The Pay of Manual Workers in the Public Sector

  • R. F. Elliott
  • J. L. Fallick


Although the principle of ‘fair comparisons’ is seldom recognised in the formal arrangements for determining the pay of manual workers in the public sector, in practice comparability plays a key role in this process. In practice the wage increases of the majority of manual workers in this sector are established by reference to the size of settlements achieved by other groups of workers in both sectors of the economy. Those comparisons drawn between the settlements of different groups of workers in the public sector impart a degree of rigidity to the wage structure, for the maintenance of ‘traditional relationships’ between pay levels implies a fairly stable hierarchy of wages through time. The more pervasive and dominant such comparisons the more rigid the wage structure and the less scope there exists for granting ‘exceptional’ increases to any single group, for under these circumstances this would merely lead to subsequent increases for all groups and an upward displacement of the general level of wages. Moreover, given the substantially different rates of productivity growth across the sector, such uniform increases in wages while in accord with the economic circumstances of some industries may be highly inflationary in others. One reason for a detailed enquiry into the pay of manual workers in this sector is therefore to discover the extent of the interdependencies in the wage determination process.


Public Sector Manual Worker Unskilled Worker Wage Structure Wage Change 
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Copyright information

© R. F. Elliott and J. L. Fallick 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Elliott
  • J. L. Fallick

There are no affiliations available

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