Privatisation By The Back Door

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2022 Local Government Service Group Conference
17 February 2022

All too often these days we see our council-run local government services are being outsourced, privatised or moved to wholly owned/arm’s length companies. The setting up of these new companies, including social enterprises is frequently sold to branches and staff as nothing to be concerned about. In some circumstances the process can take place with very little UNISON involvement. What we have come to learn however, is that in reality these new employers, be they wholly owned, or ALMOS, can result in a two-tier workforce and detrimental changes for our members. It is just privatisation by the back door.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Provide clear information and training for branches on the legal structures and processes involved in councils setting up these new companies;

2)Provide more investigation and information on the impact of these arm’s length companies on our members and on the public services our members provide;

3)Provide a practical toolkit for branches to work through which will take them through the difficult process of responding to employer proposals to establish these new companies;

4)Provide detailed case studies for local government branches to call on to bust the myths that this is a good news story. These will help branches to make the argument for services and staff to remain in house with staff directly employed on decent terms and conditions, sharing best practice with all branches across the nations;

5)Develop specific training on arm’s length companies which can be delivered to branches;

6)Campaign nationally for this trend in privatisation by the back door to end.