ESSU Reports and Briefings

Range of additional reports and briefings by ESSU and Andrew Morton.

  • EU Reform of transnational Posted Workers law and the place of working rights and collective agreements within the Single European Market: European Public Services Briefings 5: by Andrew Morton

    The Posted Workers Enforcement Directive and the ‘Monti II’ Regulation: The temporary posting of workers to a member state other than that to which they are based has brought together a complex set of social, economic and regulatory issues within EU law. This paper examines the conflicts of free movement and social rights and the Posted Workers Enforcement directive and the Monti ll and recommends a way forward.

  • European Public Services Briefing 4: European Union Public Procurement Law, the public sector and Public Service Provision, Andy Morton

    In the mid-1980s, prompted by the passing of Single European Act, the European Union embarked upon an ambitious programme of liberalisation to complete the Single Market. This included the opening up of many national industries to pan-European competition. EU public procurement law has been a crucial pillar to this agenda as EU institutions have sought to encourage cross-border, pan-European purchasing of public contracts. The paper examines the scope of EU procurement law, public markets vs public services, UK experience of outsourcing, PPPs and employment issues.

  • European Public Services Briefing 3: A Single European Market in Healthcare: The impact of European Union policy on national healthcare provision, Andy Morton.

    Examines the recent Cross Border Healthcare Directive, the role of the European Court of Justice and the ‘Europeanisation of Healthcare’. The introduction of EU law into healthcare presents many problems. The most pressing being that EU institutions have sought to apply the ‘economic’ rights enshrined in the EU Treaty’s free movement law to national healthcare systems, like Britain’s NHS, that are essentially ‘social’ in purpose and aims. Expanding the ‘choices’ of users and providers of cross-border European healthcare is a further indulgence of the choice agenda that we’ve seen in Britain. This will only serve to further undermine social healthcare provision in the UK and the rest of Europe.

  • European Public Services Briefing 2: The Impact of European Union Competition Policy on Public Transport Policy and Provision in the UK, Andy Morton

    In the last thirty years public transport services throughout Europe have been subjected to various sorts of privatisation. Reforms introducing competition and market rules into public transport have challenged the public service ethos that these services operate under. The role of successive UK governments in these reforms is well understood and documented. However the role of EU law, policy and institutions in this area is not. The EU, and in particular the European Commission, have had a considerable impact on public policy choices concerning public transport in EU member states since the early 1990s. Those in the UK who seek to redirect public transport policy away from privatisation and toward truly ‘public’ alternatives are to be advanced need to be aware that EU policy will also need to be challenged. At the very least it is accepted that a full understanding of the EU’s role is necessary and dealing with these questions. (Revised March 2015)

  • European Public Services Briefing 1: European Union Competition policy and the Liberalisation of Postal Services, Andy Morton

    The European dimension to postal sector liberalisation is often overlooked as successive UK governments have pursued the liberalisation route for its universal postal service: the Royal Mail. Postal sectors in Europe, traditionally dominated by public sector monopolies, have been progressively opened up to increased competition courtesy of European Union (EU) directives, introduced since the mid-1990s as part of EU’s competition agenda and Single Market Programme. This long process of phased liberalisation has come to fruition recently with the last remnants of universal service providers’ protected services being abolished. On January 1st 2011 the Directive introducing ‘full’ liberalisation into European postal sectors was introduced the EU.

  • Democratic Governance and the Future of City Regions

    The five-part Discussion Paper begins with a new mapping of public sector bodies and organisations based on a privatisation of governance typology. The next chapter discusses New Labour’s modernisation and the neoliberal agenda. Chapter three examines the effect of different elements of the government’s public sector transformation strategy on democratic governance such as the changing the role of the state; personalisation and choice; commissioning and contracting; regional and local economic and regeneration strategies; the growth of services markets; new models of governance and public management and empowerment and participation. The Paper explains the City Region concept, the future of the state and urban governance and democratic accountability and the governance of City Regions. (2008, 48 pages)

  • Public Private Partnerships: Confidential ‘Research’, A Critique of the Audit Commission’s study of Strategic Service-delivery Partnerships by Dexter Whitfield

    A highly critical assessment of the Audit Commission’s recent report, For Better, For Worse, on Strategic Service-delivery Partnerships. It finds ten fundamental flaws ranging from inadequate methodology, no evidence base, employment issues ignored, no audit of private sector investment and no comparison of an alternative in-house approach. The Commission’s claim that the information on which its findings are based is “commercially confidential” makes a mockery of transparency, performance management, democratic accountability and community engagement. The second section of the report uses quotes from the Audit Commission report to highlight the shortcomings in more detail.

  • Shared Services Strategic Framework

    A strategic approach to developing shared services projects based on a progressive approach, principles for shared services, a public sector shared services strategy, democratic governance and accountability, an evidence-based methodology, quality jobs and comprehensive appraisal criteria and impact assessment. (May 2007)

  • Employment Risk Matrix

    A revised version of the Risk Matrix assesses the risks of secondment, TUPE and TUPE Plus transfers when assessing employment impacts in outsourcing and privatisation options (March 2010). There are basically three employment models if outsourcing or transfer is proposed: 1) Secondment in which staff remain employed by the public sector. 2) Transfer to a new employer under the TUPE regulations 3) a TUPE Plus transfer that includes improved terms and conditions and pensions.

    The European Services Strategy Unit has devised an Employment Risk Matrix which assesses the degree of changes in four categories of risk: risk of changes to terms and conditions of service, pensions arrangements (not covered by TUPE regulations), risk of changes to staff consultation and representation and risk of problems with secondment agreement.

  • The Case for a Positive Public Duty on Age Equality

    This report examines the operation and impact of existing public duties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the UK Duty on Race, specifically in light of the desirability or otherwise of a Public Duty for Age Equality either as part of a Single Equalities Act or a separate piece of legislation. It also seeks to develop an understanding of the lessons for drawing up such a Duty in light of the experience of existing Duties.

  • The Case for the 4th Option for Council Housing

    Across the country tenants associations and federations, local authorities, trade unions and an increasing number of MPs are increasingly interested in a 4th option for Council housing to add to the government's preferred options which represent either full or part privatisation of local authority housing stock. This report, from the Centre for Public Services, makes a comprehensive case for the 4th Option for council investment.

    Council housing is a socially important housing tenure. It is democratically accountable, has a range of economic benefits and provides access to affordable housing. Even within the government's own rules for public spending, there is ample room to deliver the needed investment to correct 30 years of under-investment and marginalisation, especially if government subsidies for Large Scale Voluntary Transfer and PFI are diverted into direct investment. Arms Length Management Organisations, introduced by the government as a 'third way' for council housing, is in reality a stepping stone to privatisation, undermines democratic accountability and impacts negatively on tenants, staff and the local authority.

  • Modernising Social Services: Evidence from the Frontline

    Report into the implementation of modernisation of social services, with evidence drawn from a major survey of social workers in a large case study authority. Social services are some of the most vital local public services, acting as both a social safety net to catch those who become excluded from a society and a system of vital support for children, families, adults with emotional or learning difficulties and older people no longer able to maintain their independence without external help. The quality of our social services are a key barometer of how caring and inclusive our society is.

    Social services, like all aspects of the public sector have had to cope with two decades of under-funding and almost constant incremental reform. They are now subject to what the government calls 'modernisation'. This report examines the implementation of the government's modernisation agenda for public sector reform. It gives a voice to social care professionals at the frontline of service delivery and therefore also modernisation.

  • Mortgaging Our Children's Future

    The Privatisation, Marketisation and Commercialisation of Secondary Education. Much has been written about the wrongs of privatisation of education, but so far there has been no overall analysis of the various policies and initiatives underway in our secondary schools. Mortgaging our Children's Future is essential reading for LEAs, school governors, trade unionists, campaigners, education professionals and anyone concerned about the future of secondary education in Britain. The report will help those involved in the planning and delivery of secondary education to be much more acutely aware of the key issues in the sector and assist them in assessing policy options (September 2003).

  • The Investigator's Handbook

    The Investigator's Handbook is a comprehensive 140 page guide to investigating companies, organisations, government and individuals. Includes investigation by sectors health and social care, education, housing, regeneration, public transport, utilities and international organisations plus sections on rights to information and searching the web. An invaluable guide for investigating: Company performance; Developers and contractors; Government organisations and quangos; PFI and partnership projects; Investigate performance of public bodies.