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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Our hard-working staff

I thought that CBI Director, David Rosser, was being very unfair in seeking to rubbish the claim that Assembly staff have a long-hours culture in today's Western Mail.

It may well be the case that 16% of the workforce reportedly working more than five hours a week above their contracted hours is not comparable to private business, but this is the public sector. In my experience the staff who work here are committed, hard-working and often carry out duties and suffer calls on their time well above the call of duty.

I believe that we can be proud of the contribution that Assembly staff have made to the success of devolution and in particular to getting this fledgling body onto its feet in the first two terms. As we approach a third Assembly, which will have significantly more powers, I know that staff are working hard to familiarise themselves with new procedures so that they will be ready from day one to assist members in putting new laws into effect.

Nobody is pretending that everything is perfect but we need to say a bit more often how much we appreciate the unsung and often inadequately paid civil servants who make our democracy work. It is their talents and ability that keep this place on track.
In my experience private companies tend to extract more from employees. The public sector has the highest level of sick leave, people work the minimum...

That is of course in general. Assembly staff could well be the exception to the rule - which is understandable - they are acting in a different capacity to much of the public sector employees.

The fact that they're not praised enough and under paid is symptomatic of the problems of the public sector - good work doesn't get rewarded as much as it should as well as mistakes going unpunished too much... Many of us tend to focus on the problem of bad work - thankyou for reminding us of the problem of lack of recognition for good work.
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