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Date: 16 May 2007

UNISON seeks discussions with Salmond

Matt Smith, the Scottish Secretary of UNISON, Scotland's largest public service union, today offered the union's congratulations to Alex Salmond on his election as First Minister. He also said that the union -which represents 161,000 members working mainly in Scotland's public services - wanted to meet with representatives of the new government as early as possible.

Matt said "The First Minister will be aware that the key concern of the Scottish people in the run up to the election was the delivery of public services. Services being built and run by public bodies rather then private companies was the top item in the BBC/ICM poll in the early part of the campaign. I have written today congratulating Mr Salmond on his election as First Minister, and offering him a meeting with the representatives of those who deliver the services for which his government has responsibility."

UNISONScotland has long engaged with all political parties represented in the Scottish parliament and the union wants this policy to continue.

Matt continued "It is even more important for the union to talk to all the parties in the parliament, now that we are entering a period of minority government."

He said. "The First Minister will be appealing for support, policy by policy, so it is important that all MSPs know what the view of those who deliver our services is before they commit one way or the other."

UNISON is writing to all MSPs with a copy of the union's manifesto for public services - Revitalising our Public Services - which formed the basis of their campaign during the election. ENDS Note for Editors:- 1)UNISON's manifesto Revitalising our Public Services, is on the UNISON Scotland website. www.unison-scotland.org,uk/revitalise along with other election material.

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)