Aberdeenshire UNISON
       
 
 

UNISON's 'Public Works' campaign - we all need to do our bit to defend public service jobs and services

Click here to tell us why public services are important to you.

Feb 2010
Public Works stalls big success

Richard Lawrence
Richard Lawrence, Branch Health & Safety Officer adds his voice

A big thanks to those of you who came along to UNISON's Public Works stalls in Gordon House on Wed 10th February and in Woodhill House on Thursday 11th Feb

This was your chance to add your voice to defend our public services and many of you did just that. Over 40 members signed a card speaking up for public services and some of you added your voice and your photo to the campaign . Click here for the photo gallery.

Many non-members took away application forms to join UNISON. All in all successful and worthwhile events.

Stop the Kuts Campaign

UNISON branches across Scotland are being faced with cuts in funding, exacerbated in local government by artificial restraints on council tax levels. This is likely to get worse in future years.

stop the kutsUNISON has started the fightback now with a twin-tracked campaign at Scottish and branch level engaging user groups and communities to lead successful opposition to cuts.

It kicked off with a rally after the meeting of Scottish Branches on on Feb 6 when Dave Prentis, General Secretary launched the fightback against cuts to public services. Dave criticised attempts to make public services pay for the banking crisis. "No school cleaner gambled billions on the stock exchange. None of them created this recession. Why should they be expected to pay for it?"

Dave urged Gordon Brown to learn from President Barack Obama's decision to stand up to American bankers. "Lets hear more about pay freezes for bankers," He said. "Lets hear Gordon calling for every last dime to be paid back to the taxpayer."

And he reserved particular criticism for David Cameron's Tories who, he said, hadn't changed. "They are calling for savage cuts - using the crisis to dismantle the welfare state. 20% cut in public expenditure over two years, but tax cuts for the rich - a world of haves and have nots."

The rally, was attended by around 400 UNISON delegates from branches all across Scotland, and invited guests from communities fighting cuts. It agreed to build towards a mass march and rally on Saturday 10th April in Glasgow. and agreed to make public spending a major campaign issue in the forthcoming General Election campaign.

Click here for more information on the 6th March Rally

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"Public Works" Campaign

UNISON 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 over.

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.

A day in the life of...Bob Revie, Branch Secretary, 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?
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair 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 that us?"

"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 families."

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Why public services are so important

Affordable and value for money
Kate 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
Bob 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!"

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