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Date: Thu 11 October 2012

Unions sign People's Charter to protect and improve public services

Two main public service unions today called on the Scottish government to fulfil the aspirations of the People's Charter - a six point manifesto to create a fairer society.

The Scottish leaders of PCS and UNISON, Mike Kirby and Lynn Henderson, are asking union members to sign an online petition committing the Scottish government to protect and improve public services - not cut them back.

Scottish Secretary of UNISON Mike Kirby said:

"UNISON is supporting the People’s Charter in Scotland as part of our work to build the case for the alternative to austerity.

"These are six simple demands which will result in a fairer society. It couldn't be easier: we want a fair economy, more and better jobs, decent homes for all, improvements to public services instead of cuts, fairness and justice for everyone - including at work - and a secure sustainable future. What's not to like about that?

"The People's Charter sits alongside campaigns like our own Public Works and the STUC’s There is A Better Way.

"In the build up to the STUC march against austerity in Glasgow on Saturday 20 October we're taking this message out to members and potential members - austerity isn’t working, the cuts are not necessary - and we want A Future That Works."

PCS Scottish Secretary Lynn Henderson said:
"PCS Scotland fully supports the People’s Charter and in this week of the Tory Party conference it particularly hits home how vital it is that we stand up for public services in the face of the cuts agenda. 

"Listening to government minister after government minister attack the poor, denigrate the public sector and slash budgets brings back memories of the 1980s and the worst of Thatcherism. 

"The Scottish people value public services and the workers who provide them.

"There is an alternative to austerity, and getting behind the People’s Charter sends a clear message that we will never accept the Tory onslaught against public services."

ends

For further comment please contact:
Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish Secretary on 07939 143355
Lynn Henderson, PCS Scottish Secretary on 07921 490 262
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer, UNISON Scotland on 0141 342 2877 or 078765 66978

Notes for Editors:

1. A petition has been launched through the Scottish Parliament website urging the Scottish Government "to bring forward measures in all areas it has competency to fulfil the aspirations of the People’s Charter”".

People can sign the petition at www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/peoplescharter

See the People's Charter Scotland website www.peoplescharterscotland.org for more information.

2. The People's Charter sets out six key steps for a move away from austerity to a more just, equitable society:

1. A fair economy for a fairer Britain
2. More and better jobs
3. Decent homes for all
4. Protect and improve our public services – no cuts
5. Fairness and Justice
6. Build a secure and sustainable future for all

The Charter has been endorsed by the TUC, the STUC and most major unions, many MPs and MSPs, as well as thousands of individuals.

3. The UNISON Scotland website People's Charter page is here
www.unison-scotland.org.uk/peoplescharter

4. STUC march and rally in Glasgow on Saturday 20 October for A Future That Works

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