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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Perks and PRP

A good piece of investigative reporting in the Sunday Herald highlighted the provision of new 'Executive' cars for the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police and his deputy. A new Audi and a BMW at a likely cost of £91,000. At the same time this force is cutting a travel scheme for displaced low paid police staffs. You couldn't make it up!

In addition the force has decided to pay out bonuses to 600 police officers worth around £252. This is despite the Scottish Government deciding to suspend bonus payments in their new pay policy.

And they are not the only ones. Managers at Scottish Enterprise got five-figure bonuses as part of a bonus pot for staff for 2009-10. The bonuses at Scottish Enterprise were handed out at a time when the quango was engaged in a £20 million efficiency drive that saw nearly 400 redundancies.

We are often asked to comment on these payments and I remind people that these bonus payments, executive cars etc. were all introduced as part of a move to mirror private sector remuneration practice. There is no evidence that performance pay works anywhere and it certainly runs counter to public service values. At a time when services are being cut, this sort of practice undermines all our efforts to promote public services. Some senior managers need to wake up and recognise that fact.

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