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OUR CITY'S NOT FOR SALE

 

oue city's not for sale
UNISON Members: Click here to help | Public: Click here to help us
19 Jan 2012: Edinburgh dumps privatisation plans: "This is the best outcome we could have got - following the victory in November for keeping Environmental Services public, and the recent abandonment of the ruling group's plans to privatise Corporate and Transactional Services, says John Stevenson.
19 Jan 2012: Breaking News: Edinburgh dumps privatisation (on UNISON Active unofficial blog)
14 Jan 2012: Edinburgh ‘to privatise 2,000 council jobs’ (Evening News)
7 Jan 2012: Involving workers key to quality services – not privatisation (on UNISON Active unofficial blog)
6 Jan 2012: Unity call over privatisations (Evening News)
Trade union leaders have called for the same “unity of purpose” from members in an attempt to defeat more council privatisation plans.
28 November 2011: Claims don't match reality of 'strategic partnerships' (On UNISON Active unofficial blog)
24 Nov 13.30: Edinburgh Council votes to keep Environment Services in-house: SNP, Labour and Greens carry vote to back the best value in-house option. Well done unions, workers, councillors and the public who supported us. But two more huge privatisations coming up on 22 December. Keep up the campaign. Our City's Not For Sale.
Up for ChangeWhy the in-house option is 'best value'
THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS
UNISON issues briefing on why the In-House Environment Option is 'best value' and should be supported by the Council:
UNISON examines all the privatisation issues in a detailed briefing to councillors and urges a decision made on 'best value' for the people of Edinburgh (PDF document) 23 Nov
Back Edinburgh's workers
Reject Privatisation

Nov 24: Lobby of Council 8.30 to 10am
Click for an A4 leaflet for your workplace and the public

 

15 Nov 2011: City councillors postpone call on privatisation plans (Evening News)
10 November: Letters: Evening News: Public need the facts for privatisation debate, not propaganda
1 Nov 2011: Martin Hannan: We need truth on privatisation (Evening News)
Our City's STILL Not For Sale: 27 Oct: UNISON's campaign has led to the vote on privatisation of capital's rubbish collection being delayed with Councillors given another month to consider 'new information' before deciding on the future of the service. The campaign goes on! See STV News
27 Oct 2011: Part of City Not For Sale? (On UNISON Active unofficial blog)
26 Oct 2011: Privatisation in tatters as SNP rejects bin deal (Evening News)
Peter HunterTen reasons why City of Edinburgh Councillors should oppose privatisation The City of Edinburgh Council will vote today on a plan to outsource environmental services to a private company. UNISON Organiser, Peter Hunter tells STV News why councillors should vote against.
25 October 2011: City faces legal questions over privatisation move (Evening News)
Lib Dems and SNP posted missing as public meeting calls for halt to privatisation A packed public meeting called by UNISON at Edinburgh University last night called for a halt to massive privatisation and poured scorn on the council administration’s failure to consult the public 25 Oct: >>more
TAXPAYERS WILL PAY FOR EDINBURGH PRIVATISATION GAMBLE UNISON has condemned Edinburgh council for gambling with jobs and services as it sets out plans today to sell off the city’s essential cleansing, waste and award winning parks services.21 October 2011 more>>
PRIVATISATION: ACT NOW!
Public Meeting 7pm Mon 24 October, Appleton Tower, Edinburgh University
Lobby the Council: 08.30-10.00 Thurs 27 October, City Chambers, High Street
15 Oct 2011 Edinburgh Council censors critical report as UNISON launches privatisation pledge
In response UNISON has launched a “Privatisation Pledge” - the union will be asking elected politicians to oppose privatisation of services until there has been full public consultation and proper scrutiny
Councillors sign privatisation pledge

Labour MP Sheila Gilmour and Councillor Ricky Henderson sign the pledge
More photos on Picasa

Launch of Privatisation Pledge with giant Pledge card
Politicians across the Edinburgh and Lothian area were asked to sign the Privatisation Pledge on the Mound at 11.30 am on Saturday 15 October.

It read: I think it s best that vital public services are delivered efficiently by public servants, not private companies. So I m very concerned about plans for wholesale privatisation of large swathes of Edinburgh Council services under the Alternative Business Models (ABM) process - especially since allowing bidders to close the pension scheme means that there s not a level playing field for the in-house bid. Until there has been full public consultation and proper scrutiny I will oppose any moves by City of Edinburgh Council to appoint private companies to do its core work for it  more>>

6 Sept 2011 Let’s go public on privatisation (Evening News)

Lively hustings demands consultation on privatisation
Communities call meetings to demand answers
Edinburgh Council wants to push through the largest privatisation of council services in Scottish history. ACT NOW! SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION


Neither the SNP nor Lib Dems - who run the council - said they would privatise our services but now they're heading for a £1billion sell-off. Demand that your councillors consult with the citizens of Edinburgh

4 August 2011: Big Society’ acts against Edinburgh privatisation
(On UNISON Active unofficial blog)

1 Aug: Edinburgh privatisation 'worse than the trams' say unions as communities take action Unions have warned that the fall-out from Edinburgh council's £1billion privatisation plans could be 'worse than the trams', as citizens take things into their own hands by organising public meetings across the city to demand answers from the council.
Worse than the trams

Click here for the new leaflet (pdf)

Edinburgh Council wants to push through the largest privatisation of council services in Scottish history.
ACT NOW! SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION. CONTACT YOUR COUNCILLOR.


Neither the SNP nor Lib Dems - who run the council - said they would privatise our services but now they're heading for a £1billion sell-off. Demand that your councillors consult with the citizens of Edinburgh

PenOUR CITY'S NOT FOR SALE:
Sign our online petition - click here

Latest Petition Comment: "As a citizen of Edinburgh I am concerned and worried at the prospect of the privatisation of Council services which currently provide good value for money, jobs for the people of Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Privitisation of public services has resulted in the very costly trams project and the Southern Cross situation in England".
28 June 2011: UNISON exposes Edinburgh privatisation stitch-up (On UNISON ACtive unofficial blog)
Edinburgh must delay privatisation decision until public have their say: A packed public consultation organised by UNISON last night (27 June) heard calls for Edinburgh's Lib Dem/ SNP council to delay its £1 billion privatisation plans until the public is properly consulted.
FlyerPRIVATISATION
of Edinburgh City Council Services
PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Augustine Church, George IV Bridge,
Edinburgh Monday 27th June 6-8pm

Click here for details and how to put your question | Click here to sign our online petition

PRIVATISATION
of Edinburgh City Council Services
PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Augustine Church, George IV Bridge,
Edinburgh Monday 27th June 2011 6-8pm
Click here for details

SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION

Pressure mounts as council drives to privatisation
The campaign against privatisation is stepping up as the Council faces critical decisions in the coming weeks. 6 June 2011: >>more
10 Feb 2011: ABANDON PRIVATISATION AND SAVE SERVICES, UNISON TELLS EDINBURGH COUNCIL ON BUDGET DAY Members of UNISON's Edinburgh branch to urge the council to protect front line services, avoid compulsory redundancies and abandon 'wasteful' privatisation plans.

Lobby  10 FebruaryIf the need hasn't gone away, why should the services? Lobby against the cuts: Thurs 10 February 2011 City Chambers, High Street.

Click here for the Branch's briefing for councillors.

 

 

16 December 2010: UNISON exposes 'grave misconduct' by private bidders (On UNISON Active unofficial blog)
15 December 2010: UNISON TO CHALLENGE EDINBURGH COUNCIL ON CUTS AND NEW DAMNING EVIDENCE ON PRIVATISATION PLANS UNISON will call for an immediate halt to privatisation at Edinburgh City Council at a lobby of the Council on 16th December after it was revealed that two of the private bidders had not revealed criminal convictions arising from fatal workplace accidents. more>> | See also the full UNISON submission (pdf)
24 Sept 2010: Edinburgh: not for sale UNISON UK site - The campaign to protect jobs and services in Edinburgh steps up a gear this autumn ahead of the city council making public its plans to privatise services which will at least 3,500 jobs at risk.

City not for sale

THE DANGERS OF PRIVATISING SERVICES: As Connaught's administrators try to get services brought back in house, questions are asked about the firms accountancy methods. This firm had passed Edinburgh's finance checks!
see more on the unofficial UNISONActive blog

Selling Edinburgh off will come at great cost to us all

Letter in Evening News 29/7/10
In an otherwise enlightening article on council funding and privatisation (Counting the cost of public sector cuts, News, July 27), Rory Reynolds spoils it when he says "the status quo is unsustainable".

Thank goodness the government after the Second World War was not so defeatist. At that time the national debt (as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product) was three times the current debt.

Yet the country managed to create the NHS, create proper pensions and instigate the biggest social housing programme ever seen.

By all means report on the current financial crisis facing the council, but don't fall for the Con-Lib spin that there is no alternative.

Let's have a real debate about the so-called 'crisis'. Let's learn from the rebuilding in the USA after the depression.

If Edinburgh is sold off, it will not just be the essential public services that are cut, but the thousands of businesses that rely on them.

Sold off to multinationals with no base in the city, not for efficiency but for profit - and to allow councillors to pass the buck and say, "it was the big company that didn't deliver, not us".

The cuts we face are ideological, not financial. We need to wake up to that.

John Stevenson,
President,
UNISON, City of Edinburgh Branch

Click here for the original Evening News feature

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31 May 2010: 5.5m of taxpayers money wasted on consultants. (See Evening News story here)
John Stevenson:
"This is a council that has already spent 6m on consultants so, in the space of 18 months, 7m has gone on nothing. The priority should be investing in front line services."

He also said not enough was being done to investigate whether an alternative in-house bid could be drawn up.

"If they spend 1m on how to privatise, we think they could spend a fraction on speaking to people in-house and seeing how they can make the service better."

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"You cannot hide from the responsibility for the disaster privatisation will bring"

26 June 20101 DemoBranch Officers told councillors on 24 June that they 'cannot hide from the responsibility for the disaster privatisation will bring', as they outlined UNISON's concerns about plans to move to the next stage of the process to outsource up to 3,500 jobs.

UNISON condemned the risk posed to local services and jobs created by the plans to privatise key sections of the council. The scale of the threat is significant - catering, cleaning, security, property, refuse, cleansing, finance, benefits and many other services are at risk.

We believe the private sector will increase service costs including service charges to you, while offering a poorer quality service - not to mention the real risks to jobs, pay and conditions.

In addition, three out of five of the companies known to be shortlisted for the facilities contract, and the parent company of one shortlisted for the environment contract, were fined by the Office of Fair Trading in 2009 for 'illegal bid-rigging' . They were fined a total of around £40million (see http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2009/114-09) This goes alongside concerns about health and safety breaches by some.

While 1.5 million is being spent on trying to privatise services, only one tenth of that is being offered to delivering an 'in-house' option.

At this morning's rally, UNISON's Kevin Duguid told members, "The councillors are burying their heads in the sand hoping that when it all goes wrong, they can blame the officials. We are going to be telling them that you cannot hide from the responsibility for the disaster privatisation will bring".

"These services will run to over £100 million for 7-12 year contracts. That would put the trams shamble into the shade", warned Kevin.

"The public is not getting to know about this shambles, about the companies that will bid for our services and about the costs - but if the Council won't tell them, UNISON will make sure they know".

We have excellent services in Edinburgh and we need another Tram fiasco like a hole in the head. So join our campaign, distribute the petition, display a poster and come to our meetings to help us develop an alternative vision for local jobs and services.

The Labour Group has put forward an amendment which would have made for a meaningful in-house bid and demanded real figures from the council rather than the current guesses on possible savings.

See 10 REASONS WHY WE MUST KEEP EDINBURGH PUBLIC
UNISON damning analysis of the Council's plans
for more details.

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25 March 2010: Threatened Staff Win UK Award
If It Ainít Broke Ė Donít Fix It: Staff at the City of Edinburgh Council, who face wholesale privatisation, have just received a UK award for delivering efficiencies that are unrivalled across the UK.

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March/April 2010 Branch issues briefing pack to councillors
with full details of our critique of the 'Alternative Business Models' programme.

Campaign against sell-off starts in Edinburgh

(See Evening News story here)

City Not for SaleUNISON has launched a campaign against 'reckless' council plans to sell-off services and over 3,000 jobs. (24 March 2010)

The "Our City's Not For Sale" campaign will work with other unions, community groups and the public to expose the dangers of the council's 'alternative business models'.

"Services like front line customer contact, revenue and benefits, catering, cleaning, security, cleansing and vehicle and grounds maintenance, along with HR are all up for grabs with cultural services, transport and legal services also being primed for outsourcing through multi-million pound 'strategic partnerships' or 'joint ventures' - privatisation, to you and me", said Agnes Petkevicius, UNISON Edinburgh Branch Secretary.

"UNISON's own studies have revealed that, at best, council claims about savings are wishful thinking. No credible evidence exists to support them. Worse still, the evidence that does exist points to failures, worse services, increased costs and huge bills to bring failed services back in-house.

"To go ahead with this, in an exercise likely to top £1million wasted on consultants, without learning the lessons of the social care tendering fiasco is nothing short of reckless".

"If services are delivered in-house with no need to make a profit, how can they be delivered more cheaply while making a profit on top? Something has to give and that is usually the quality of the service or indeed the whole service - along with any decency in the pay and conditions of those delivering the service", added Branch President John Stevenson.

"You still pay your taxes but instead of the money going on the service and those who deliver it, it goes to company profits. Like the banks, or even perhaps the trams contract, these companies will become 'too big to fail' and will have the council over a barrel. It is time for the council to abandon these plans and concentrate on efficient and quality services in-house".

UNISON lead negotiator Kevin Duguid said, "The union has stressed that it is always ready to fully engage with the council on better and more efficient ways of delivering quality services. "However, the refusal to seriously look at in-house options means there is no real attempt to look at improving services, just a headlong drive to privatise".

"Nowhere is this more evident than the council leaving key issues out of the tendering advert like bidders having to comply with legal requirements such as the equalities duty, Climate Change Act etc, in case it deters them from applying".

"Staff are demoralised at how they are being treated with their jobs being sold from under them to the lowest bidder who will cut their terms and conditions to deliver profits for their shareholders first, with service delivery coming second."

More details and 10 points from UNISON's damning analysis of the council plans is at http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/citynotforsale/10points.html

 

10 Feb 2010: No council worker gambled millions on the stock exchange. Why should they have to pay the price of cuts in Edinburgh? - UNISON - See STV coverage here

3 Feb 2010: Care tender fiasco shows need to halt outsourcing plans till Council can justify figures - UNISON

17 Dec 09: Unions urge Edinburgh Council to save local economy from unprecedented cuts

23 Nov 09: Work together to save services or face biggest dispute Edinburgh has ever seen

3 June 2009: Unions react angrily to Edinburgh 'back to the future' threat of cuts and privatisation

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