The message from the Leeds Community Health Branch of Unison couldn’t be clearer. You can download the newsletter in full here. Unison says it is stepping up its campaign against social enterprise because it threatens jobs, threatens terms and conditions and represents the privatisation of the NHS.
The issue of terms and conditions and security of employment can’t be dodged, it seems to me. I’ve spoken to enough health workers in social enterprise to know that these are very real risks and those transferring to social enterprises would be frankly daft not to consider them.
But the argument that social enterprise represents privatisation should be countered. Social enterprise represents a different form of socialisation of health services. But this is a more subtle argument than many will wish to hear or be receptive to, I suspect.
The social enterprise movement has a major job of campaigning and explanation here. Are we up to the task? Should we be?