‘Best Value’ may prompt public services exodus

Senior
public service staff are unhappy with the Government’s ‘Best Value’ reforms
claiming that they have led to indiscriminate cost cuts that have hit both
employees and services.

 

A GMB
survey of 80 employees from a cross-section of public services across the
country, including housing, social services and education, shows that almost 70
per cent expressed dissatisfaction over Best Value reforms and the negative
effect they have had on their jobs.

 

Three
quarters of senior public service employees have considered leaving their jobs
in the last year because of increased pressure and stress, a lack of resources,
a lack of control and influence, new initiative fatigue and uncertainty over
local government ethos, according to the poll.

 

Over
half of respondents say that Best Value does not result in greater efficiencies
or value for money in public services and a similar proportion feel that
reforms are  a route to privatisation.

 

In
addition, the survey reveals that 79 per cent reported staff shortages in their
services, especially in social services and education.

 

A
third of respondents are not happy with their working arrangements, with 76 per
cent working more than a 40 hour week.

 

GMB
General Secretary John Edmonds said, 
"Best Value is leading us down the slippery slope towards
privatisation of our public services. This is best value for whom? Our public
servants and the British people or the pocket linings of big business."

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