[2020] Motion 40 No ‘back to normal’ for public services

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that austerity has left public services in a weakened state to respond but that there is currently enormous public goodwill to all workers who have contributed in a time of crisis.

Yet despite their massive contributions: councils, schools, colleges, universities, police and justice, energy, transport, water, voluntary sector, health and social care are all facing cuts as a result of the pandemic and a recession.

Congress believes that unions have a crucial role in defining a new social contract that addresses the weaknesses that the pandemic has exposed.  Decent work, equality, security and a voice at work need to be at the heart of this contract. A fair safety net and proper sick pay for all. The role of health and safety reps has never been more important.

Strong public services are needed with new jobs and pay rises.

The crisis has visibly shown the difficulty in responding effectively when services are fragmented and outsourced. The advantages of directly provided services and public ownership must be translated into a reality on the ground.

‘Back to normal’ is not good enough for our public services.

Congress calls on the General Council to lead a campaign for:

i. rebuilding public services with investment

ii. tax justice

iii. a living wage

iv. job security and proper sick pay

v. funding the £10bn spending gap in local government

vi. the in-sourcing of public services

vii. an investigation into the failings of governments to protect their citizens.



  • In paragraph 4, delete ‘rises’ at end and add “justice to remedy endemic low pay”.
  • At the end of paragraph 5 add: “with a return to the core social values of community ownership of services that we use and rely on.”
  • In final paragraph, sub-paragraph iii., replace “a” with “an equality-proofed”
  • Add at the end of sub-paragraph vi.: “with the introduction of an ‘insourcing first’ policy for all public services”.