Carillion and outsourcing in local government

This motion was passed at our recent Branch Committee in February 2018

Motion on Carillion and outsourcing

This branch notes that:

  1. The collapse of Carillion has severely threaten the delivery of vital public and private services including hospital cleaning and catering and construction projects such as the HS2 railway project.
  2. This may lead to over 40,000 thousand people losing their jobs, pension funds being robbed and sub-contractors/SME’s vital in delivering services being unpaid despite bonuses and dividends being paid to shareholders.
  3. The Conservative Government have continued to issue large contracts to Carillion despite being aware of the perilous financial condition of the company including a combination of profit warnings and the collapse of the share price for the 6 months prior to the eventual collapse.
  4. Lambeth Council have outsourced many services which could be performed effectively in-house and this has been compounded with inadequate contract management arrangements for ensuring service providers meet required performance standards.

This branch believes that:

  1. The political dogma of outsourcing and privatisation has been exposed as a means of securing private profit for vested interests at the cost of delivering effective public services and those that deliver those services.
  2. The interests of the public and those that deliver services are best served by looking in the first instance to bring services in-house where it can be demonstrated that those services can be effectively delivered. Also ensuring employees are properly renumerated including proper pension provision.
  3. Where services are outsourced that there are clear arrangements for paying a minimum of the Living Wage (as accredited with the Living Wage Foundation) through the entire supply chain. Also ensuring standard public sector pension arrangements and an end to zero hour contracts through the supply chain.

This branch is committed to:

  1. Support the Labour Party’s proposals to end the automatic orthodoxy of outsourcing and privatisation of public services and review existing arrangements to bring services back in-house.
  2. Work with the Labour run Lambeth Council to review existing contracts including social care, technical services and facilities management to bring these in-house and suspend the outsourcing of future contracts.
  3. Highlight the need for Lambeth Council to have effective contract management arrangements in place to ensure contracts currently outsourced are performed to a high standard and address issues of non-performance.

This branch resolves to

  1. To call on (or urge) the UNISON NEC to propose a united front to all the other unions with members in Carillion or among its sub-contractors to oppose job losses, closures, wage cuts, attacks on pensions, etc., with former Carillion staff and contractors at the heart.
  2. To call on UNISON’s NEC, with the TUC, to organise an emergency demo and to make the saving of Carillion jobs one of the central demands of the TUC demo this Spring.
  3. To call on Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and the Labour leadership to demand the government nationalise Carillion – without any compensation to its executives, who should be made to pay back their obscene bonuses, or the shareholders, grown fat on our revenue.

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