to tell us why public services are important to
Scotland has launched its 'Public Works' campaign
with the message that public service cuts will
increase costs for ordinary families and will
delay economic recovery.
'Public Works' is the Scottish arm of the union's
'Million Voices for Change' campaign. As a branch
we need to play our part in getting the message
UNISON has warned that the headlong rush to
cut and privatise public services will lead
to delays in coming out of recession It has
produced a leaflet demonstrating the importance
of public services to everyone's lives and pointing
to the huge costs that would fall on people
if public services were not available.
John Stevenson, Branch President, said "'A
day in the life...' follows an average woman
through her day and points out our dependence
on public services - from water and sewerage,
through environmental health and refuse collection,
to education and health care.
"It points out that all of us rely on
public services, not just the most vulnerable,
for whom they can be a lifeline."
What can you do?
Agnes Petkevicus, Branch Secretary added, "We
are keen to involve members in this campaign.
After all we are both the front-line providers
of public services and the users of public services.
Who knows their importance and their value better
"We are asking you all to sign up individually
to the "Million Voices" campaign at national
level. We would also like you to tell us what
you do in your job and why it is important.
And tell us your own experiences of using public
services - how they have supported you and your
Why public services are so important
Affordable and value for money
lead negotiator Kevin Duguid warned, "We need
to get across the message that if these services
are cut back or privatised the increased costs
of paying for them individually can only increase
the cost burden on hard-pressed families.
"We estimate the average household gets
more than £10,000 a year in benefits and public
services. Public delivery provides value for
money through economies of scale and stopping
shareholders taking profits out of the pot.
"A year's domestic waste collection sourced
privately would cost around £2,500, and the
average cost of a year's education outside the
public sector in Scotland is around £8,200."
Important for the economy
Service conditions convener John Ross said
"But it is not just that public services are
essential for all of us. They also play a key
part in the economic well-being of our communities.
Cuts in public sector jobs, pay and pensions
will only lead to less money being spent to
stimulate the economy, and if public services
were cut they would order and contract less
with the private sector.
"Far from being the drain on the economy argued
by those who created the economic crisis, the
public sector contracts for supplies and services
from the private sector - especially important
when private industry faces reduced order books.
A just and fairer society
"In addition money spent in the economy by
public service staff will not be there if we
accept the advice of the right wing think tanks
to cut jobs, pay and pensions. Now is the time
to build a fairer society based on social justice,
good jobs and quality public services. It is
up to all of us to highlight the importance
of public services and to get across the message
that Public Works!"