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Date Weds 10 May 2006

Public services key to Scottish elections - UNISON

Scotland's largest union, UNISON, today (10 May) launched its Public Services manifesto in the run up to the 2007 Scottish Elections in front of Scottish Ministers and MSPs at a function in Our Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh.

The union will base its campaigning work in the run up to the 2007 elections on this document - called We've been revitalising our public services.

The union's General Secretary, Dave Prentis who launched the manifesto, said that Scotland had been successfully delivering its own model of public services, and should continue to base services on collaboration and co-operation - rejecting calls to introduce competition. He outlined the five principles UNISON proposed as the basis for public services that would make Scotland's services the envy of the world. - The principles are Democracy, Investment, Fairness, Excellence and Partnership.

Dave said: "We believe that the ethos of public service is different from that of the market. Our members are the experts who can frame, propose and deliver real change. The principles laid out today can provide the basis for public services the world will look to as an example.”

Minister for Health, Andy Kerr MSP is also speaking at the launch. The manifesto is timed to have the maximum impact as political parties discuss their own manifestos in the run up to the campaign, and UNISON is planning to advocate its policies to parties across the political spectrum.

"We are not a union that simply preaches to the converted,” Dave Prentis said, "In the run-up to the election we want to talk to ALL who are committed to the delivery of world class public services. We don't want to comment on someone else's policies, we want to design them.”

UNISON has been at the forefront of trade union campaigning, especially at election times, and in previous elections has produced a manifesto, campaigned nationally and locally on UNISON policies and advertised in the press and on billboards.


Note for editors: The Manifesto - We have been Revitalising our Public Services - is also be available on the UNISONScotland website from Wednesday May 10. Dave Prentis, Mike Kirby and Scottish Secretary Matt Smith will be available for interview via Chris Bartter, below.

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 07771 548 997(m) Mike Kirby (Scottish Convenor) 07803 952 261 (m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser - Policy) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)



Dave Prentis
May 10th Our Dynamic Earth

Good afternoon everybody

And welcome to the launch of UNISON's revitalising our public services campaign.

As you can see from looking round the room we are not a union that simply preach to the converted:

We have people here today from across the political spectrum.

All, hopefully, committed to the delivery of world class public services.

As we approach the end of the second term of the scottish parliament it seemed to UNISON a good time to take stock of the progress made in revitalising public services.

And to look forward to the next steps.

I am pleased to be here today

Laying out UNISON Scotland's views on the future of public service delivery.

UNISON members are in a unique position to do this:

They are tax payers, providers and users of services.

Public service workers are experts who can



And deliver real change

Not a difficulty to be overcome.

UNISON is not just the biggest union

We have an ethos and values

A belief in how we can improve the society we all live in through public services provision.


We believe in social justice democratic accountability and equality.

In Scotland you continue to develop your own public service model, suited to the needs of the

"best small country in the world"

And to the ethos of fairness so central to scottish culture.

We in UNISON firmly believe that Scotland can become a model for public service delivery, demonstrating that fairness and social cohesion can be combined with economic strength.

The world is getting smaller. Across africa and asia, even Scotland people know all about wayne rooney's foot.

We can eat strawberries in january.

But with globalisation we also see much more inequality exploitation


And out-sourcing.

Public services across the world are all facing these challenges.


We don't simply want to respond to events. We want to shape them.

We don't want to comment on someone else's policies we want to design them.

We won't be sitting on the sidelines shaking our heads.

We need to build a consensus about what we do want

Not about what we don't.

We launched our first manifesto "serving Scotland" in 1999 to coincide with the opening of the scottish parliament, followed in april 2003 by

"revitalise our public services". This launched our positive agenda for the future of Scotland's public services. Today we are refreshing that manifesto to take account of the progress made and the new challenges which face Scotland.

Much has been achieved.

Funding is at record levels, staffing levels have increased, the two tier workforce a thing of the past

Public services are working much more in partnership, emergency workers have protection against violence at work but other colleagues need this protection too

There is still unemployment and many of those in work suffer from low pay, particularly women.

Many people have no pension provision

Poverty and inequality are still high

Racism and sectarianism still blight too many lives.

Public services are key to overcoming these problems as both a provider of services and as an employer.

Scotland's approach to public services reflects Scotland's geography, scale and culture. The aim has been to deliver improvement

And value for money through collaboration and co-ordination not competition.

We believe that the ethos of public service is different from that of the market.

Public services also support the wider economy. Despite what many commentators say about the size of Scotland's public sector. Research proves it has been crucial to economic regeneration. It provides both the basic infrastructure and key human and technological resources for economic success.

We are not here to challenge the executive or

To make headlines.

We care passionately about public services.

we deliver them

We see daily the difference they make to peoples' lives.

The principles laid out today can provide the basis for

Public services the world will look to as an example.






The defining difference between public and private services is democracy. It is democracy not competition that makes public services responsive to the needs of those who pay for and use them.

Democracy is about more than elections is about meaningful participation in the decision making process.

In framing the problem and the solution.

Sustained long term investment is essential if we are to revitalise Scotland's public services. This must include the revenue to run day to day services and the capital to rebuild the infrastructure. Recent increases have begun to tackle the years of underinvestment but modernising is not a one off task it's an ongoing process. Adequate funding allows innovation to flourish creating new ways of working

Improving service delivery making work challenging instead of the soul destroying grind of coping with cuts

Fairness in the delivery of services and at work is a crucial part of achieving a fair society.

If the public sector is to continue to attract the best people then it must be a model employer, not just in terms of wages,

But also in terms of conditions: flexible working and training.

If we want the best public services then we need the best staff and that means the best wages.

why shouldn't our nurses be the best paid in europe?

Under labour, health spending has doubled, education spending has doubled, transport spending has doubled and a social service spending has doubled.

This was essential to overcome past underinvestment.

It's time for us to look beyond repairing that damage. It's time for Scotland to be a world leader.

To be the country that others look to.

We want other countries to be saying

"why can't our public services be like Scotland's? "

"let's visit Scotland and find out how they do it?

We should settle for nothing less than excellence

Partnership has been the cornerstone of scottish public service reform. Co-operation rather than competition continues to offer the best route forward.

Examples include joint future, clinically managed networks and the criminal justice authorities.

Partnerships create and benefit from joined up working. They are flexible and avoid the need for costly reorganisations.

Partnership is essential if Scotland is to face up to the complex challenges the future holds.

Scotland has begun the process of developing its own public service model. Revitalise our public services outlines UNISON's views on the future of public service delivery. Working together Scotland can be a world leader in public service provision.

no better prize…..