Edinburgh halts privatisation plan
(19/01/12) UNISON has welcomed Edinburgh council's decision to keep vital city services in house, instead of privatising them.
The full council voted today for a joint Labour-SNP amendment, with Green Party backing, which overturned a proposal by the ruling Lib Dem and Conservative coalition to award a contract for integrated facilities management to private bidder Mitie.
UNISON branch President John Stevenson said: "This is the best outcome we could have got."
He noted that it follows a union victory in November, which stopped environmental services being privatised, and the council had recently abandoned plans to privatise corporate and transactional services.
Speaking to this morning's council meeting, Mr Stevenson said: "At the beginning of the process, the council made it clear that there would have to be a compelling case for privatisation.
"We clearly believe that a compelling case has not been made for privatisation and we believe we have consistently provided compelling and credible analysis and evidence to show that.
"The unions and council employees have put enormous work into this process.
"We have shown in detail that the in-house options have been realistic, fair and efficient - but most of all workable - especially if we have a level playing field and like is compared with like."
UNISON Scotland official Peter Hunter commented: "This is the the death of Scotland's largest council privatisation proposal ever - which, given the NHS position, begs the question whether the door is permanently closed on future privatisation plans across the public sector as a whole?"
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