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Trade unions and co-ops working together


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Trade unions and co-ops working together
Allison Roche
Co-operative Ways Forward
January 2014

Published in: Business, Career
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Trade unions and co-ops working together

  1. 1. Workshop 8: Trade Unions and Co-ops working together Co-op Bank Crisis: Ways Forward for the Cooperative Movement Co –operative Business Consultants Friday 17 January 2014 Manchester
  2. 2. UNISON, Public Services and Community and Co-operatives • Work with co - operative trade union members in Public Services International (PSI) 20 million workers , 650 unions,148 countries • Regional PSI - European Public Services Union (EPSU) - 8 million workers 265 unions • UNISON 1.3 million members – as well as public workforce largest civil society ‘voluntary’ organisation in the UK • Equality sections: retired, young, black, disabled, women, LGBT members • 60,000 UNISON Community sector members– local government, health services (few in Higher Education and Police and Justice) • Schools Co-operative Society with 600 member schools • Co-operative Colleges initiative • Work with Co-operative MPs, Co-operatives UK • UNISON Co-operative Councils Network and Credit unions campaign
  3. 3. The Open Public Services agenda • Public Service Reform 2006 – commitment to privatisation, voluntary sector delivery, competition, contestability, moving away from top down management to more localism • Open Public Services White Paper July 2013 – remove red tape, increase SME and third sector provision of public services, new rights for communities, innovative and funding and payment mechanisms • Cabinet Office – mutual's task force, pathfinders and funds • Undermining of trade unions role via attacks on facility time, collecting TU fees via employer payroll, creating barriers for workers to register grievances at employment tribunals and weakening employment protections such as TUPE and the two tier code and Fair Deal • Increased parliamentary Inquiries on opening public services CLG (2012) PAS c (2013) • EU Public Procurement Directive and UK Regulations 2014 • Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) 2015
  4. 4. UNISON key response to opening public services • • • • • Increased public funding not austerity Centralism v localism balance Accountability and citizens core role Collaboration, Co-operation and Co - production Social partnership between trade unions and employers – stop race to the bottom, poor employment practices – Zero hours, TUPE, Fair deal • Procurement and commissioning: Social value and environmental criteria alongside cost and price criteria • Do we need diversity in provision and expensive procurement competition? Where is the evidence?
  5. 5. Drive to mutualise public services – current government initiatives • 2010 Cabinet office drive: Right to Provide and Right to Request to become social enterprise or employee mutual's in Health and Social Care • Patchy evidence of pathfinders: top down, low and problematic implementation, cuts imposed, future uncertainty of sustainability • EU Public Procurement Directive - article 76a - What organisations does it apply to? - Do the public, service users, public sector workers and elected accountable officials understand both the risks and benefits of mutual's? • Will they be sustainable?
  6. 6. EU PP Directive Article 76a • The organisation referred to in paragraph 1 must fulfil the following cumulative conditions: • (a) Its objective is the pursuit of a public service mission linked to the delivery of the services referred to in Paragraph 1; • (b) profits are reinvested with a view to achieving the organisation‘s objective. Where profits are distributed or redistributed, this should be based on participatory considerations; • (c) the structures of management or ownership of the organisation performing the contract shall be based on employee ownership or participatory principles, or shall require the active participation of employees, users or stakeholders; • (d) the organisation shall not have been awarded a contract for the services concerned by the contracting authority concerned pursuant to this Article within the past three years.
  7. 7. Wandsworth council drive to mutualise its public services by October 2014 • To save £20million by 2015 (departments must opt for mutual's/social enterprises, outsourcing, shared services or in-house if no market testing option) • Staff invited to propose becoming a staff mutual or social enterprise with outline plan of efficiency savings of 20% • Any one model of social enterprise/mutual allowed • Uncontested contract will be awarded – incubated as a council controlled “shadow mutual” for one year • Then given 3 yrs as a reserved contract and protected from competitive market until 2018/19 when retendering begins
  8. 8. Wandsworth Councils drive to mutualise public services by October 2014 • Council will have a new Social Enterprise Policy and Procurement framework to support staff led Social Enterprises and mutual's • For 1 yr shadow and first 3 yrs (incubation period) council will allow TUPE and meet redundancy liability costs • New staff however will be offered alternative arrangements from TUPE and LGPS • In event of non award staff would be TUPEd to new provider , stay with the mutual or be made redundant • In event of mutual failure during the incubation contract – it would only be an option for the council to re-acquire business not compulsory
  9. 9. Joint union work with Co-operatives in public services • Increase public funding of public services • UK Public Procurement Regulations 2014 campaign – increased complexity in Procurement and Commissioning - transparency, accountability, FOI, use of social and environmental criteria not just price - Strengthened use of legal definition of Teckals (in-house provision) - Monitoring, scrutiny and evaluation of regulations and use of EU PPD article 76a • Learn from the Voluntary and Community sector ‘hanging by a thread’ competing for public service contracts
  10. 10. Trade Unions and Co-ops working together • What alliance/safeguards need to be in place to preserve and distinguish the Co-operative principles and model in public services? • TUC /UK Co-operatives best practice guidance to distinguish from wider mutual's and social enterprises • Use of policy and procurement tools – UNISON Ethical care charter • Promoting the Schools Co-operative Society model with 600 member schools works - National Recognition agreement framework, Adopt Living wage campaign • Co - operative college initiatives • Joint work with Co – operative MEPs and MPs - TTIP • Co-operative Councils Network and Credit unions