Monday, 9 November 2009

Carwyn says: "It's time to win" on Welsh public services

Welsh Labour Leadership candidate, Carwyn Jones has told thousands of public sector workers in Wales that he will work with them - both to improve and protect public services across the country, in the years ahead.

In a strong message to all of UNISON Cymru Wales' 100,000 members, the Bridgend AM also spelt out his support for the union's successful 'Positively Public' campaign which calls for quality in public services, and recognition of the essential role that Welsh public service workers make in achieving this.

In the newsletter, sent to UNISON members across the country, Carwyn also took the opportunity to state unambiguously, his opposition to the privatisation of Welsh public services under his Leadership, by saying:

"I can reiterate without hesitation that I am opposed to the privatisation of public services and I will want to ensure that the Welsh Assembly Government protects public services, including the NHS, at a time of financial stringency.

"UNISON's 'Positively Public' campaign has been highly successful in drawing attention to key public service issues, producing a focus on the quality of the services delivered, whether they be hospital cleaning or the quality of school meals. Through its campaign UNISON has provided important evidence which has enabled changes to be made on PFI and other issues.

"UNISON has made a principled case in opposition to privatisation and marketization through PFI, PPP and outsourcing but has also successfully negotiated protection for its members where changes have taken place. As a UNISON member, I support this stance.

"I support the work UNISON has been undertaking through its 'Positively Public' initiative to campaign for quality in our public services, and for recognition of the essential role of public service workers in achieving this. I am therefore pleased to commit to UNISON's 'Positively Public' campaign.

"Public sector workers help people every day and deserve the respect of politicians and the public."

Carwyn's message comes just days after publication of his manifesto, 'Time to Lead', in which he said that under his Leadership, the Welsh Assembly Government would protect public services - including the NHS - even at a time of financial stringency.

In a clear set of committments, Carwyn said he will:
  • continue to support national pay agreements and maintain our opposition to local pay variation;
  • ensure full equal pay audits across the public sector and give priority to equality representatives in the same way we do health and safety representatives;
  • learn from frontline public service workers, by stating "They have a clear view of how services can be made more responsive to citizens. They are at the sharp end and they know what works. We must involve them and service-users in ensuring the better delivery of services, looking to break down bureaucratic practices that put process before people’s needs. We need a proper social partnership across the public sector"; and
  • allow more flexibility so that people can move between the civil service and other public services, including health, universities and local government, encouraging secondments between the public sector and other bodies such as trades unions, the third sector and the private sector.
Expressing the support of Wales UNISON Labour Link committee for Carwyn's candidacy, its Chair, Margaret Wilkinson said:

"We are convinced that Carwyn is the right person to lead Wales forward. he has always worked closely with UNISON and shares our values. I encourage all our members to get involved, support Carwyn and ensure that we are ready for vital elections in the next two years."

UNISON Regional Secretary in Wales, Paul O’Shea, said:

"Carwyn has shown that he is on the side of UNISON members and on the side of public services. He has supported our Million Voices campaign that aims to promote the positive benefits of the public services. We are pleased to be able to support his nomination for Labour Party Leader."


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