Performance pay on track for town hall workers

8 Apr 99
Local government workers moved closer this week to having their salaries assessed under performance-related pay arrangements similar to those being imposed on teachers.

09 April 1999

Sir Jeremy Beecham, chairman of the Local Government Association, acknowledged that many councils might now introduce their own PRP schemes for workers in a range of occupations and scales. He was responding to last week's white paper, Modernising Government, which spoke of extending PRP to additional public sector workers.

'We should challenge systems which give automatic pay increases to poor or inefficient performers,' said the white paper, which the LGA was heavily involved in producing.

Sir Jeremy said that the national framework for local government pay enabled councils to introduce PRP where they wanted to, but there was now even greater flexibility to introduce it. 'This is, to a point, what the new system now allows,' he said.

'How you assess the performance of a brickie might be different from how you assess a planning officer. PRP is not a panacea. It is easier where there are measurable outputs, as in construction.'

Unison, the main public sector union, said staff would resent the introduction of PRP. 'If you are employing people who are poor or inadequate performers, you should be doing something to make them better performers – such as better training or management,' said a spokeswoman.

'Most social services departments are under-staffed by about 30%. How do you measure performance in these circumstances?'


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