UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Co-ops to privatisation in three years

In Craig Dearden-Phillips' Guardian guide for organisations stepping out of the public sector, he, perhaps unwittingly, gives the game away about the 'mutuals' con of enabling public service workers to run the services better. What it is really about is cutting pay, conditions and pensions and three years later being offered up as easy pickings for the private sector. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/17/mutuals-social-enterprises-public-sector-spinoffs

The social enterprise 'champion' warns, "My worry is that the public sector "deal" they step out with, including Tupe regulations on transferring staff and higher pensions costs, will remain unchallenged and these businesses, freighted with public sector culture and costs, will crash faced with cheaper competition in three years' time".

We in the public services appreciate his concern.

Elsewhere, we see Maude has excluded Army regiments from his co-op plans. Why on earth would he do that. Can't he see the sense in the armed forces running things better themselves?

There was a "huge, pent-up frustration among dedicated public sector workers, who can see how things could be done better and are frustrated at not being able to do it," Mr Maude told the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11773612

Where would that be more true than in the armed forces? But of course, Mr Maude is not daft and he knows that you couldn't just mutualise and privatise a service so critical to the country.

But then he is suggesting mutuals for tax collection - a pretty critical service in that if government doesn't have the money, it can't do anything). And he has mooted John Lewis type co-ops for care of the elderly, child protection etc etc - all pretty critical to a functioning and stable society, wouldn't you think?

You can just see new the advert now. "Get your care from The Granny Care Partnership, never knowingly under-sold", all to the haunting theme of 'She's Always A Woman'  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHcm1ec7CcY