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What’s the best part of being a public sector employee in the UK?
August 5, 2010 at 3:01 am #107366
A couple years ago, GovLoop founder Steve Ressler and I embarked on a project to ask people why they were proud to be public servants. We got a variety of responses through the “I Am Public Service” project.I’m assuming many of the same stories and perspectives apply:– Job security– Working for the common good– Being responsible stewards of public resourcesBut maybe there are different reason for choosing public sector employment in the UK.So how would you respond to this question: Why are you ‘public service’?
August 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm #107378
Job security – these days? Ha!
August 11, 2010 at 7:28 am #107376
Hmm, great question! I wonder if it is too much to slightly slant the question to, Why have I become ‘public service’?
The three perspectives above (bearing historically ‘job security’ as one of them) are pretty on the money. In vast majority of cases meant, in others I guess the correct thing to say. They are things I’ve said for a while now, myself.
However, I find it’s what is behind the words and sentiment and the “I’m here to do good” for the public, which is the important thing. I think for some, me included, it is a transitional thing from genuine sentiment to something more progressive.
Those “Working for the common good” and “Being responsible stewards of public resources”, are great, but are potentially in someways still ‘passive positives’. They come to work, work hard, earn their money and provide value to that public money that pays them that wage. The value of these people should never, and I will never, underestimate the importance of this attitude…it gets things done!
What is becoming apparent from a personal point of view though, is that I am beginning to mix, collaborate and work with people who are continuously seeking improvement, change, innovation, in order to squeeze more and more added value out of public resources…’progressive positives’! This is where I feel I am at the moment, it’s where I want to be, even in these times of uncertainty.
I find this is why, in true Spartacus style, ‘I am public service’…and I bet a whole host of others can stand up and say the same.
August 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm #107374
What job security?
– We have a pay cut for the next 2 years
– the threat of redundancy over our heads
– Our Terms & Conditions (Compensation Scheme) changed without negotiation or consultation
– Compensation payments capped
– upcoming changes to our pensions scheme (pay more, get less)
– attacked in the press and by our ministers about our pay, pensions and that there are too many of us
Working for the common good, and being stewards of public resources is one thing – having your T&C’s ripped up and ridiculed in the press is another.
August 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm #107372
That’s what I thought, Sarah, based on seeing a couple of the responses above and on Twitter…so I opened a new discussion:
What’s the worst part about being a public sector employee in the UK?
August 12, 2010 at 11:29 am #107370
What a great reply Spencer.
I came to Local Gov after changing direction at the end of an MSc in Post-War Recovery Studies. My angle had been to do international development/post conflict reconstruction as a means of serving the poorest and the most in need.
I could go on and on about the whys and hows of that change but in essence it’s because I think local governance is crucial to sustainable development. And I am most useful in a context that is my own.
I’m here because I wanted to be part of making the lives of individuals better by getting stuck into all the problems and dilemmas you see in the press. I studied History at A-Level and as an undergraduate and did a lot of social and political stuff. I know about how we ended up with what we’ve got. I’ve seen first hand the problems when that bit of the jigsaw is corrupt, untrusted or absent. I genuinely have a lot of love for this bit of Britain’s state structure. It’s unsung but absolutely vital so that’s why I’m here.
But I don’t think I can put it any better than Spencer did – I look with great envy at other parts of the country where there’s people in neighbouring authorities, or with just that little bit of additional clout, or who are part of pockets of resistance where there is that continuous search for ‘improvement, change, innovation, in order to squeeze more and more added value of out of public resources‘.
September 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm #107368
I do, every so often, feel like I’ve made a difference.
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