Date: Wed 27 March
Workers must be central in public service reform, not treated
as puppets or pawns
UNISON will today (Wed) tell a committee of MSPs that redesigns
of public services must not treat workers as pawns to be moved
around recklessly, ignoring best practice lessons.
The public service union has warned the Scottish Parliament’s
Local Government and Regeneration Committee that new ways of
delivering services must operate from a proper framework to deal
consistently with staffing issues.
Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland’s Head of Bargaining and
Campaigns, will tell members that workforce issues are too often
neglected when planning reforms such as integrating adult health
and social care.
He said in advance of giving oral evidence: “Consultation
papers and legislation frequently give the impression the workforce
is an afterthought. So we get last minute scrambled together
agreements on important issues around staff transfer, pensions,
secondment and so on, with no consistency or learning from best
“It is just wrong to treat staff in this way, like puppets
or pawns who can be moved around with no rules for how their
rights and conditions are transferred and protected.
“Given that most public services rely on people, not machines,
this is an extraordinary omission.”
He urged the Committee to recommend that the Scottish Government
sets in place a broad staffing framework based on best practice.
This would cover a range of key issues including: staff transfer,
pensions, secondment, training and development, equality duties,
governance and procurement - covering the protections that should
prevent setting up a two tier workforce when services are contracted
Dave added: “We also want the Scottish Government to take
on board one of the key recommendations from the Christie Commission.
Redesigns of services must be based on genuine engagement with
staff and users from the bottom up. It should not be about expensive
management consultants imposing solutions from the top down.”
For information please contact:
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser, 07958 122 409
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 07508 877000
Note to editors:
1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing
160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland.
2. Our evidence to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee
is online at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/PublicSectorReform_NewWaysof