the two-tier workforce, Unison Scotland called for the Scottish parliament
to scrap future PPP/PFI projects. The union also supports the Labour
Party's call for an independent review into PFI/PPP schemes.
Matt Smith, Unison's Scottish secretary, said:
'The Scottish parliament finance committee's report being debated
today reinforces our call for a moratorium on PPP schemes and for an
independent review. We welcome the call to protect employment conditions of
workers and recognise the step forward that the STUC/Scottish Executive
Protocol has subsequently made in this area. But it is clear that PPP
schemes are still more expensive than publicly-funded equivalents, that
they make profits by cutting levels of service, and they do not deliver the
levels of flexibility available through the public sector. They also break
up the public service team making it difficult to bring back the ethos of
public service that Scotland has consistently voted for in elections.'
Unison also criticises the growing interest in Not for Profit or more
accurately Non Profit-Distributing Trusts (NPDT), as conventional PFI is
discredited by just about every independent study.
Dave Watson, Unison's Scottish organiser (policy & information) said:
'The NPDTs proposed by several local authorities in Scotland are not an
alternative to PFI. They are simply a different structure for delivering it
Our concern is that NPDTs are simply window-dressing.'
The union thinks that whilst NPDTs retain most of the PFI weaknesses. There
is little evidence that they will be able to borrow as cheaply as a local
authority and lending conditions may impact on the ability of trusts to
employ staff, leading to the same profiteering and inflexibility inherent
Matt Smith said:
'We are glad the committee agreed with Unison criticisms in a
number of areas. Coming on top of the critical report by Audit Scotland
into schools' PFI, and Labour's decision to call for a review by an
overwhelming majority - a review backed by 63% of voters in an ICM poll -
we think it is time that PPP's stopped until an independent review takes
UNISONScotland will be keeping up the pressure on the government in the run
up to the Scottish parliament elections with its campaign supporting public
services delivered by publicly accountable staff - not by private companies
accountable only to their shareholders.