The TUC General Secretary John Monks is to tell the public service unions today (Tuesday) that they must work with the Government if they are to prove that public services are best delivered largely by public servants rather than the private sector.He will describe last week’s election result as a vote for better public services – especially education and transport and health – and argue that it’s time to work in partnership with the Government to help achieve change. Otherwise he will predict that in four years time voters will lose patience.
But there is to be a warning for the Government too. Speaking to the AEEU Annual Conference in Blackpool later today, he will warn the government against seeking a bruising confrontation with any part of the public sector.
He will look back to confrontation in 1978 and 79, which led to electoral disaster, and to the early Thatcher confrontations with teachers which continue to impact on the profession.
He will say that although the private sector will have an important place in many areas of public service, privatisation must not be the way forward.
Rather than the sort of obstructionist trade unionism intent on protecting the status quo, he will be calling for an approach that allows unions and employers to deliver a great step forward, together.