UNISON launches UK-wide campaign to celebrate public service champions

A UK-wide campaign aimed at reminding the public of the importance of public services –and those that provide them – is to be launched later today (Monday) in Liverpool.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis will launch the campaign – Public Service Champions – at a fringe at the Labour party conference. It invites people to say thank you to staff in health, education, home care and other services who have helped them or their loved ones.

In the union’s biggest awareness campaign for years, Public Service Champions adverts will be seen and heard across the UK – on billboards, in major train stations and on the London tube, and in adverts in newspapers, on the radio, and on Facebook. The ads include the address of a website where people can register their support on an interactive map, and show their gratitude to individual public service workers or their teams.

Further stages of the UNISON campaign will increase the pressure on the government in the run up to November’s autumn statement, warning of the risk to vital services from continuing cuts and a lack of investment.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “From frontline staff, to the support and technical workers who keep our NHS, schools, police forces and town halls going, our public service workers are champions to so many people. Their work saves lives, educates children, cares for older people and ensures that our society flourishes.

“I’m proud of the job done by our public services workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I hope lots of people use our website to thank the whole of the UK’s public service team.

“Too many staff feel that they and the services they provide are undervalued by ministers, and that higher demand and the absence of proper funding means they are constantly trying to do more with less.

“In the autumn statement, the new prime minister and chancellor have a chance to show public service workers that they value their work and spirit, as the public so clearly does.

“We want to work with the government to rebuild our public services, but that can only happen with the right level of resources. That will lift the pressure considerably on public servants and allow them to carry on providing communities across the UK with the support they need.

“But make no mistake, if Theresa May and Philip Hammond stick with David Cameron’s and George Osborne’s wicked ways, the public services we all rely upon will face near impossible demands, and in some cases, almost certain collapse.”

Notes to editors:
Dave Prentis is launching the campaign today (Monday) at a UNISON fringe meeting at the Labour party conference. The fringe is in Grace Suite 1 at the Hilton Hotel at 5.45pm.

  • The website for the campaign is publicservicechampions.org
  • Public Service Champions has been developed in conjunction with The Good Agency.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk
Sophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk