On Saturday, 18 March 2017 I wrote a post entitled “Pay - how to dissatisfy child protection workers”. In it I said:
You can’t go on paying children’s social workers and other public sector workers involved in child protection less and less and expect it to have no impact. You can have all the recruitment campaigns you want, but you will not retain staff if you keep cutting their pay in real terms.
In the last week, there has been heated discussion in Britain about the cap on public sector pay, and a slowly dawning recognition in some quarters, if not in others, that you can’t keep paying people less and less in real terms without serious negative consequences.
The Guardian speaks of a damning government report that shows the depth of public sector pay cuts.
However, the BBC reports that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, is insisting that the Government must hold its nerve over public pay and not give in to demands to raise the cap. Other ministers are reported as holding different views.
There is a lot of talk of the pay of police officers, fire fighters, teachers and nurses. I haven’t heard anybody yet mention children’s social workers but they are public employees too and they are also hit by the pay cap.
In old fashioned English, they used to speak of doffing your cap which means in modern parlance raising your hat to acknowledge or or to show deference to another.
I’m of the view that the time has come for quite a lot of doffing, in acknowledgement of the difficult work that child protection professionals and other public sector workers undertake.
Put simply, the Government needs to pay people a fair rate for the job.