PUBLIC SECT0R: Unison relaunches campaign to halt PFIs

Public sector union Unison has relaunched its PR campaign aimed at

halting the Government's PFI plans.



The campaign was due to peak before the Labour Party conference in

September but was shelved in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist

atrocities.



The union has decided that now is the right time to relaunch in terms of

gaining column inches.



Media relations work will include the promotion of a delivery by nurses

and other public sector workers to Downing Street of thousands of

postcards, signed by the public and objecting to the Government's PFI

plans.



The union has also secured cabinet members Stephen Byers, Alan Milburn

and Estelle Morris as speakers for a series of meetings on the role of

the private sector in the employment, health and education sectors.



All PR will be handled by the 20-strong in house team and overseen by

head of press and broadcasting Mary Maguire, who reports to

general-secretary Dave Prentis.



She said the focus of the campaign is to promote alternatives to running

public services that do not involve the private sector. She said: 'We

think that world-class services can be built without the involvement of

business.'



The campaign also involves stepping up its public affairs work. Maguire

added: 'We are an affiliate of the Labour Party and will be using our

influence there. This campaign integrates the traditional union rallies

and demonstrations with extensive media relations and public

affairs.



A rally will take place in Westminster on 4 December, which the union is

promoting as Public Services Day.



Earlier this month the blue collar union GMB relaunched its campaign

against PFI, which had also been put on hold after 11 September (PR

Week, 2 November).



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