15 June 2012
Responses to the survey by a respected newspaper covering the civil service, reveal scepticism of a project being driven by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude to turn public service bodies into mutuals, part-owned by the private sector.
The plan is trumpeted as being 'employee-led', but the first one in the civil service – the agency My Civil Service Pension – has been imposed by the minister and senior managers against the will of staff who were forced to take industrial action to voice their opposition.
The union says mutualisation is being used to usher in privatisation by the back door, and Mr Maude has already admitted he would be happy for them to be fully privatised in future.
Findings of the survey, conducted by Civil Service World, include:
Would you be interested in exploring the idea of your organisation or team becoming a 'mutual', and leaving the civil service to become a social enterprise or business?
Of those who said yes, the top three answers to, 'What most worries you about the prospect of trying to set up a mutual?', were:
Of those who said no, the top three answers to, 'What most deters you from considering mutualisation?', were:
In a survey of all My CSP staff conducted by the union last year 94% of respondents said they did not agree with Mr Maude's claim that turning MyCSP into a mutual would 'empower employees' and more than 95% said they wanted to retain their civil service status, something the government refused to allow.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This blows a hole right through the government's claims that this is in any way employee-led, and shows civil servants are deeply sceptical about what is simply privatisation by another name.
"Civil and public servants are rightly proud of the work they do and they recognise the huge value that public service brings to our society as a whole, and there is no appetite to unpick this and run our country's services on the basis of profit, instead of need."