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WORK TOGETHER TO DELIVER PUBLIC SERVICES - CHALLENGE FROM UNION

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Unison's Scottish secretary Matt Smith has challenged the government to work with trade unions and other stakeholde...
Unison's Scottish secretary Matt Smith has challenged the government to work with trade unions and other stakeholders in public services, to work together to deliver better Scottish public services.

Speaking at a conference in Edinburgh also addressed by Scottish first minister Henry McLeish, Mr Smith called for the pressures to use the private sector to be

reversed, and instead for joint working to take place to deliver

improvements in public services. He said:

'We in Unison know that our public services are desperately under

strength. We agree with the Scottish government that they should deliver

social justice, that teamwork is vital in their delivery and that they

should improve people's lives. We want to build on those agreements and

work together to deliver the improvements that are needed. We call on the

Scottish government to sit down with us and seriously work together to

deliver our joint aims.'

Unison, most of whose 150,000 Scottish members deliver the public services

referred to, is clear however that the use of private public

partnerships and PFI schemes work against the aims that the

government want to achieve.

'Using projects where the aim is financial profit will not deliver

social justice,' said Mr Smith.

'Having public service providers working for different contractors breaks up teamworking, and as we are seeing in projects all across the UK, the service provided by the private sector is not what is needed to improve people's lives.

Unison is currently running a major campaign called Positively Public to

stress the need for public services to be delivered by publicly accountable

authorities. This, said Mr Smith, is why the Scottish parliament was set up.

'Our parliament was created so that Scotland could continue to

defend and advance its public services. We all agree that it and

they should be accountable, accessible and best value. The private sector

can't deliver that. Our parliament will be judged on its delivery of public

services.'

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