Go Public

Our public services are a vital part of what holds British society together. After eight years of sustained cuts to funding, chaotic reorganisations, outsourcing and privatisation, our public services are close to breaking point.

GMB members across public services are rightly proud of the job they do. But in an era where less is more, whether it’s the number of staff on the job or the terms and conditions they’re expected to put up with, it’s getting tougher and tougher.

After eight years of sustained cuts to funding, chaotic reorganisations, outsourcing and privatisation, our public services are close to breaking point.

For the lowest paid, the cost-of-living crisis has meant balancing the household budget is piling on the stress before they’ve even stepped foot in their workplace for their shift.

It wasn’t public sector workers who caused the financial crisis. For all the Government’s divide-and-rule rhetoric around “gold plated” public sector pensions, terms and conditions of employement in contrast to the private sector, following years of real terms pay cuts with the public sector pay cap, this could not be further from the truth.

Carillion collapse: the dangers of outsourcing

GMB is a campaigning union, and our members have campaigned up and down the country against the government’s sustained assault across public services. Public opinion is on our side. Indeed, GMB’s Pay Pinch campaign fuelled the public pressure that proved decisive in busting the public sector pay cap.

But we want to go further still.


Our 5 key demands:


1. Campaigning for Public Services Funding

Public Services have been starved of resources following years of underinvestment and austerity. Over the last decade, Government Departments have lost as much as 40% in real-terms funding with Justice and the Department for Work and Pensions among the hardest-hit. In Local Government, based on current spending plans, local authorities will have lost 60 pence out of every £1 the Government had provided to spend on local services compared to 2010. This cannot continue.

2. Challenging Outsourcing and Privatisation

The scope and scale of outsourcing across public services since the financial crash is unprecedented, but increasingly, public sector bodies are coming to the realisation that outsourcing does not provide value for money or a comparable quality service. With the Government spend on outsourcing estimated to be an eye-watering £251bn per year, the collapse of Carillion should serve as a warning that the fragmentation of our services for personal and private profit has had its day.

3. Winning Fair Pay and Pensions for Public Service Workers

A truly high-quality public service means being able attract and retain the very best talent, not joining the race to the bottom in terms and conditions. GMB continues to campaign for fair pay, equal pay, decent terms, conditions and pensions.

4. Celebrating the role of Public Service Workers

Public services workers are the backbone of this country, yet too often their contribution is overlooked. GMB will seek to raise the profile of the vast contribution that public services workers make to our lives, from cradle to grave, to get the recognition they deserve.   

5. Building Public Services Fit for the Future

The demand for public services has never been greater, but public services in this country are facing an existential threat.  Fundamentally, public services should be available, free at the point of use, from cradle to grave for everyone who needs it. It is up to all of us to stand up for these principles and secure a future for high quality, accountable, public services.

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