Date: 15 June 2006
Scottish model of public services must be base for revitalisation-
UNISON responds to Tom McCabe
Scotland's Public Service union, UNISON today gave a cautious
welcome to the debate on the revitalising of Scotland's public services
proposed by the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Tom
McCabe MSP), said public service staff were geared up to play a
major part in the discussions, but expressed concerns regarding
some of the potential debate.
UNISON's Scottish Secretary, Matt Smith said "UNISON has already
launched its manifesto for Scottish Public Services - 'We've been
revitalising our public services'. The principles outlined in that
document are essential to deliver public services Scotland needs.
- Democracy; Investment; Fairness; Excellence and Partnership. The
essential difference is democracy, and the paper could be stronger
in this regard. We need to look closely at how to return democratic
accountability to the Quango state for example."
The union also said that this debate should not be a lever to introduce
job cuts or privatisation, and pointed to existing areas of staff
shortages - eg social work and nursing, as problems that had to
Matt Smith said "Improvements cannot be delivered without the investment
of resources - both financial and in staffing. 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 we have laid out can provide the basis for
public services the world will look to as an example.
"Scotland has been successfully delivering its own model of public
services, and should continue to base these services on collaboration
and co-operation - rejecting calls to introduce competition. We
should certainly compare ourselves with other countries, but these
should be comparisons with countries of similar size with similar
geographical and social backgrounds, for example the Scandinavian
Note for editors:
The Manifesto - We have been Revitalising our Public Services -
is also be available on the UNISONScotland website. www.unison-scotland.org.uk/revitalise.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 07771 548 997(m) Dave Watson (Scottish
Organiser - Policy) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications
Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)