Bringing services home graphic

Welcome to our Bringing Services Home campaign. Here you can find the resources that you and your UNISON branch will need to start to build a campaign to bring services in-house wherever you work. UNISON believes that public services belong in public ownership. Over the years UNISON members have seen first-hand the negative impact of outsourcing on service quality, staff terms and conditions and investment in vital amenities.

We deserve better.

Better terms & conditions – Bringing and keeping public services in-house means that staff will have access to appropriate terms and conditions, including better leave entitlements, decent pay that properly compensates for the important job that they do and access to adequate pension schemes.

Better public services – Everyone is working for one employer to provide the best possible experience for your service users. Uniting all employees under one publicly owned employer means that the service is provided in a cohesive way and effective way, benefitting everybody.

Better accountability – Having one employer means that there is clear responsibility, whether that’s through elected councillors, an NHS trust board or education governing body. This means a clear oversight and accountability, the ability to be responsive to the changing needs of service users and to adapt the service if it needs to change.

Better investment – Private companies delivering local services want to make a profit on it – that’s why they bid for these contracts. We don’t think that the money that’s been paid in taxes/tuition fees should be going to shareholders – it should be reinvested in making our services better. Only the public should profit from our services.

Better equality at work – outsourced workers are more likely to be women, Black workers, and migrants. UNISON believes that everyone should have access to decent pay, terms and conditions whatever their identity. By insourcing contracts we can help to make our workplaces fairer and more equal.

Better union recognition – UNISON wants to make sure that employers listen to their staff and the union representatives. Bringing services inhouse should strengthen our collective union voice.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea feels it is vital that public service are under public ownership – watch her message of support below:

Our campaign

UNISON is campaigning to prevent outsourcing of vital public services and bring those who are currently outsourced back in-house. We know that everyone wants, needs and deserves high quality public services and we think that this can best be delivered by ensuring that private companies are not running public services.

Case study 1: Meet Chris Akaluka, UNISON Branch Secretary at Barts Health NHS Trust. Chris and his colleagues explain how they ran their insourcing campaign and why it’s so important to our members to all work for one employer.

Case study 2: Hear from Lesley Miller and her colleagues at Chorley and South Ribble Local Government Branch about how they insourced waste services – a longer film about this win will be available soon.

There are a range of resources and guides available below to help you get involved, as well as training and organising tools:

  • Listen to our insourcing podcast where we find out about how the UNISON Neath Port Talbot branch worked to bring leisure services in-house

Listen to the podcast

  • Visit our Bringing services home e-note where you can find out more about insourcing and why it’s so important for our members and public services

Visit the e-note

  • This short summary sets out an organising approach to insourcing – take a couple of minutes to read it and get ideas for your branch

Read the summary

  • Visit our online shop to find campaigning materials such as leaflets, placards and stickers:

Visit the online shop

  • Spread the word on social media using our digital assets below – make sure to use the hashtag #BringingServicesHome:

View our digital assets


Lisa Nandy at 2023 Local government conference

Labour promises to rebuild local government

Lisa Nandy says Labour has been ‘inspired’ by UNISON’s work on insourcing, bringing services back into local authority control

Insourcing campaigners at Barts NHS Trust celebrate final phase

Cleaning, catering and support staff at five London hospitals are now back in-house

Insourcing win at North Middlesex University Hospital

‘This is life-changing for many of us. We feel more valued and motivated to work here’

female cleaner in a hospital

Hospital staff in Liverpool are coming home

Staff at two Liverpool hospital sites who work as cleaners, porters, caterers and in other domestic services will be transferred in-house on 1 April

General secretary Dave Prentis with striking members and the Barnet UNISON banner outside The Library, in Barnet, north London

Insourcing win at Barnet council

Over 300 staff in a variety of services like trading standards, environmental health and other regulatory services, will now be transferred back in-house