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The key to preventing escalating strike action will be for government and public sector employers to communicate to employees the benefits of being employed by the public sector compared to the private sector, even after any reforms to pensions.
This is the view of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) reward adviser Charles Cotton, as employers brace themselves for the impact of widespread strike action this Thursday by teachers and civil servants.
Charles Cotton, reward adviser, CIPD, commented "the simple fact is that the proposed changes will improve the long-term sustainability of public sector pension schemes. Even after the changes are implemented, public sector pensions will still be better than those typically on offer in the private sector. As will other benefits such as sick pay, access to occupational health services, paid leave and flexible working. The challenge for government and public sector employers is to communicate this."
"Other major challenges will include introducing the changes in such a way that the lowest paid workers do not opt out of pensions. It's also important for the rest of the public sector workforce to not discount what is still a generous perk. For this to happen, we need the government and unions to move away from monologue to dialogue to create a pension scheme that meets both the needs of public sector workers as well as tax payers."
To download a copy of the CIPD's Employment Relations Survey published earlier this year, please click here