Both UNISON and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) recently launched their manifestos.
They will be used to challenge all political parties, highlighting the huge challenges facing public services because of the current government’s austerity measures. With less than a year to go to the general election, they set out what’s needed to ensure public services survive.
UNISON is calling for:
- a new deal for closing the deficit and ensuring our public services are properly funded, with more emphasis on higher taxes for the wealthy;
- more financial freedom and fairer funding for local government;
- a complete change of direction on privatisation and outsourcing;
- a renewed commitment to the public-service workforce; and
- public sector reforms to be underpinned by the values of a good society: care, compassion, dignity, respect, fairness, equality, accountability and the public good.
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “The challenges facing public services are stark, but our manifesto shows that UNISON has a clear sense about what now needs to happen. This is about the choices the government makes, rather than something that is inevitable. Our manifesto shows there are alternatives.”
The NUT’s manifesto focuses on:
- tackling child poverty;
- every child’s right to be taught by fully qualified teachers;
- creating a flexible, inclusive and accessible curriculum;
- restoring the role of the local authority as the democratic, local organisation responsible for education ;
- cutting excessive bureaucracy and creating more time for teaching, not testing;
- ending approvals for further free schools and stopping the academies programme.
Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary said: “Parents and teachers have a golden opportunity to use the time before the general election to pressure politicians. Current policies are taking education in the wrong direction.”