaries, and give them 3 months paid holidays yearly and to let them sit at home on snow days, while the rest of us have to get into work. This money is from our taxes so give them a pay freeze for a few years.

Beanjar

It seems to me they are already getting paid 10% of their wages for doing nothing. Have you tried getting hold of any of these guys on a Friday afternoon? Presumably that is the money they don't have to "pay the bills" getting spent on beer and meat draws.

kevin

What an ignorant comment.

I suppose it was only going to be a matter of time before someone joined this thread with some wisecrack about the manual workers.

You would soon notice the difference if there was no-one to empty your cesspit, care for you in hospital or run the harbours or airport.

Mick

I agree what a stupid comment, when you consider these people do some of the worst possible jobs in the Island, and all they want is the cost of living that has already been awarded to many on supplementary benefit just to try to chase spiraling living costs, then I do not think silly comments like beanjars justified or worthwhile.

Quizzed

Oh No Beanjar!

So you can account for every manual worker slopping off work early to spend all that extra money they have eh? ....on beer eh?

You really should check the details before spouting rubbish like that!

Doesn't help matters!!

islander

Beanjar

States manual workers take 30 minutes lunch break monday to friday thus allowing them to finish early on fridays.

Anna

They have my full support.

russm

The lower paid states employees should get a pay rise. I'm in favour of pay freezes when paid above a certain amount but lets give the lower paid a bit extra. Airport firemen should of course get nothing this year.

Matt Fallaize

If there has been an offer of 0%, it is an interesting move by the Policy Council given that the success of the island's fiscal and economic strategy is largely reliant on growth in individuals' incomes and given that the States' headline policy on public expenditure is that it should be frozen in real terms, i.e. not increased by more than the prevailing rate of inflation, which in the last quarter was 3%, not 0%.

kevin

Matt,

I have worked for the States (manual worker) since 2006 - to the best of my knowledge we have not had a pay increase of more than the yearly rate of inflation in that time.

veridique

Deputy Fallaize, Deputy Jones has suggested I ask all deputies individually where they stand on this issue of outsourcing states manual workers jobs to the private sector. So I am asking you where you stand personally on this issue?

Matt Fallaize

I am not on the Policy Council and so I have not seen the detailed arguments for and against which must have been put before ministers in order for them to form the views which Deputy Jones has mentioned elsewhere.

There are two competing ideological points of view which lead either always to being opposed or always to being in favour of outsourcing, privatisation or commercialisation. I don't think there is much to be said for either approach: the first approach fails to recognise that eliminating the States’ budget deficit will require at least some cuts to public expenditure and that the private sector does some things better than the public sector, but the second approach fails to take into account that in Guernsey the public sector is already comparatively small in relation to the private sector, public expenditure is very low as a percentage of the size of the economy and the public sector does some things better than the private sector.

I would rather consider each case on its merits. That of itself probably makes me more sceptical about outsourcing than the Policy Council, several of whose members I suspect favour outsourcing precisely because they have the sort of ideological commitment to a smaller public sector for which I have little sympathy.

guernsey fairy

Matt Fallaize I applaud you!

Dave Jones, I normally have the utmost respect for you, but this time shame on you!

These people do all sorts of menial work and are barely able to meet their rent let alone feed their families. Maybe you should try living their lifestyle for a few months and see how you would cope. They deserve this payrise and I'm sticking my neck out with this, but I believe that most Civil Servants deserve a pay rise too with everything that has been thrust on them in the past year.

Lucky the Leprechaun

Here here Fairy totally agree.

Dave Jones

guernsey fairy

First of all let me say I know exactly what it is like to bring up two young children, living in expensive private rental accommodation with not enough money to make ends meet every week. Bonny and I lived like it for years.

We could not get a States house because back then we didn’t have any that were empty and there was a waiting list in the many hundreds looking for social housing.

My wife and I had three jobs at one stage just to help keep the wolf from the door so please don’t lecture me on the life of a working man, I have been one all life.

Now moving on from that, I agree they do some of the worst jobs on the island, I support them and I want them to keep their jobs. However as a member of the Policy Council I know just how tight money is at the moment and I also know there are a large number of States members who would like to outsource as many of the manual jobs as they can. They see it as a way of providing services much cheaper with little or no treat of industrial action every year. That is the stark reality of where we are.

I have opposed that kind of thinking from day one and while I want the best value for the taxpayer, I still think we (the states) need to keep a dedicated workforce for all the occasions when they turn out and do many of the jobs most people would shy away from.

I am saying to all public servants, work with us through this difficult period and when the economy improves there is likely to be more money available than there is at present. States employees are not the only ones to be told that they will have to settle for a zero pay rise this year, many in the private sector have had no pay rise for the last 3 years. The days of automatic pay rises are gone and as the island changes people will have to recognise that.

I also think this has to apply to ALL states employees, from those right at the top to those on the lowest pay.

Community spirit

Dave, if this should apply to all States employees from the top to the bottom does that include you?

Community spirit

Dave

Will you accept a pay freeze this year?

veridique

Public sector employee get my full support in there quest for a cost of living pay rise. An example of a normal week is 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m and until 1.30 p.m. on a Friday. They have 30 minutes for lunch and a small break of 10 minutes in the morning, how many of those who are quick to criticize, including their paymasters, would be willing to do so in conditions ranging from snow and blizzards like we had a few weeks ago to sweltering heat waves and doing jobs some people would turn their nose up at. These workers cannot simply vote in a payrise for themslves they are at the mercy of polititians who are willing to threaten their LOCAL workforce with job losses only to replace them with cheaper non locals employed by private companies as they did with the toilet cleaning contract, a dispicable way to treat your own and an out right betrayal.

Anna

Sounds like it's keep quiet or we'll make things even worse for you, which is more or less what Deputy Langlois implied on the radio about public sector pensions.

I am extremely concerned to hear that there are a large number of states members who think that outsourcing is the right thing to do.

It is not.

Using the private sector to deliver public services may be of short term financial gain, but will create far greater costs in the long term and is a very shortsighted approach.

We should be supporting out public sector because our community would be lost without it.

Dave Jones

Anna

That is because States members are seeing their department budgets squeezed in order to get the deficit down, all of us are having to find more creative ways to save money. I do not want to see a GST or other tax rises while we have no growth, which is the only way the island can fund regular pay increases. I also don't like being the messenger but someone has to tell it like it is. The island has not seen a situation like this in 30 years or more.

When things improve as I believe they will, then pay talks will be less fraught and there will be more money to put on the table. Do any of you think that it would be much easier to give people what they want but even a small pay rise costs the taxpayers millions added onto the states wage bill.

Veridique

Deputy Jones

So States members are seeing their departments budgets squeezed and are having to find more creative ways to save money? Is that why education are proposing 15 hour of free pre-school education for all 3-4 years olds? You keep going on about how things are tough and how grateful PSE's should be to even have a job, well they cannot be that tough if the States are willing to consider what basically amounts to the luxury of free child care, but I suppose you are going to answer me by saying that I should address my comments to education.

guernseyfairy

Thanks for the reply Dave. I know you were a worker but what I am saying is that with absolutely everything going up in price I can't believe that you think these workers should take a pay freeze. Surely, in reality that is actually a pay reduction?

As per another thread on here, I understand that Deputies no longer have to contribute to a pension and therefore you guys must be better off each month? How is that fair when PSE's and Civil Servants don't have the ability to decide whether they want to be in the pension scheme or not? And again, another deal is trying to be done when it comes to pensions so that both sections of States Workers will be worse off?

You want the States workers to work with you through this difficult period but at the end of the day all that is heard are empty promises.

I can't believe that no one in the private sector hasn't had a pay rise in the past 3 years. There probably are some people that haven't, but I know for a fact that a lot have and they have also received their bonuses over the past 3 years too.

Automatic pay rises aren't a given, but even in these times of austerity people have to pay their bills and with all other industries raising their prices I think its only right and just that wages rise in accordance for all sectors of employment. Those on benefits got a rise, as a taxpayer I'm paying to support those that choose not to work and therefore I would like a pay rise too.

Matt Fallaize

Every year the Policy Council publishes an earnings bulletin, which it states "monitors average earnings of all employees in the Bailiwick (excluding Sark) and provides a headline analysis of trends in average earnings", ergo it takes into account the public and private sectors.

The Policy Council's report states that in the years between 2006 and 2012 average earnings increased by the following percentages:

2006: 4.6%

2007: 5.5%

2008: 4.7%

2009: 3.5%

2010: 1.4%

2011: 3.3%

2012: 3.2%

It is interesting that in none of the past seven years do the Policy Council's figures appear particularly close to 0%, although of course one does not know what the figure for 2013 will be.

The full report can be found here: http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=81779&p=0

Spartacus

Matt Fallaize

I wish you commented on here more often. It's so refreshing to get some facts!

Lucky the Leprechaun

Spartacus I totally agree, it's nice to see a deputy who has facts to substantiate what he is saying. Keep it up Mr Fallaize

Island Wide Voting

.... and for those who are more comfortable with £ rather than % the earnings bulletin says ...

The median of all employees’ earnings was £29,250 in 2012, which, compared to 2011 is 3.2% higher in nominal terms and the same in real terms

• The median of male employees’ earnings was £32,500 in 2012, 2.9% higher in nominal terms and 0.3% lower in real terms than in 2011

• The median of female employees’ earnings was £25,870 in 2012, 3.1% higher in nominal terms and 0.1% lower in real terms than in 2011

• Employees aged 40 to 44 had the highest median earnings in 2012 at £35,490, whilst 15 to 19 year old employees had the lowest median earnings at £15,470

• The median earnings of finance sector employees was 41% higher than the overall median in 2012

Odd that the last figure did not include a £ number but at 41% higher than £29,250 it comes to a nice to have £41,242 ... almost enough for a deposit on a new St Julian's Avenue bottom end flat

tony

maybe if the states didn't waste our money in the first place there would be money in the pot ,the unemployed get a 3% cost of living rise so why not the manual workers .I know you keep going on about deputies having a pay freeze Dave but look at the money you get paid which is one hell of a lot more than most so before going on and on about it try living on their wages ,I bet you couldn't ,I know you keep saying you did but now you don't and haven't for a hell of a long time

Dave Jones

Tony

Some of what I recieve is expenses to run my office at home, it is not all salery, for intance if you want to swap my phone bills for yours then you can.

I have a lot more responsibility now than I did when I was driving diggers.

I have given up my personal privicy and I am on call most of the time.

I can be dismissed very quickly if I make a mistake and if you don’t believe that is true, then just give Hunter or Carol a ring.

There is zero job security and no redundancy package in fact deputies have none of the safe guards other employees have.

If I want to re-apply for the post, I have to spend about £700 of my own money and be re- interviewed by 6,000 people.

So if you want to swap with me, off you go!

guern

Why do you put the phone down on people when things don't go your way.

fed up

I work in retail and guess what i havent had a pay rise for 3 years so what makes the manual workers any different.

fed up

oh and for the record whats a bonus.

JohnT

Guernsey States members have approved a £5,000 pay rise for the next term and an end to the members' pensions scheme.

They also agreed to end the majority of allowances and extra pay for those serving on departments or committees.

A total of 10 motions to change the proposals were put forward, with just two being passed.

One called for a summary of pay and expenses to be published annually. The new salaries will come into force after the election in April.

Approved pay levels from May 2012 to April 2016

States Member

£32,155

Deputy Minister/Vice Chairman

£34,550

Chairman

£37,570

Minister

£44,350

Deputy Chief Minister

£46,450

Chief Minister

£58,520

Alderney Representative

£10,050

Alderney Rep serving on department or committee

£13,965

Allowances

Expenses for the Chief Minister

£3,000

Expenses for Guernsey Deputies

£2,000

Expenses for Alderney Representative

£1,000

Non-States member per half day

£65

Yvonne Burford

I don't want to prolong the unfortunate hijack of this important issue, but the misinformation about deputies pay cannot be allowed to stand.

The total cost of the 47 States members to the taxpayer was the same in 2004 as in 2012. The headline quoted by John T is misleading. There was a redistribution of the pot between members with some getting more and some getting less. Those who did not sit on any Departments or Committees saw their pay rise, while those on several saw their pay fall. But of course that part of the story does not make such a good headline.

There were only 77 people out of about 40,000 eligible who actually stood for this job last April. That alone should tell you something.

Disgruntled

I've been a widow now since Jan 2008 I have to survive on a small part time wage & like many other women I have been robbed of my pension,I also live in a States property meaning I can't earn to much or my rent will be increased or I will be turfed out, I am just over three years away from my old age pension, I also suffer with arthritis & suffer most days meaning I can't cope with more hours, my late hubby & I paid our dues all these years & yet I receive nothing plus I don't deserve a pay rise, maybe I'd get on better if I were to go on the supplementary then I too would get the cost of living rise, one way of getting mine & hubby's money back eh?

geezerboy

john t. answer that deputy dave?.

answer that one deputy dave..

Mick

Just for the record, many manual workers have not received a pay increase for four or more years because of job restructuring. I think if there are deputies who wish to outsource jobs they should come forward so states employees have a choice at the next election. this is Guernsey not the UK so I hope deputies would think for themselves and stop following the UK religiously. Lastly I'm sure if a Royal visit was announced next week finding money would be no problem, but then a cost of living rise is no substitute to a all expenses paid banquet or knighthood.

Dave

Completely agree and there always seems to be money for a bit of Royal toadying.

Am I right in thinking that States Members no longer have to contribute to their pension yet manual workers, despite their low wages, have to do so?

Seems to me they should have to stop contributing, if that is the case for Deputy's?

Yvonne Burford

Dave, deputies don't contribute any more because there is no pension for deputies any more.

The entire pay packet for deputies is as JohnT has posted above.

Yvonne

veridique

Deputy Burford, Deputy Jones has suggested I ask all deputies where they stand on the question of outsourcing states manual workers jobs to private companies, so could you tell me your stance on this?

Yvonne Burford

I am generally against outsourcing because I see no evidence that it delivers what its advocates promise. As stated in my manifesto.

Indeed there are possibly arguments for insourcing in some areas.

I also believe that the Policy Council is not representative of the views of the majority of islanders on this issue.

I would also be interested to know the result of your survey.

Community spirit

Dave Jones

If the Policy council members that are calling for outsourcing of States work get their way, do you not agree that less of the tax payers money will be spent in Guernsey and also more people will be reliant on the benefits system in the future?

Additionally if the States members who are calling for an end to the final salary pension scheme for public workers get their way do you not think that less people will be able to finacially manage in retirement and therefore become reliant on the benefit system?

As Matt Fallaize has said a cost of living increase is no increase in real terms, it is effectively standing still.

My understanding is that the states owes no money and only has a small deficit which will be 0 by the end of 2014( if the states does its job as layed out in the FTP).

The FTP is a plan of achieving savings which have been identified without cutting pay to States employees.

Why don't:

The sates deliver the FTP

The cleaners clean

The sewage cart drivers empty cesspits

Then you can all have a cost of living pay rise.

Dave

Thanks for the clarification I misread the post.

Dave Haslam

This is a really difficult subject.

I for one think that these people deserve a greater than cost of living increase, they earn a pittance, doing in what some cases are truly awful jobs, jobs that 99% of us would think social was more preferable, these are honest down to earth hard working people.

I'm also in a seeming minority that deputies should earn more, (now I'll caveat by saying deputies who can prove they have no extra usiness activities and devote their whole working life to the island, so that will pull the number down somewhat).

Obviously this contradicts with cost savings, but, maybe, perhaps maybe, someone could look at the number of generals to soldiers at Frossard house and amongst other states buildings, the continual paper chases passed from "Director" to "Chief" to "Supervisor" which lends the assumption that "someone else must have looked at this", and leads to 2.6 million flying out of the coffers. This is where cost saving should be made, and this is where we can pay the pittance extra wages that these men are after.

Quizzed

@ Dave Haslam

Aye

That is a voice of reason not a voice of lunacy

and panic

Thank you!

Island Wide Voting

Dave H

Wasn't the multi-million HUB supposed to sort out the overmanning problem?

It will be interesting to see how many Directors of this and that will be required to replace the harbour master and his deputy when they retire soon

islander

Island wide voting.

The hub was made up of the 30 jobs saved from the restructing of the new SAP system.There was no loss of staff therefore.

There will never be staff losing their jobs unless it crime related or retirement

Dave Haslam

Ah but Ray the multi-million pound hub, will end up being manned by staff more costly that what has been replaced.

I could start a competition for "most obscure senior civil servant job title", but the would be no point, because none of us have the imagination to beat the plethora of job titles no doubt being lined up for the impending harbour retirements.

Community Spirit

Was the hub not manned and financed by the centralisation of States wide administrative functions? My understanding was that the year on year savings, made by this more efficient process, would come from the reduction of up to 50 posts.

Simon Elliott recently reported that the SAP/HUB project was on track in terms of cost and savings. He also said that no redundancies had had to be made due to natural turn over and a recruitment freeze.

The total project budget was £9.4m, which included £1.5m for redundancies which has not been needed.

The SAP/HUB project is forecast to payback £1.7m a year (savings in efficiencies) for 5 years from 2013.

I make that a cost of £7.9 m and a 5 year pay back of £ 8.5m

blogger

I've noticed over the years that the people who actually do the job (manual workers) are increasingly seen as second class citizens but those who sit behind a desk, especially the faceless 'middle management' are seen as indespensible. The States could save a lot of money by getting rid of a lot of middle management positions that are in place just to protect the higher ups from having to have any meaningful contact with the people who actually do the jobs that need to be done.

Scarey-fairy-tales

...before I get started, Dave J, this isn't about you personally or in particular, or your department, so please save yourself busting a blood vessel to respond about how you're a working man and how good your dept is, I know, already, I also know that the good you do is far outweighed by all the cr@p I'm going to mention here.

It scares and angers me that Dave J has a point, ie. that if the cost of having States manual workers, who earn a pittance for the hard, cr@ppy jobs they do and welll deserve a pay rise, IMO, continues to rise, and States departments remain defiantly incapable of making some proper savings, idiots that they are, that they will indeed be hung by their own collective petards, and much to the delight of the likes of Mr Wheatley, who is already rubbing his greedy hands with glee at the proposition, States jobs will be outsourced to private companies.

The saving in the short term, short sighted 'save/make' a quick buck views being the only ones our States seem capable of (r.i.p. Guernsey Telecoms, least we forget) will be worthwhile, for a while, then the private companies will start to hike up prices, the whole island will suffer for it, and we will be informed by our leaders, with a collective wringing of hands and apologetic expression, that there's 'nothing we can do', as they have relinquished all power over those services, some very essential.

As I commented on the potential sale of publicly owned land to developers for parking at a prime location in town, or 'to redevelop the war memorial' as they called it to make it more palatable, we will see more and more of this, ie. Guernsey, being sold off bit by bit, and why? Because The States have persistently and consistently failed, no, REFUSED, over many years, to make savings where and when it should have, p&ssed money up the wall on vanity projects we didn't want or need and importing consultants to help them find their &sses, which most of them couldn't do even if they had both their hands on it, and is now having to sell off our family silver to keep afloat......and don't even get me started on the 2.6 mill Gav's lot managed to give away to fraudsters recently.

Totally and utterly shameful in every respect, but no less than I expected, Average Joe as usual being shafted, whilst the banks and everyone at Fort George watches the saga unfold, sighing about how that's just the way of the world, safe In the knowledge they'll just b@gger off to another tax haven if the government even considers having the cheek to turn to the rich for a few extra quid in our time of need....

The poor get poorer, the rich stay rich, and there you have it, Guernsey in a nutshell. Futu.

Veridique

Scarey-fairy tales

Congratulations you have it spot on as to the state of affairs on this island but what I find most disturbing is the willingness of our States to openly betray the islanders who put their trust in them to protect us not only financially by morally too and by that I mean that I would expect the deputies to exhibit some integrity in their decision making but on this point they have exposed themselves to be only too willing to sell the local population down the river. I have read Mr Wheatley's comment in the press today and I agree he is just loving all this isn't he, maybe he has a job as a consultant for the States. Let us make no mistake about what the States are proposing when they speak of manual jobs being outsourced to private companies such as Mr Wheatley is backing. The manual workers of this island are not highly paid so the only way that any company can under cut these wages is by employing foreign workers many of who live in one room, sometimes even shared who have no overheads such as mortgages or families to support or open market dos houses. To add insult to injury it appears that those who return home after 9 months have the tax they have paid into the system refunded so essentially they are working cash in hand. This for me is the ultimate betrayal of the local population by the politicians of this island. Just to get some further perspective on this it can be likened to banks purchasing open market property to house staff they have bought in from overseas, India and the like who are willing to work for a fraction of the wages paid to locals and therefore making the locals redundant, I wonder how finance workers would react to that? It is sickening to see how easily the States use threatening rhetoric against their own people during pay negotiations with the manual workers, truly a stab in the back

kevin

Excellent post Scarey, equally good reply Veridique.

It seems the States are quite happy to continue looking after the rich and shafting the poor.

Dave Jones

Kevin/Sft/Veridique

This from another tread in case you miss it.

I agree with some of the points you make, certainly there is some risk.

But the real savings are in the cost of employing people. It is very expensive to employ people these days, you have to equip them, pay half their insurance contributions, sick pay and holidays,

Training and pensions. All that would be the responsibility of the contractor appointed to supply the service, together with a reduced fear of strikes and disruption. Then there is the admin that would be reduced as these firms have their own offices and admin. That what makes it attractive to the PC.

Would it cost the island more money? I personally think it might but I can tell you Kevin I am outnumbered by those who think it will be much cheaper and they argue that with tight contracts and quarterly payments for the services provided by private contractors the States could monitor the quality of the service and the costs.

I will not support it and you will see that at the time if an attempt is made to introduce it but I could use some Help.

Spartacus

Dave Jones

I agree with other comments that the PC are very short sighted.

I can't understand why the PC are not asking the required questions. How would it be possible for contractors to do all this so cheaply and make a profit? Why is it not possible for the States to replicate this? The answers are obvious.

This is typical of the problem of 4 year term politics. The PC will claim the glory for "savings" and then leave other incumbents to try and sort out the aftermath in the next political term. But it will be too late the damage will have been done.

kevin

Dave,

It is very expensive to employ people which begs the question - how is a private contractor going to do this and make a profit?

It is plainly obvious (even to a simpleton like me) that it is isn't going to happen at a reasonable cost unless they employ cheap imported labour that will only work short term taking an income tax rebate back home with them whilst denying local people job opportunities.

This move will lose the island tax take, increase unemployment (and therefore benefit claims) and increase our already stretched population - quite frankly I find it very worrying that our leaders would even consider this as an option.

Dave Jones

It probably won't be much cheaper but from the States point of view they will have none of the yearly hassel and it will allow them to reduce the office staff considerably which I suspect is one of the main targets here,

This particular PC is dertermined to slim down government I am constantly being told that they have a mandate from the taxpayer to do so,all part of the Sarnia spring that has swept in since the last election.

There is a different way of thinking now to what there was and I have always been against commercialisation, partly because it inevitably leads to full blown privatisation in my view.

Think about what has happened since commercialisation started? There has been absolutely nothing in it for the people of Guernsey, accept higher prices and diminishing quality of service.

Many disagree with me but I can only go on the evidence before me.

I am not the one that needs convincing here, I can only urge the manual workers not to play into their hands during this difficult period.

Community Spirit

Dave

Was the Policy Council responsible for 'renegotiating' the grant with Island Coachways?

kevin

Dave,

I'm in agreement with you regarding commercialisation, the States have not exactly got a good track record when they have gone down that road before.

Judging by the comments on this and other threads a good proportion of the public don't consider it a good idea either - what is making the majority of the PC think differently?

I can't help thinking that the States bring a lot of the hassle upon themselves due to bad handling/management of their employees and poor decision making.

Dave Jones

No

That was the Job of the Enviroment department as it falls under their mandate.

Scary_Fairy_tales

It never ceases to amaze me how our establishment have been so utterly complicit in making Guernsey such a damned expensive place to live, mainly by welcoming the cash cow that is a certain industry, and when it's working populace demand a little more money for a day's graft than they're willing to fork out, just so they can afford to live, simply outsource work to non local companies with imported staff who don't have the overheads and bills that the locals do - many of whom are no more 'qualified' to do the job than locals - as they can afford to do the job cheaper....

struggling local building firms repeatedly failing to get local building contracts come to mind....

or, as in this case, consider getting rid of manual workers who don't get much of a wage as it is, and gifting the work to private companies who will employ who, exactly, to keep costs down?

More imported staff who can (just about) afford to live on a pittance, no doubt, which will drive what the working man earns down even more....

Lagan, imported by our Government to do the airport, and which I distinctly remember we were told 'wouldn't be using the staff' they've got living gratis on a vinery for other jobs, are now pitching for other jobs on the island (and getting them, as they're cheaper), being a case in point.

At the other end of the scale, the sheer number of well paid imported office workers and civil servants being brought in on licence with their whole tribe, who can afford to pay more for a local house that they are allowed to rent or buy, drives rental and house prices up to the point where local people can't simply afford them.

Apparently we locals moan a lot, but with an out of touch Government which has NO clue what a struggle it is just to work and live here and which treats us like second class citizens who should just put up and shut up, compared to the 'better/more qualified/cheaper imports, in our own island, I can well see why.....!!!

Spartacus

SFT

"It never ceases to amaze me how our establishment have been so utterly complicit in making Guernsey such a damned expensive place to live"

I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories but it has crossed my mind before that there is a master plan going on in the background geared towards driving out ordinary locals and making Guernsey into a mini Monaco.

zab

Right on the nail Scary, poverty rising, percentage home ownership falling, stealth taxes (charges) dressed up as savings and clueless about the fundementals of economics.

How about outsourcing the expensive services first, the legal draughtsman log jam, the departmental executives (skype would work), if you are to wield the axe start on those expensive employees.

Dave Jones

Sft

Yes we clearly have got it all wrong,

No government debt at all, while the rest of the world owes trillions, very little unemployment compared to the rest of Europe and Jersey, No VAT or GST, No inheritance taxes, fairly generous personal allowances, very low crime rates, decent public services, an economy still paying its way while others are sailing close to the shores of bankruptcy. Reasonably low rates of taxes and property, charges, very low civic rates. We are still building new schools and hospital facilities.

I bet Cameron would like to wake up tomorrow with our problems instead of his.

kevin

Dave,

No, we haven't got it all wrong but you can remove the 'decent public services' if the PC try to commercialise them.

The PC and States in general should be doing more to look after the average local in the low/average paid job - not looking at shafting them to recoup the lost income that has been and continues to be thrown at our finance industry.

Dave Jones

Kevin

I think you will find its the other way round, the Finance sector is throwing quite a lot of money in our direction.

kevin

Dave,

Yes it is - but obviously not enough to allow the States to look after its lower paid employees!

zab

Dave J,

Don't be so smug, the £ has devalued by 30%and us with it. We can't/won't house our people, homeownership is decreasing, poverty is rising. Generous personal allowance ha, it's less than the minimum wage, which is below the minimum income standard.

By the by did I see a former member of housing break ranks in the GEP today that all is not right in your department?

Dave Jones

I think you will find he did more than break ranks, he resigned

Scary_Fairy_tales

Dave, I agree entirely, we are steps ahead of other parts of the world, that's why, to me, it's all the more important that we stop thinking that if we do what we always do, we'll get what we always got, as this is simply not the case any more.

Surely in these times we should be protecting what we have and adapting as necessary, or face going the same way as our sister isle of Jersey, which our politicians appear hellbent on doing, no matter what, in terms of over population, unemployment, a burgeoning civil service (plus pension), the rich paying the same whilst average Joe is asked for more and more, etcetera etcetera...

you know the rest only too well, unfortunately, many of your colleagues appear to either not know, or not particularly care.

If they did, they wouldn't raid our coffers for every b.s. whim and deny our hard working local people of jobs they can do and houses they can live in so they can give them to imports, bless em (as I have no beef with them personally, but the system that brings them here), who, we are constantly told, are essential, as 'we' simply aren't good enough.

-basic manual jobs within building need imported 'experts'? Really? The GHA certainly think so, with one cowboy they imported for such a purpose not only costing them in terms of total inability to do the job, but ultimately fired for dishonesty, only to go on to set up their own 'local' building firm over here.

The States is responsible for handing out licences to supposedly 'essential' importees, and the consequent importation of their whole family puts more pressure on our infrastructure, takes yet more jobs / local houses at stupid prices off the market and out of the reach of local people (who then come to you for States Housing, which according to you, we needs lots more of...), and pack yet more people into our increasingly overcrowded island, whilst passing over locals/local firms who need the work and losing many of the disillusioned younger generation off island to better prospects than they can get here where they can at least afford to live.....

maybe that was all fine an' we could turn a blind eye to it in the 'good ol' days' when we were all riding high on the hog, but it's hardly appropriate now.....is it......?

Tell me, exactly what are we supposed to think when the Government ITSELF tells us that such things as detailed above are a problem, announces they're finding solutions, spends money we don't really have importing experts to come up with them, then ignores the recommendations of those experts/hides the reports/files it in the 'to do - never' file, and carries on just as they did before, sanctioning the very actions that are making these 'problems' happen........?!

Yes the (now shrinking) finance industry continues to make our island wealthy, and yes, I acknowledge that without it, we wouldn't be several steps ahead of the UK, but whether we look after what's ours and stay that way is down to our Government's ability to react to the present situation, not loll on the laurels of it's illustrious past, and I for one remain unconvinced that you, a real voice of reason, plus one or two others who possess similar common sense, will be heard over the cacaphony of bull headed, self centred, out of touch idiots that will keep the SS Guernsey on course for that same bl*8dy iceberg that sank it's famous predecessor.

Dave Jones

Soft

I think we are trying to preserve what we have and while we desperately need to diversify the economy trying to do it in the midst of a global recession is not helping.

The population thing is very complex, we have several factors pulling against each other, a growing elderly population that are going to need pensions and health care for many more years than we once envisaged.

The opposite side to that coin is the we needs lots of young healthy people working and moving through the economy to help pay for it all.

We have thousands of jobs available in the economy and about 450 people out of work, some of them will not be able to work so the true figure is lower. As our economy contracts the States has to find ways of making us more efficient and that inevitably means financial cuts.

I don't accept that Deputies "don't care" I think they do care but trying to find a balance is not easy, one half of the public are screaming at us to cut States spending and hold taxes down, the other half are asking for more improved services and the government to do more on everything, more housing, improving the environment, cheaper travel, fuel and more money for public workers and you could probably add a few more things yourself.

At the same time we have to adjust the way we do things to keep the main engine of the economy competitive, which included bring in people to help make that happen, on top of that we need all the other professionals to staff our health service and our schools. We need pilots and doctors, bus drivers and mechanics, engineers and planners all because we do not grow enough of our own. Then as I have mentioned before,there are the thousands that work in the hospitality industry, growing and retail. We also have the largest optical group in Europe that is based here and they to need professional staff for some of their business model, although they do employ over 500 people the vast majority who are local.

I could go on but I will leave it there, only to say if it was easy many would want to join the States and help.

Finally the GHA employ main contractors and the incident you refer too was not as you describe, as the GHA never employed this individual, he worked for the main contractor.

Scary_Fairy_tales

Thank you Dave, this is not a personal attack on you and I greatly appreciate both you taking the time to reply and the difficulties that you face over here.

Problem is we see the same problems again and again, this time, attached to a new lot of Deputies that we all hoped were going to be the new brooms who swept through the States, took responsibility for their actions and those of their department, shed light on long standing issues and really sorted them out, once and for all, as so many of them promised in their fancy electioneering, but when it comes down to it, the only thing that light's been shed on it all the costly cover ups our establishment make, and continue to make, (and I suspect the fishermen's licence drama that was kept out of Court to 'stop further claims', apparently, has only just started, again, what undisclosed sum will the Law Officers b*lls up cost us this time, I wonder? Who knows? We certainly never will, we just pay for it), in fact, it's just the same ol' same ol, imo, and sometimes, I despair.

I know the population balance is a tough one and I know we cannot simply stop people on licence bringing their family with them, but this new Housing Law bothers me deeply, as although human rights compliant, I fear it could shoot us even more firmly in the foot, and the benefits of non working mothers/ many small children / a spouse and as many offspring as they want to bring of working age (who naturally want a job) constantly being brought into the island by one person on licence (many of whom are not 'essential' and unavailable locally, simply cheaper, or are mates with/the preference of the UK person over here that's employing them as they don't rate 'locals') are far outweighed by the costs that we are struggling to afford now in terms of infrastructure and over population.

Alternate industries to a declining finance industry have been high on the list of priorities for many years, and totally ignored, and though I appreciate that Kevin's chaps are busy working behind the scenes to try and find a way to persuade finance to stay and create other ways of Guernsey assisting companies leap through the tax loopholes, I am still to see anything come from him that remotely inspires any hope.

He may be a very nice chap but wtf he was voted into such a key role with absolutely NO political experience or experience in such a complex and demanding role is so beyond me, I actually thought Mrs Scarlett had slipped something in my tea when I heard he'd been put in that position, and my thought was then as it is now, 'god help us'.

The GHA debacle that you're aware of.... I am, then, to surmise, that it was either a UK contractor or a local contractor bringing in UK staff?

EIther way, that person most certainly did not have the credentials he claimed to have, and is now over here permanently, claiming to be 'local', and undercutting real local firms, which is a pretty sorry state of affairs, imo, and would never have happened if we hadn't given him a licence in the first place...!

Veridique

Deputy Jones and Co

This whole discussion has bought to the fore a very disturbing issue that of the integrity of our elected deputies. When we as the electorate go to the polls we do so in the sincere hope that we are voting in good honest people but most importantly of all we vote in people we expect to have the integrity to protect the wellbeing and interests of the LOCAL population and to do what is MORALLY right for their OWN PEOPLE and for me this issue has thrown into the lime light just how ruthless our deputies are willing to be with regards to their own people, those who trustingly elected them in and who are now having that trust thrown back in their face. I am sorry to be so blunt deputy Jones but as you have said many times the truth is sometimes hard to swallow but perhaps you should draw the attention of your fellow deputies to what is being written about them on these posts because the way it is going the only legacy that this particular band of deputies is going to be remembered for is the treachery, (and no in my opinion this is not too strong a word), they exhibited in regards to the local population, not a very flattering page for the history books but nonetheless one which will be their epitaph in the years to come.

Scary_Fairy_tales

...may i just add, bearing in mind many manual workers are rather more senior, and have done the same jobs for years, so if they are ousted from their jobs, how exactly are they supposed to find alternative employment in the current climate?

So, that'll be a whole bunch more people drawing income support, living on the breadline and dependant on the state - a hidden 'cost' that won't be acknowledged and smoke-screened with promises that they 'could' get their job back (for less pay) if they reapply, or offers to 'retrain' into entirely unsuitable alternate roles - whilst the younger/better (CHEAPER) replacements empty their bins and cesspits...

if they can, indeed, afford the increasing price of such services, when in the hands of private companies, and we don't see an increase in fly tipping and the emptying of cesspits and such taken care of by householders themselves, which will, of course, generate yet another unforeseen cost to the island in terms of pollution.

Cosmic idea.

PSE

Why can none of the PC see what’s coming if they outsource these jobs?the states manual workers do their jobs for the benefit of this island do they think these private companies care about the island or about making money??these jobs get outsourced the lads/ladies doing these jobs will not all get taken on by a private company and may struggle to find a job will turn to benefits (savings from one pot and more expenditure from another)also a lot of these companies employ seasonal workers and rumour has it can claim all their taxes back when they leave?can anyone clarify this?(money being paid by guernsey taxpayers not being kept in the island)then when the work picks up on the private side what company is going to want a cheap states contract when they can be making big money on private contracts meaning they will either dump the contract as they don’t need it anymore or hold the states to ransom by charging an arm and a leg to make it worth their while.yes it does look good on paper that you don’t have to pay salaries,insurance,training,pension etc but look at the bigger picture in years to come this is only a short term saving .Thank you Dave jones for your support for manual workers would be nice to hear from someone on the PC that disagrees with Dave?

mazz

My husband has had to leave his job after 17yrs as a public states employee to look after our new born baby. We could not afford childcare on his take home salary of £290pwk, so he is now at home and I have had to return to work and support us all. With everything going up electric, private sector rents etc we are struggling to make ends meet and we both feel he should have been able to support us both so I could have stayed at home and looked after our baby. I honestly do not know how someone living on their own can survive on this income in this current climate with the price of rents being at least £200+pw. I think Guernsey needs to really get in touch with the proper cost of living here on this island.

kevin

How do the public go about a vote of 'no confidence' in the Policy Council?

Matt Fallaize

Kevin,

Just in case your comment was not made tongue-in-cheek...

They can't! There is no provision for the public to elect (or remove) departments and committees of the States, including the Policy Council.

The public elect their representatives/deputies to the States of Deliberation and, once elected, deputies elect members onto the various departments and committees.

It is consistent with other parliamentary democracies. In the UK, for example, a person votes for a constituency MP. The holders of government offices and select committee seats are in effect determined by a combination of the House of Commons and the parties.

A presidential system might be regarded as a more direct form of democracy where the public can elect one person to assume the executive functions of the state. If we had parties, proportional representation - where the number of seats is consistent with the number of votes obtained by a party - might have a similar effect of establishing a closer link between the choices of the electorate and the identity of those assuming senior roles in government.

Since I guess your comment was tongue-in-cheek, apologies for going on about all this.

Spartacus

Matt Fallaize

The Policy Council should not have power to make these important decisions in my opinion. They should merely be figureheads and spokespersons for their boards.

Dave Jones

Matt is absolutly right, the PC is deemed to represent the Employer ie the States in these matters.

From that group are selected two members to negotiate the States position in these pay talks.

Its diffuclt to see how else you would do it Unless of course you wanted all 47 of us around the table.

Spartacus

The pay review process should be formulaic and not subjective. It is hard to justify a pay freeze. Any new policy, such as proposals for outsourcing of functions, should be debated and decided by the States as a whole.

You could have discussed these issues in April since there is nothing else in the Billet.

Yes I would wholeheartedly support all 47 members of the States sitting more regularly to make these decisions rather than delegating down to 2 individuals who can hardly represent the views of all 47 members. There is no transparency or accountability for such a process.

kevin

My comment was slighty tougue in cheek, however I have to say that the Policy Council as a whole are not doing much to endear themselves to the lowest paid (and probably in many cases the hardest working) group of States workers with the talk of outsourcing and their attempts to push through what will effectively amount to a pay decrease when RPI is taken into account.

zab

A wise man knows what children quickly learn that people to whom evil's done do evil in return.

If the Policy Council want to belittle and rob their employees to finance their own lack of economic nous, they should hardly be surprised if said employees choose to flex their economic muscle!

Just cos you are on the policy council it does not make you an Alpha Male, if you try to stare down the bigger beast you will be exposed as the pretender.

jim

Who is running Guernsey, the people we voted in or the people imported from the UK under the banner of the FTP ??.

Its about time Guernsey was given back to the people and control returned to the people and those they elected.

I can see a winter of discontent on the horizon, its like Britain in the 70s with the unions flexing their muscles.

Surely the States employees pay increase percentage should, at an absolute minimum be inline with any social payment increases.

What an insult that an unemployed person gets an increase but a hard working person does not. Its all about saving money so Capita can take 6% of our income off island. If the States give 3% pay increase, up to 30% of this is recovered in tax and social security, so the increase is nearer 2%. This 2% is then distributed into the economy boosting other business. Better this than the 6% of all States savings going back to some huge, indifferent, off island, consulting company. Bee in my bonnet, you bet.

The Airport fire fighters though should keep a low profile, they are just clouding the issue. You had you day in the spotlight.

There needs to be a huge rethink, the likes of Matt and Dave need to step up and bring Guernsey back on track.