Ministers must stop slagging off public servants, warns Neuberger

21 Jun 01
Rabbi Julia Neuberger, chief executive of the health think-tank, said at the CIPFA conference on June 14 that more money for public services was needed, but that the government should also address the sector's image and the low morale of its workers.

22 June 2001

'I think it's about valuing a public sector ethos,' Neuberger said. 'Most people went into public services because they had a concept of a public service ethos. It is atmosphere that matters more than pay.'

Neuberger said public service workers wanted more control over their work environment. 'We have interviewed nurses and most of them said it wasn't the money that made them leave but the lack of control,' she said. 'It's a very common complaint from people in public services.'

According to Neuberger, criticism from government is also having adverse effects on recruitment and retention. 'If you had ministers constantly having a go at public services even if in some areas they have improved delivery, would you go into it?' she asked. 'It seems to me they have got to stop slagging off public services and public servants.'

Neuberger also urged the government to engage young people more in its recruitment drive. 'The government can't just come to a conference and praise public servants. It has to say it's the right sort of area for young people to go into.'

She also chastised the public sector for not doing enough to recruit graduates at universities


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