UNISON vows to keep up the fight against privatisation of public services

Carol Ball
Carol Ball

Local Government Conference condemned the outsourcing and privatisation of public services that has seen the four biggest outsourcing companies in the UK get more than £4 billion a year of public money.

Delegates backed a range of measures to oppose Tory government plans for further outsourcing, especially in England and Wales.

Moving the motion on behalf of the Service Group Executive, Scotland’s Carol Ball restated the union’s commitment to oppose the privatisation of our public services.

“Private companies are not democratically accountable and are driven by shareholders profit at the expense of our members’ pay term and conditions,” said Carol.

“There is also evidence that services get worse and can become fragmented. Investment doesn’t happen, top executives get paid more and costs go up.”

She told conference that UNISON has had a lot of success over recent years stopping privatisation and bringing services back in house. She referred to the Birmingham IT contract, brought back in house by Labour at a saving of £11.5 million this year which “could save services like libraries, social care and parks from more cuts.”

And her own council, Glasgow City where the branch has been challenging outsourcing of the IT service, with some success as staff will be seconded and their pay, terms and conditions protected as council workers.

Carol also paid tribute Barnett Branch’s great campaign which stopped further privatisation.

She called for the union to continue their work with APSE (Association for Public Service Excellenc). We had earlier heard from Mo Bain of APSE whose work on services which were subsequently brought back in house has evidenced a huge waste of public money.

“And post Brexit we need to influence the procurement landscape to protect public services,” warned Carol.

“We need to continue the fight and campaign to stop privatisation and bring services back in-house.

“We need to support our members and branches in their local struggles and where we can, co-ordinate to help them win. Our members’ futures and the services they provide depend on it.”

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