Monday, March 9, 2015

Please Sir, Can the Remuneration Authority Set My Pay?

Dear Reader

Firstly, I do apologise for not writing sooner, I realise it has been a few days and you may have missed me.  Seriously, I have been busy, and taking a bit of a break from writing, after injuring my typing fingers in the #28daysofwriting challenge.  (alright, I confess, I am telling a bit of a porky, I was just taking a break and being 'busy')

However, I have been thinking.  

In the last few weeks or so there has been much said about MPs getting a pay rise.  The Remuneration Authority is an independent authority that decides how much money key office holders like Judges and MPs should get paid.  In the last few weeks they decided that MPs deserve a 5.4% increase.  Apparently this is based on what is happening in other professions similar to an MPs.  Skip forward past all the various public outcries and the latest upshot is that the Government has decided to change the rules and set the pay increase at 1.5%.  Apparently this change is based on the following comments:

Key has expressed his disappointment in the pay rises for MPs for the past five years. 
He said today that MPs needed to be in line with pay rises gained by teachers and nurses and other workers. 


That's nice.  

Our esteemed leader would like to have pay rises in line with teachers, nurses and other workers.  (note he didn't say he wanted to be paid the same!)

I suspect that the reason the MPs pay rise has been changed to be more in line with my profession is not about the MPs pay at all, but about the pay rises and collective bargaining that will be either underway or about to take place.  Easy to turn down a pay increase for the public sector if you have the moral high ground. 

I feel I need to clarify something.  I don't mind the MPs getting a pay rise.  They work all the hours sent their way, hardly ever see their families (they are always out and about in the weekends and have to live in Wellington during the week, so that must be hard on families), and they are always copping it from the public.  By all means pay them well - I would rather my representative was paid well, because really, who else wants to do it?  So I have no beef with a pay increase. 

I do however, have an issue with using pay rises in line with 'teaches and nurses and other workers' as the so called reason behind it.   Sounds like a cop out to me. 

So, I have a solution.  

Let the Remuneration Authority set my pay.  Let them set the pay for Nurses and other workers in the public sector while we are at it. I like the way they think.  They seem to be based on fairness and equity.  

If the Remuneration Authority set our pay rises, I would feel it was fair.  They are, after all, independent.  I love the idea of a 5.4% pay increase, backdated.  

You know why this won't happen?

It would cost the Government too much.  

I still think its a great idea.  Can't see it getting any traction, but if you don't put your ideas out there, you will never know.  

What do you think?  Would you like them to decide how much of a pay rise we should have?

I wonder.  

Further Reading:

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