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

Thursday, 1 September 2011

APSE calls for evidence of success before rushing into cooperatives or mutuals for public service delivery

This piece in today’s Guardian highlights the lack of evidence available to demonstrate that coops or mutuals can be effective ways to deliver public services. In fact the APSE research highlights that rather than equitable outcomes for service users and employees those claimed as a ‘success’ have relied upon the staff co-optees cutting their own terms and conditions to sustain the model.

One commentator to this piece asked did the research look at international examples and the answer to that is yes – over 1200 case studies were explored so this is sound research. http://www.guardian.co.uk/local-government-network/2011/aug/31/coops-and-mutuals-proof-of-delivery

We shouldn’t be duped by those assuming coops, a society of mutual interest, that by default does not include all of the community is somehow more equitable than state ownership. State owned public services by their very nature mean everyone in society has a stake in that service. That’s what true public ownership means not so some woolly liberal ideology that serves middle class interest.

Anna Rose