One of the major bugbears for public sector workers and elected parliamentarians and councillors seeking to secure jobs with decent wages and conditions is EU Procurement Regulations.
They must be changed.
My own experiences of these regulations came about in 2000 when the then Scottish Executive outsourced the maintenance of Trunk Road contracts citing EU Rules , and then more recently when Glasgow City Council outsourced its glass recycling service – bizarrely the Council claimed at Committee that this service was not being delivered in-house, only to admit to the Trade Unions that it was months later.
Both these experiences bitterly exposed the lack of protection of workers transferring from one body to another, and the lack of social clauses of these contracts. In the recent glass recycling case there was no provision to adhere to the Glasgow Living Wage, making it much easier for a private contractor to claim the contract.
In addition to this, Both Central and Local Government appear hamstrung to use Procurement to support local economies to strengthen communities, by ensuring contracts are given to local firms.
That’s why I believe Procurement Regulations need to be changed, to introduce social clauses protecting workers, and their wages, and to allow Procurement decisions to be taken in a way that can consider local economic factors.