manifesto for Scotland's public services
High quality public services are central to Scotland's economy
and the quality of life of its citizens. In this paper UNISONScotland
sets out its vision for the future of Scotland's public services.
Scotland has begun to develop a public service model specific
to the needs of a relatively small country with particular culture,
geography and ideology.We must continue to develop by internationalising
our outlook, seeking best practice, not just in England and the
USA, but from other small countries.
We have much to learn from Nordic countries. The debate over
public services has all too often focused on differences between
Scotland and England.We need to build a consensus about what we
want, not what we don't want.
Here, UNISONScotland lays out the principles we believe will
revitalise public services in Scotland
We launched our First Scottish Manifesto - Serving Scotland -
in 1999. This marked a significant change away from a standard
trade union approach to political life, reflecting the difference
that was happening with the creation of a Scottish Parliament,
and new ways of working.
In April 2003 UNISON launched its manifesto for Scotland's Public
Services, Revitalise our Public Services. Our aim was to create
a positive agenda for the future of Scotland's public services.
Three years on we are refreshing that manifesto to take account
of progress made and the new challenges which face Scotland.
Scotland's Approach to Public Services
has achieved much in recent years, but much still needs to be
tackled. There is high employment and high economic activity,
but many people are still unable to find work.
There are still problems of low pay particularly for women. Poverty
and inequality are still high, the population is ageing, many
people have no pension provision and racism and sectarianism blight
the life of too many Scots. Public services are the key to overcoming
these problems both as a provider of services and as a major employer.
Scotland's approach to public services is different from England's.
It is an approach that 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 the
Gordon Brown MP articulated this difference: … at their best,
public services are founded on values greater than material, they
are founded on the ethics of compassion, duty and service. I have
seen this ethic of public service at work. I have seen doctors
and nurses who show not only exceptional skills and professionalism
but also extraordinary care and friendship. Carers whose unbelievable
compassion and support can transform despair into hope, home helps
and support staff whose dedication, commitment and humanity show
that there are values far beyond those of contracts, markets and
exchange, showing that public services can be a calling and not
just a career. So we are not isolated individuals, we depend on
each other not out of weakness but because it is by the strength
of common endeavour that we achieve more.” in
Scotland in UNISON no 54 - April 2005
It is this public service ethos that underpins our approach to
revitalising Scotland's public services. Public services run on
ethical lines based on the principles laid down by Lord Nolan:
selflessness, integrity, objectivity, openness, accountability,
competence and equality.
To build on this ethos UNISONScotland believes these five principles
can form the basis for a public sector that will be the envy of