Headlines: August 22nd, 2005

The review by Sir Michael identified some 20,000 civil service jobs that could move out of London and the South East. Although lower accommodation and other costs were put forward as the reason for re-location, the move will have an impact on recruitment. A survey of pay levels from the GMB union shows a continuing disparity between London and the South East and the rest of the county. Organisations that move to a lower pay region will ease recruitment problems.The survey shows that the City of London is top of the national hourly earnings league where the gross average pay for full time workers is 28.20 pounds per hour. Bottom of the same league is Powys, Wales with an average hourly pay of 8.92 pounds per hour. There are only 3 other places, all in London, where average hourly pay exceeds 20.00 pounds per hour. These are Tower Hamlets 23.98, Islington 21.66 and City of Westminster 20.14.

The average figure for all areas of the UK is 12.75 pounds per hour. Only 52 areas out of the 203 are above that national average. All of them are in London, South East or Eastern England except Swindon 14.09, Trafford 14.00, Coventry 13.82, Solihull 13.79, Calderdale 13.68, South Gloucestershire 13.60, Manchester 13.59, Aberdeen 13.52, Edinburgh 13.06 and Derby 13.02. That leaves 151 areas where the average hourly pay is below the national average.

Although there has been no proposal for regional pay, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, has told Pay Review bodies to take account of regional and local factors. Some 40% of the public sector are covered by Pay Review bodies.