Some probation staff are striking from lunchtime today and will be standing on picket lines. Not all staff will strike because of safety issues in not supervising certain high risk offenders - they have complete union agreement about their need to stay in work. Here's a bit of information about their reasons for trying to stop probation being privatised.
• The National Probation Service budget is threadbare and will face cuts of 20% in 2015. High caseloads, burn out, thin management support, bureaucratic nightmares, domination by the prison oriented “command and control” National OfFender Management Service.
• The number of bidders has fallen from 50 to 26 and is dropping almost daily. In some areas there is only one serious bidder which is not even approaching the legal definition of a competition.
• £9 million (a crude under estimation) has been spent so far on privatisation consultants.
• Service delivery models are being suggested to “automate” offender contact. (This means not seeing offenders face to face)
• Sodexo at HMP Northumberland in chaos as prisoners and staff are not safe.
• Future probation officer training in complete disarray.
If you can, please give the strikers a wave or beep of the car horn to show support. Ministers and government officials are watching the public reaction to the strike with close scrutiny.
whenim64 Mon 31-Mar-14 11:18:36
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