[2021] Motion 15 Using procurement to create and protect high-quality jobs

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress notes that one of the strongest levers available to the public sector is decisions about procurement of goods and services.

Public bodies from the NHS to local councils to central government procure a range of goods and services every day. The rules and guidelines governing these processes are an important way to ensure that high-quality jobs are protected in the UK and that goods and services used here are made here.

Ensuring that goods and services procured by the public sector are produced in the UK will further benefit efforts to tackle the climate crisis, as shorter supply chains mean fewer carbon emissions. Alongside this, using more carbon-efficient infrastructure such as rail freight can have an even more significant impact on the amount of carbon expended.

Additionally, strong procurement rules and guidelines can be a way to stipulate that companies receiving public money must operate a high standard of workers’ rights and employment conditions, and recognise a trade union.

Congress believes that the government must work to protect British goods and jobs, in order to ensure there is fair and high-quality employment for all.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to:

i. lobby the government at the highest levels to develop procurement policy that ensures goods are produced in Britain and services create British jobs.

ii. work with regional and local trades unionists to lobby other public sector organisations for the same high-quality procurement rules.