Welcome to the UNISON PFI and PPP pages. In these pages you will find
- Information about PFI and PPP
- Information about why UNISON opposes PFI
- Specialist pages containing information and news about PFI in the health service and in local government
- Education resources to use at branch and workplace level to inform members about the dangers of PFI and what they can do about them
You can navigate through this site and access the material in it by following the links
What are PPP and PFI?
Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is the umbrella name given to a range of initiatives which involve the private sector in the operation of public services. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is the most frequently used initiative. The key difference between PFI and conventional ways of providing public services is that the public does not own the asset. The authority makes an annual payment to the private company who provides the building and associated services, rather like a mortgage.
A typical PFI project will be owned by a company set up specially to run the scheme. These companies are usually a consortia including a building firm, a bank and a facilities management company. Whilst PFI projects can be structured in different ways, there are usually four key elements: Design, Finance, Build and Operate.
The Positively Public Campaign
Positively Public is UNISON's campaign to keep our public services public. Years of privatisation and underfunding have left many areas of public provision in a poor state. We welcome better funding of these vital services. But we don't believe that more privatisation is the answer.
All our evidence and experience shows that once services are run for private profit, the quality of care is reduced and the public service ethos is replaced by a hard-nosed profit motive. It is about who makes the decisions about caring for your elderly relatives or your children's education or housing the homeless-someone with their heart in the right place, or someone with an eye on the balance sheet.
Bargaining Support Group
UNISON can also provide information and guidance to branches involved in campaigning against PFI projects through the Bargaining Support Group at Mabledon Place.
The Bargaining Support Group collects information on companies, their public sector contracts, and other operations. This can be used by branches for campaigning against a particular company, a specific project, or a bargaining issue arising from a PFI transfer.
Bargaining Support Group can provide your branch with reports on
- Private Companies holding contracts in the public sector, including information on finances, contracts and ownership
- Agreements with private companies signed by UNISON
- Company Updates - A monthly bulletin providing the latest information and developments on companies in which UNISON has an interest, alongside much more information that your branch may find useful in a PFI campaign.