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TUC to Government: targets are bad. And so are contract terms, markets, competition and choice.

One of the delights of our time is that the TUC and other mastodons can bellow out from the primeval swamp and scarcely anyone pays a blind bit of notice. How very different from the greatly unmissed 1970s and early 1980s.

However, they are still howling in the wilderness, and they have just come up with this "ministers should stop saying that reform is necessary because public services are failing as it damages morale and causes resentment, especially at a time when the Government is trying to keep public sector pay rises below inflation".

And here's the TUC's plan, with my helpful comments in italics:

* reducing top down performance management targets and instead giving services flexibility about how they meet service standards; (Let the public sector do whatever it wants and follow its own agenda, that of serving itself)

* accepting that the public sector ethos cannot be safeguarded by writing terms and conditions into contracts with private suppliers; (So contracts involving the private sector are not upheld in the courts? News to me)

* rejecting the use of market mechanisms and accepting that a plurality of suppliers fragments public services, replacing collaboration and partnership with competition; (When the private sector acts in 'collaboration and partnership' rather than competition it is called a cartel and involves retraint of trade....)

* rethinking the approach to giving users choice in public services, so that users are given the choices that they want to exercise rather than using choice as a quasi-market-mechanism to pit providers against each other; (And how is choice to be exercised if users do not have the opportunity to define it either through the ballot box or voting with their wallets?) and,

* strengthening the capacity of public services to improve by boosting the skills of the workforce and involving staff in change. (Lots of days off for 'training', pay rises across the board, reduced hours, longer holidays, beer, skittles etc etc)

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:31 am

This is great stuff C. These trade unionists have really come back in the past few years. Still however they lack any sense of economic literacy as you prove above.

I would draw your attentiont to the current BA dispute. The unions here are arguing about how many extra days sick staff can have off over the current 12. They are doing this by arguing about what illnesses count as 'extra' sick.

The mind boggles and I feel for the BA management as much as Verity and others dislike them.

I find it amazing that Unions have regained this power after all the hard work to bring them to heel.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:58 am

No no no ..oh dear just when I am looking forward to my daily fix of the doings of mad Greek Monks you go and hit me with this quality shit.

Seriously great post C. I have been saying for ages that if you thought old Labour was dead you need to talk to local activists and it is clearly alive and well.

Do you remeber what an issue it was back in the day , that the Labs were run and funded by the unions .In all the furore about funding it appears to be forgotten that this absurdity continues.
We tend to think of the encraochment of elf and safety as emanating from the EU and Whitehall but the Unions are also pushing it as a way of doing less for the same . Same with working practices of all sorts .

( Of course this has the usual effect on emplyment disguised by cheap imported Labour ).

I am expecting more strikes in the protected Public Sector especially . The worst Union of all is called the BMA and haven`t they flexed some muscle .

Cuty (un)Slicker , as ever , says it better and shorter than me . Quite agree CU .

One of your best for ages C  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:22 am

One of the few things Thatcher got very, very wrong was referring to the dockers as the last bastion of restrictive practices. The BMA, the Bar etc etc are middle class trade unions and have privileges and feather bedding that manual unions can only dream of.  

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