A group of public sector workers

About the campaign

The Public Service Champions campaign was established by UNISON in response to growing concerns about the impact of spending cuts on public services in the UK.

From the NHS to schools, from community policing to local council services, such as libraries, youth services and social care, practically every UNISON member has a story to tell about the growing difficulties they face to keep services going.

Put simply, nearly a decade of cuts is taking its toll. Our public services are in crisis.

The facts

  • The NHS is going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history, with spending per head of population set to fall in 2018-9 and waiting times getting longer.
  • There are 24,000 fewer nurses and 3,500 fewer midwives than are needed.
  • The number of adults who say they do not get the care they need has increased by nearly 50% since 2010.
  • More than 600 youth centres have closed since 2012, taking away the help and support provided to some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities.
  • Police funding was cut by 20% between 2010 and 2015, but neighbourhood policing was cut even more, with 30% of police community support officers cut.
  • More than 400 libraries have closed since 2010, depriving communities of access to books, courses and computer facilities.
  • Schools are facing a real-terms cut of £3bn, which will result in spending per pupil falling by an average of 8% by 2019-20.

* Follow links for information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our goals

The Public Service Champions campaign seeks to highlight the impact of these challenges and win support for:

Proper funding for all our public services – from the NHS to social care, from libraries to youth work, from education to policing – so that they can meet rising demand and the diverse needs of all our communities.

The right number of appropriately trained staff to keep our services safe and effective – so that the quality of care and standards of service that the public deserve can be guaranteed.

A voice for local communities about how their public services are provided – so that all services, including specialist services, are responsive to local needs.

The economic benefits of public services are recognised – so that investment, jobs and decent pay can boost local economies and create opportunities.

More openness – so that decisions about who provides local services – and how they do it – are clear and can be properly scrutinised.