UNISON says ‘Our City’s still Not For Sale’ as Edinburgh privatisation looms again

In 2012, Labour, SNP and Green councillors combined to stop the wasteful privatisation of Edinburgh Council services after UNISON and the wider community united under the ‘Our City’s Not For Sale’ banner.

Now, officials are drawing up reports for Labour and SNP councillors (who are now the Council’s ruling coalition) that will put privatisation back on the agenda.

Sadly, UNISON is again having to campaign to say ‘Our City’s still Not for Sale’ and is calling on the coalition councillors to ‘Keep Edinburgh Public’ and honour the pledges that got them elected.

The arguments that beat off privatisation the last time haven’t changed. We said in 2012:-

“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 and shareholders.”

And the public agree. In a UNISON survey in May 2015, over two-thirds (68%) of respondents believe that ‘public sector organisations (such as local councils and the NHS)’ are accountable to the public.

If the council provides services without having to make a profit, how can a private company save money and make a profit on top?

With shareholders and big executives to pay, how can they do it cheaper?

Simple. By cutting quality. By cutting the service. By cutting the wages and conditions of some of the lowest paid staff. Or – as other councils have discovered – by charging more!

So your tax pays for profits instead of services.

You can help Keep Edinburgh Public and accountable to you

Write or email to your councillor asking them if they can justify their figures

Tell them you want to hold them directly accountable for Edinburgh’s services, not through private companies.