UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date 26 January 2007

Public service workers are service users too

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary of the country's largest trade union, UNISON, will today (Friday) call for politicians and the media to stop creating a false division between public service workers and service users.

Speaking at the Holyrood public service conference 'Who Delivers?' in Glasgow, Matt will reject the false notion that there is a conflict between service users and service providers.

"Public sector workers are central to the delivery of better public services," Matt will say. "They are tax-payers and service-users too, and have a vested interest in well-run, well-funded public services. The sooner some politicians and some in the media realise this, then the sooner our members can start to deliver the Revitalised services we all want."

Matt will point out that people, not structures, deliver excellence, and that the debate on efficiency and effectiveness must avoid being restricted to cost.

Matt said "Gordon Brown said the 'best public services are founded on values greater than material,' and Revitalising public services requires those services to be based on ethical principles. The principles of democracy, fairness, partnership, investment and excellence that we advocate in our campaign."

The union has put forward many positive ideas to improve Scotland's public services, including public service networks, increasing democracy into the quango state, and creating a level playing field between public and private investment. They oppose expensive and wasteful PPP/PFI financed facilities and reject the notion of the false 'choice' agenda and the introduction of markets in the public services.

Above all, Matt will say, public service workers and users need to be involved at an early stage in the debate on increasing efficiency in the public services. "Workers respond constructively to meaningful involvement and realistic timetables and objectives. But it must be recognised that there are genuine concerns about centralisation, the effect of job loss on services, and the need to maintain and attract quality staff into these services."


Note for editors: Revitalise our Public services - UNISON's campaign will run up to the Scottish elections and beyond. The manifesto is available on www.unison-scotland.org.uk/revitalise Matt will be speaking at 11.50 am at the Conference which is being held at The Teacher Building 14 St Enoch Square Glasgow G1 4DB

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)