The state of public service employment relations in 2020 is taking shape now as employers respond to government policy to reduce the deficit and address the costs of the public service workforce. Measures to change the role of the state in terms of public provision are likely to leave a permanent legacy. Just as a lengthy period of Conservative government influenced the public service policies of the New Labour administration, in the same way the current government has been influenced strongly by the public service reforms started under its predecessors. A similar evolution can be expected over the next decade as layers of public service reform are built up; borrowing, modifying and re-labelling aspects of earlier reforms, against an altered political and fiscal context. The previous and current governments share a commitment to transform public services and their associated employment practices. In January 2011, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, suggested that ‘I want one of the great achievements of this government to be the complete modernisation of our public services.
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