Feeds

Public-sector IT closes salary gap

Catching commercial sector

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The pay gap between public and private sector IT staff is closing, according to a report from the Society of IT Management (Socitm). The survey, conducted by Computer Economics Ltd, (CEL), found that local government IT pay packets are now 86 per cent of their private sector equivalents, up from 60 per cent in previous years.

The gap is closing faster in some places than others: senior managers are doing better than more junior staff, and the police and fire service have had above-average increases at 6.8 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively. However, across the public sector, pay has climbed by an average of 5.9 per cent.

This better remuneration seems to be helping companies tackle staff retention: in 2003 a quarter of all organisations reported retention difficulties, but this was down to 17 per cent in the first half of 2004. Authorities reported similar improvements in recruitment.

The message about flexible working also seems to be getting through. This year, 94 per cent of the 160 authorities taking part in the study said they offered employees flexible working hours: a gain of 92 per cent since the last survey in 2003. Over a quarter allow staff to work from home, and 85 per cent offer job sharing.

These fringe benefits are the local authorities' trump card in competing with the private sector for the best staff, as they can't measure up on salary alone.

However, for all the positives, the reports authors recognise that it is something of a buyers market out there at the moment. Andy Roberts, chair of Socitm's Member Services Group which commissions the annual survey stresses that local authorities cannot be complacent: "Currently they are able to compete effectively in the ICT skills market, [but] they are likely to face a stiff challenge once recruitment picks up again and competition drives up private sector salaries," he argued. ®

Related stories

Socitm slams one size fits nobody e-gov plans
Council IT workers happier to stay put survey
Survey finds most professional geeks are men

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.