If facility time cuts strikes, what is happening in the public sector?

November 25, 2011 10:18 AM

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis has responded to our report showing the unions getting a £113 million backdoor subsidy.  He claims that the facility time reduces industrial strife, and leads to fewer strikes. If that was the case, then surely the public sector - where staff take three times as much in facility time - would see fewer strikes? After all, public sector workers are also better paid and get better pensions. It doesn't work out that way:



The data on the relative number of strike days lost per worker are from our research last year. You can see the same thing with the ridiculous claim that having hundreds of staff working for the union, instead of the public service, improves public service productivity:



The data on productivity compares the market sector and the major public services. It is taken from the Economic and Labour Market review produced by the Office for National Statistics.

Either something else is going catastrophically wrong in the public sector, and things would be even worse without huge amounts spent on facility time, or union staff paid for at taxpayers' expense aren't associated with an efficient workplace.  We shouldn't fear 'pay up, or we'll strike' threats from the union bosses.  And our past experience with Dave Prentis shows that he isn't above misleading the media and the public:

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis has responded to our report showing the unions getting a £113 million backdoor subsidy.  He claims that the facility time reduces industrial strife, and leads to fewer strikes. If that was the case, then surely the public sector - where staff take three times as much in facility time - would see fewer strikes? After all, public sector workers are also better paid and get better pensions. It doesn't work out that way:



The data on the relative number of strike days lost per worker are from our research last year. You can see the same thing with the ridiculous claim that having hundreds of staff working for the union, instead of the public service, improves public service productivity:



The data on productivity compares the market sector and the major public services. It is taken from the Economic and Labour Market review produced by the Office for National Statistics.

Either something else is going catastrophically wrong in the public sector, and things would be even worse without huge amounts spent on facility time, or union staff paid for at taxpayers' expense aren't associated with an efficient workplace.  We shouldn't fear 'pay up, or we'll strike' threats from the union bosses.  And our past experience with Dave Prentis shows that he isn't above misleading the media and the public:

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