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UK politics: Veni Vidi Vaccinati

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3 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Yes. As public sector worker, it’s only been in the last few years we’ve seen rises over (albeit not much) 1%, usually accompanied by an erosion of terms & conditions. After years of no or a negligible rise while transport fares have risen. Public holidays have been reduced to save on overtime claims, replsced by plain time annual leave hours.

And after years of effective pay cuts, a coupe of years of actual rises, public sector is now back to pay freezes for another decade.

Oh, and there are reports that renovations to Johnson’s flat in nunber 10 may be funded by charitabke donations from thr public

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-56295061

I did some back of a fag packet calculations the other day, and I think I'm about 350 grand worse off over my service (100 grand so far and 250 over remainder of my career).  That's assuming pay actually starts rising in line with inflation again for remainder of my service. 

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Bit on the 1% NHS pay rise.  Essentially, it's complex, and the NHS pay system needs reform.

Quote

The most important thing to know is that the NHS pay system is incredibly weird (except to all the NHS staff in my mentions for whom it is completely normal...)

We put out a paper on this a few years ago https://cps.org.uk/research/an-nhs-bonus but under the 'Agenda for Change' system (which doesn't cover doctors, but they have their own version) each job is broken down into its components, with points allotted

So “advanced or high speed driving a heavy goods vehicle, ambulance or articulated lorry” is a Level 3a activity within the “physical skills” category - but so are “advanced keyboard use”, “restraint of patients/clients” and “advanced sensory skills”.
Every job is then placed in one of a dozen pay bands. Band 4 would include dental nurses, pharmacy workers and AV technicians. Up at Band 6, you’d find school nurses, paramedics, biomedical scientists and health records officers.

The key thing in terms of the current pay row is that as well as getting the national pay award, there is also the chance to move up within your band (which in the past has happened near-automatically each year).

In other words, there is the national pay rise, and then a potential individual pay rise. That's, as we calculated, NHS pay actually went up by roughly 2.7% pa between 2012-2017, even though there was a 1% pay freeze in place

Likewise, the current '6.5% deal over three years' actually means 'between 6.5% and 29% depending on your role'. I looked at the pay data and two years in, average pay has increased by 6.2%, when the headline figure is 4.7%


This isn't to say that there aren't underpaid people in the NHS - there are! Or that we shouldn't be grateful for their efforts in the pandemic - we should! But given the NHS pay bill is at least £65bn a year in England alone, even small increases translate into huge figures

Historically, UK nurses have been underpaid vs other countries, and doctors overpaid. NHS workers have suffered since 2010 - but their pensions, perks and job security are still way better than private sector, which has been hammered by the pandemic. In short, it's complicated.)

And while I don't really get into this in the article, there is a strong case, as our paper by

says, that this system is A Very Bad Thing. For starters, at any given time, 40%+ of staff are stuck at the top of their pay band, so only get the national rise. Unfair!

But equally, unlike pretty much any well-functioning organisation on the planet, there is no way to use pay as an incentive. You can't reward star performers properly. You can't set objectives for a team (curing X patients, saving X money) and reward them for meeting them.A 1% pay rise for the NHS isn't actually 1%. But more importantly, the entire NHS pay system is not, not, not geared to delivering the best care and rewarding the best staff for success, and if we want better healthcare we should probably try to change that.

It's harder than it should be to vary pay to recruit people in areas where there's a shortage, or parts of the country/hospitals that are struggling to recruit. And the only bonuses go to doctors, on a multi-year basis, with nothing to do with hitting targets set by managers.


In summary, the private sector has had it much worse than the public during the pandemic (and was already worse off esp when pensions were included). A public sector freeze, except for 1% for NHS, is harsh but the public finances are hilariously bleak.
A 1% pay rise for the NHS isn't actually 1%. But more importantly, the entire NHS pay system is not, not, not geared to delivering the best care and rewarding the best staff for success, and if we want better healthcare we should probably try to change that.

 

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What he's describing there is a completely ordinary, not particularly complex combination of a job evaluation scheme, used by almost all large employers to ensure fairness, and progression within a pay band, again used by almost all large employers. It's quite telling that this writer - a journalist and policy wonk by trade - has apparently never worked in an ordinary job where these are unremarkable features of the pay structure. Or if he has, he's pretending that he hasn't to garner a few clicks.

Basically, yes, 1% is 1%. Throwing in other reward (progression) to try and muddy the waters is cheap cynicism.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Maltaran said:

Yep - that was my thought when I was hearing about the interview on the Today programme *. I almost wonder if it was a different royal, because - well, Philip. Not that it's right for anyone to say that. But from Philip it would be more surprising if he hadn't

This has made me go back to looking at old Spitting Image clips. Sadly I can't fine my favourite one - Philip cooing over his infant grandson in a bassinet, until said grandson produces a shotgun and fires it. ("That's me boy!") 

* Added a mention of Today to try and give this comment a veneer of respectability. When I was in my teens, I was a committed (UK-style) republican. Definitely wouldn't have held with adult me taking an interest in royal gossip. 

Edited by dog-days

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It can’t be Phillip though, because that would be the least surprising comment ever, to the point where you wonder why anyone would even notice it! 

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1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

Maybe it was Andrew, be has only shown an interest in white kids so far. 

The great thing about Andrew is that he's such a shit that everything can be blamed on him.

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Meanwhile, the government's policy of just cheerfully ignoring its own Brexit agreements continues.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-56285874

 

Quote

 

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator has said that legal action is imminent over the UK's move to unilaterally extend grace periods on Irish Sea border checks.

Maroš Šefčovič told the Financial Times that "infringement proceedings" are being prepared.

 

This is really dumb. Apart from the obvious - this government claimed to be ready for a no-deal Brexit on day 1, now in March it's not ready to implement the deal it agreed? - to pull this stuff repeatedly while trying to negotiate various other trade deals is surely self-defeating. 'You can trust us, we only break our word when keeping it might be inconvenient' isn't the best sell at the negotiating table.

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2 hours ago, dog-days said:

Yep - that was my thought when I was hearing about the interview on the Today programme *. I almost wonder if it was a different royal, because - well, Philip. Not that it's right for anyone to say that. But from Philip it would be more surprising if he hadn't.

This is a very good point. However, Oprah has stated it was not the Queen or Philip

Oprah Winfrey: Skin colour remark 'not Queen nor Duke' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-56323906

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Heartofice said:

It can’t be Phillip though, because that would be the least surprising comment ever, to the point where you wonder why anyone would even notice it! 

I think Harry clarified afterwards to Oprah it wasn't the Queen or Prince Phillip (declined to say who it was).  My money is on Charles, actually.  I doubt Harry has many conversations with Andrew or Edward.  

Edit: I see Maltaran got there before me, with a link no less.  

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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I have a deep suspicion that "what colour are the kids going to be" was a question that crossed the minds of millions of people in the UK and elsewhere, but asking the question was very insensitive. But a very human question, no? I did not watch the interview, I wouldn't engage in this staggering exercise in greed, but I heard that the statement was met by "shocked silence" from Oprah Winfrey. There was a good documentary on tv here recently, asking kids of mixed marriages about issues they face because of their mixed racial background. The most common one was kids from any kind of mixed marriage sometimes (often) being rejected by members of both sides of their parents' ethnic groups, black kids aren't black enough, white kids are told they're too black, Chinese kids aren't Chinese enough, the white side says they're too Asian, and on and on. My heart goes out to them.

I say "staggering greed" because Oprah sold the interview for a reported $79 M. Is she splitting that with Harry and Meghan? Nice work if you can get it. 

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Like millions and billions of human beans currently on this planet it never once came into my mind to wonder about the color of H and M's kids.  If I had thought about it, it would have run most likely in the channels of, "These kids will be spared that extremely unattractive pasty dead skin tone so many Brits have."

It's been made clear for a very long time Oprah wasn't paying them for the interview.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Zorral said:

If I had thought about it, it would have run most likely in the channels of, "These kids will be spared that extremely unattractive pasty dead skin tone so many Brits have."

It's been made clear for a very long time Oprah wasn't paying them for the interview.

Hahaha, that was the thought that crossed my mind, about pasty white skin! 
 

Since I have not been following this interview crap at all, I did not know they weren’t being paid. I did see numerous news stories talking about the interview in the last week, none of them mentioned whether or not they were getting paid for the interview. If they aren’t, they sure handed a boatload of cash to Oprah.

Eta: oh, I saw another story just now in Canadian media saying their deal with Netflix is rumoured to be worth $100 M, so no worries about them! No Go Fund Me page needed!

Edited by Xray the Enforcer
removed quote of a now-deleted comment.

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4 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

I have a deep suspicion that "what colour are the kids going to be" was a question that crossed the minds of millions of people in the UK and elsewhere, but asking the question was very insensitive.

I think it's probably more than that. Saw today some people saying stuff like, "oh it's fine, I've got a mixed race child and my wife and I discussed their skin colour before they were born so we need to hear what was actually said" which seems like BS to me: if the person you asked leaves the conversation shocked and with the impression you were voicing concern, then something's up and was probably a little bit more than idle wondering.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, VarysTheSpider said:

I think it's probably more than that. Saw today some people saying stuff like, "oh it's fine, I've got a mixed race child and my wife and I discussed their skin colour before they were born so we need to hear what was actually said" which seems like BS to me: if the person you asked leaves the conversation shocked and with the impression you were voicing concern, then something's up and was probably a little bit more than idle wondering.

I agree with that - I bet the question was not asked in a sensitive manner, to say the least. It will be interesting if someone admits to be the one who asked the question.

Edited by Fragile Bird

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9 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

I have a deep suspicion that "what colour are the kids going to be" was a question that crossed the minds of millions of people in the UK and elsewhere, but asking the question was very insensitive. But a very human question, no?

No. Except maybe for those who don't understand how babies are made, and have not the least trace of understanding of how genetics works. The only question I had, at the time of their wedding was, is the colour of the kid's skin going to be an issue inside the halls of the Buckingham Palace? My guess is that it would be an issue for some people, and it turns out that yes it is an issue. Disappointed to be right, but there you have it.

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Posted (edited)

The Royal Family’s best approach now is to not get into the gutter with these two twits. Utterly ignore them and as their association with the family grows ever more distant their relevance to the world will diminish correspondingly.

Any interaction whatsoever will clearly be weaponized into future interview fodder by the fame hungry duo. Leave them be, as they have asked, make a clean and permanent break, and let the Royal family continue without them. 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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