UNISON is deeply concerned about the safety implication for pupils and staff of the faults found in PPP schools in Edinburgh.
The union expects there to be a full and detailed inquiry and will want assurances that safety will be the top priority in any decisions taken about re-opening the schools.
For many years UNISON has spoken out against the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Private Public Partnerships (PPP) and the current Scottish Government’s Non-Profit Distributing schemes (NPD) as wasteful and grossly expensive ways of providing public services. They reap massive profits for the private sector with little risk to them and are much more expensive than direct building.
PPP debt from previous governments is over £22 billion. The current government’s NPD scheme means that Scottish councils, colleges, the NHS, government departments and Transport Scotland are committed to paying a further £6 billion for 20 Scottish Futures Trust privately financed and managed projects. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/Finance/18232/12308/NPDhubPipelinepayments
UNISON’s ‘Combating Austerity’ report calls on government and councils to look to buy out these costly schemes wherever it is practical to do so. http://unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/CombatingAusterity_Sep2015.pdf