for better Public Services
The people of the UK expect and deserve the very best public
services. Public services must be:
- of a high quality
- accessible to those who need them
- responsive to those who use them
- delivered by a well paid, well trained,
highly motivated workforce.
The world we live in is changing.We live in a global economy;
technological change is rapid; the demands and expectations of
service users are increasing. Services must modernise to keep
pace with these changing developments.
For too long public services have been characterised by under
investment, crumbling infrastructure and a poorly paid, demoralised
Recent governments have responded to the need for better services
by creating markets, promoting competition and by privatisation.The
result has been:
- less responsive and less accountable services
- poorer value for money
- a demoralised workforce with worsening pay and conditions.
UNISON supports the modernisation and change needed to provide
better, more responsive public services.This process must be based
on the following six principles:
1) Democratic accountability
Decisions about the planning and delivery
of local services are the responsibility of locally accountable
representatives, taken in consultation with public service staff
and local communities.
2) Effective delivery
High quality public services are best delivered
by well trained, directly employed staff who put the needs of
service users and the community first.
3) Adequate funding
Modern and high quality services need long
term investment. This means investment in infrastructure, in information
and communications technology, and in the training and development
of the workforce.
4) Equality of access
Public services should be responsive to
the needs of all members of the community. There should be no
discrimination in service provision, but equality of access for
all people, based on their needs.
High quality, accessible services are the
best guarantee against social exclusion and against more affluent
members of the community weakening public services by making their
5) Fairness at work
High quality services and good employment
practices go hand in hand. Staff are the public services' greatest
asset and they must be treated fairly.
It is vital that all public contracting
is based on the principles set out in the TUPE regulations, and
the Cabinet Office guidance on the transfer of staff (including
pensions). Measures must also be put in place to ensure that contracting
out is not used to cut the pay, conditions and pensions of transferred
and future workforces.
6) Partnership at work
Genuine partnership between government,
service users, the community, employers and trade unions is central
to ensuring a process of continual improvement of public services.
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