Union warns ministers that private sector damages image

The government’s notion that “private is better” is contributing
to a negative image of public services, according to Unison,
writes Clare Jerrom.

The union’s general secretary Dave Prentis told a symposium in
London: “Public service workers want to make a difference. But they
are made to feel they are not valued when the government insists
that “private is better”, and hands over control of vital health,
education and local government services to private companies”.

Welcoming a new Audit Commission report into recruitment and
retention, Prentis agreed that young people no longer want to go
into the public sector because the media gives the sector a low
profile. But, he added, the media take their lead from government
statements, and it has clearly said the way to reform public
services is to bring in private management.

Instead the emphasis should be placed on improving morale, and
training, and then staff will innovate.

He concluded that the Audit Commission report should not be
allowed to “gather dust”.

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