The focus today is all about national public sector strikes and the widening gap between employer and employee expectations.It is important to go back to basics and look at these simple expectations. Employees can expect to be treated fairly (without threat or discrimination), to be kept safe, to be trained to do their jobs, to be offered the chance to progress in their careers if possible, and to be paid on time. In return, the employer has the right to expect the employee to fulfil their part of the contract and perform their job to an acceptable level in terms of both quality and quantity. The employee is expected to contribute a positive force to the workplace and behave towards their employer and other employees in a reasonable manner. If outside economic factors affect that business, it may not be able to keep employing those people. It have to make cuts. I have had discussions with union activists on this one and I do understand that, in some cases, too short a view point is taken; people suffer unnecessarily; vital skills are lost to business. However, no business is going to risk its livelihood by refusing to make cuts during a long-term recession. If it did, all staff would eventually be out of work in a very short space of time. It is as simple as that: a clear-cut matter of economics. If a business cannot afford to pay people, it cannot afford it. If it has no work on, it cannot give other people work. If an employee is costing that business money by underperforming, he or she will be the first to go. This applies to the government of the land as much as any other business – it must always try to balance the books. The creation of the welfare state – something I absolutely applaud and support as an entity that cares for the genuinely needy – combined with the consumerism of the second-half of the last century has created a society corrupted by expectations. People think they are owed the world in return for doing little or less. People forget that they have had the freedom of choice. They will have made a choice between working in the public or private sector, and weighed up the relative pluses and minuses. They will have applied for a job with a particular company and chosen to remain there rather than leave. They chose to live in a democratic society, where the majority chose the government in power and therefore the likely outcomes of that choice every few years. Why, then, have people become so completely unaccountable? Why do they not see that these are the choices they have made? And having made these choices, how dare these inadequate people who cannot take responsibility for their own actions and choices wreck havoc on businesses (inevitably endangering colleagues’ jobs) or in the public sector (threatening health and safety)? What a sad world we have become if we allow these deficient individuals to affect the innocent.
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