10 January 2012
Edinburgh Council dumps privatisation
UNISON has welcomed the decision by Edinburgh
City Council to support in-house bids for vital
city services instead of privatising them.
The full council voted today for a joint Labour-SNP
amendment with Green Party backing which overturned
a proposal by the ruling Lib Dem led coalition to
award a contract for Integrated Facilities Management
to private bidder Mitie.
UNISON branch President John Stevenson said: "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. John Stevenson told the
full Council meeting this morning:
"UNISON has been campaigning to keep these
services in-house for three reasons. Firstly because
we think it is the right thing to do. We think it
is right that quality public services are delivered
by a public service team directly accountable to
the people of Edinburgh through their elected councillors.
We think it is right that our taxes should go directly
to services, to the people who deliver them and
the people who rely on them, rather than to profits
"Secondly because we believe that the public
sector comparators - the in-house options - have
risen to the challenge and will deliver not only
best value but a continuing commitment to public
services in Edinburgh.
"And thirdly because we believe that it is
right that the Council should show trust, confidence
and respect in its own workforce."
John Stevenson said: "At the beginning of
the process, the Council made it clear that there
would have to be a compelling case for privatisation.
We clearly believe that a compelling case has NOT
been made for privatisation and we believe we have
consistently provided compelling and credible analysis
and evidence to show that.
"The unions and Council employees have put
enormous work into this process. We have shown in
detail that the in-house options have been realistic,
fair and efficient - but most of all workable -
especially if we have a level playing field and
like is compared with like."
UNISON's Peter Hunter added; "This is the
the death of Scotland's largest council privatisation
proposal ever which, given the NHS position, begs
the question whether the door is permanently closed
on future privatisation plans across the public
sector as a whole?"