The scale of private sector involvement in the UK’s prisons and probation service has increased dramatically in the last four years and the overwhelming majority of contracts are held by just three companies, according to a report published by the TUC.
Justice for Sale is the first in a series of reports from the TUC and its seven unions with members employed in the justice sector, and is the first activity of the Speak Up for Justice campaign. The research was undertaken by the New Economics Foundation and looks at the growth of outsourcing – where work once carried out by the public sector is now being handled by private companies.
The report looks in detail at what has been happening in the three areas of offender management in England and Wales – prisons, probation and electronic tagging – in an attempt to assess the implications for the taxpayers, public safety and the rehabilitation of offenders.
UNISON, NAPO and GMB have jointly reported the UK Government to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) over its plans to outsource the probation service to the private sector, as this breaches international labour law.
The Government’s plan to open up the supervision, monitoring and delivery of probation to the private sector is in breach of article 24 of the ILO’s Forced Labour Convention which states that community payback orders must be supervised by the public sector. Under the Government’s plans, this supervision will be handed over to the private sector.
Every day, more than 200 community payback orders are imposed by courts in England and Wales. And last year, around 7 million hours of unpaid work were done in the community to deliver on these orders.
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said:
“The ILO Forced Labour Convention is very clear that community payback orders must be supervised by the public sector, and the Government’s privatisation proposals will breach this".
“In fact, the UK Government first breached the Convention over 12 months ago when they put Serco in charge of community payback in London".
“The Government is rushing through its probation privatisation plans with undue haste, and this breach of international labour regulations will be just one of the catastrophic results”.
“As well as making this referral of the UK Government to the ILO, UNISON calls on the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to abandon his controversial probation privatisation and to work with unions and employers to keep probation public in the interests of community safety, accountability and offender rehabilitation".
Thursday 19 September 2013, 12.00 till 1.00
Newcastle Law Courts on the Quayside
UNISON is organising a protest to take place at lunchtime on 19 September for members to show their opposition to the Government’s plans to sell off 70% of the Probation Service to the private sector.
Why 19 September? Because this is the day that Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary, is planning to put the advert for the probation sell-off into the Official Journal of the European Union. This is the first step that must be taken in any major privatisation.
We hope as many members as possible can join the protests to make it clear to Chris Grayling that opposition to his flawed and dangerous plans has not gone away.
UNISON’s recent survey of all Probation members has delivered a resounding vote of no confidence in Chris Grayling’s plans to radically reform the Probation Service.
This result will send a very strong message to Chris Grayling and the Government that staff who work for the Probation Service are not prepared to stand by and see the Service that they have committed their working lives to, destroyed for ideological ends. The jobs that our members do, to protect communities and help reform offenders, is too precious and too important to be broken up in the way that the Justice Secretary is proposing.
UNISON and our sister union in Probation, Napo, have agreed a high level statement which sets out our joint commitment to work together on behalf of our members to defend a public Probation Service.
Read the statement and more in the 'Probation Works' newsletter.
To support our fellow UNISON members in Probation complete the model letter below and send it to your MP.
This briefing describes:
In January 2013, the Government published ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ setting out radical plans to reform the Probation Service in England and Wales.
The Probation Trade Unions welcome the big idea behind the reform, which is to provide supervision and rehabilitation to those leaving prison after short sentences. But the Government is going about this in completely the wrong way.
The Government wants to:
GMB, Napo and UNISON want to see the Government build on the success of Probation, rather than tearing apart a successful Service and replacing it with an untried and untested experimental model. So with our years of experience in Probation to build on, we are calling for an alternative revolution, which would protect the best of the existing system and add capacity via sustainable, local, public-public partnerships.
What you can do:
Read more about the campaign and how you can support it in 'Northern Probation Newsletter No. 1'
UNISON's response to the govrnments consultation on ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ is summarised in 'Probation Service Under Threat' - Joint Unions Probation Leaflet.
You can find the full response here.
New courses for members and stewards.
Inflation leaps to 3.2%
More regulation of gig economy needed
Appalling risk of suicides in construction
Fat cats — the great pay divide
Racist abuse after Brexit vote
Lack of diversity at top in Wales
Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.
Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.
Nottinghamshire Police have taken the bold step to identify misogyny as a hate crime and Northern UNSION are keen for this to be replicated in our region. The aim of the event is to identify how we can move the issue forward across the region with all three Police and Crime Commissioners.
Swings and scooters of inflation basket
No real improvement in weekly earnings
Cosmetic improvement with Living Wage
Zero-hours contracts at record high
Unemployment falls below 1.6 million
Agenda and annual report.
Economic forecasts in Hammond's Budget
Mixed fortunes in ethnic women's pay gap data
Company merger and acquisitions in 2016
Numbers on zero-hours contracts at a high
GMB take on DX delivery firm
Former chancellor's nice big earner
Charter to stop violence at work
Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.
Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.
A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division. 18 March 2017.
March calendar of events and activities.
Trade Union Act regs come into force
Gender pension gap leaves women short
Violence at work — the nasty truth
Bookseller's £7m salary
Money purchase pension are norm
British Gas denied appeal in Lock case
Government fails in ethnicity review
Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.
Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.
Winners in February.
Morning seminar and afternoon remembrance service in Hartlepool on Friday 28 April 2017. There is also an Eve of WMD ‘Gig’ on Thursday 27 April.
Government green paper on pensions
A 'Stern diet' for fat cat directors' pay
Employers — don't miss out on talent
Argos repays £2.4 million to 37,000 staff
Economic growth revised upwards
Work fears of disabled people revealed
Migrants have helped make Britain. It’s time to celebrate us
NHS at breaking point, according to British Medical Association
Councils prepare to cut essential services to fund adult social care
London transport spending equivalent to £1,500 more per head than North East
Minimum wage cheats named and shamed
Inflation hits three-year high
Unemployment at 11-year low
Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings
Migrants are always the scapegoats. But now they’re taking on Ukip’s lies
I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?
English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse'
North East peers want law to make Government investigate impact of Brexit on region
North East recruitment drive revealed as jobless total in region rises
UK employment growth driven by foreign nationals, figures show
The NHS needs a rethink. Its priorities no longer make sense
Top Labour politicians come to 'UKIP area' Sunderland for Brexit debates and festival
Rothbury Community Hospital inpatient ward closure public meeting this week
Shopping will cost you more as prices rise, but is Brexit to blame?
Campaigners calling for u-turn over Post Office move
UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall
Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns
Then the Daily Mail came for Gary Lineker, and we said: ‘Enough!’
Brexit survey revealed: What you would do if given second shot at EU referendum
Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC
There will be a shameful betrayal of the Brexit low-paid
Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire
NHS 'pays £7.5m a year for 20 most expensive agency doctors'
Drive to bring health and social care together is a well-intentioned mess
Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.
Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017
Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017
Regional Education Calendar 2017
A&E in England had worst delays ever in January, leak suggests
Why was Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes the star of Prime Minister's questions?
Number of patients stuck in hospital 'far higher than NHS data shows'
It's time corporate tax dodgers started losing lucrative council contracts
More council housing needed in the North East - government report reveals
Council tax, youth funding and bins: 6 things to look out for from Sunderland budget meeting
TyneMet and South Tyneside colleges merger: What it means for jobs, campuses and its new name?
Review of tribunal fees finally published
Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices
Insecure work on rise
Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million
A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.
UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report
NHS ID scheme could deter eligible patients, say MPs
Councils may cut social care provision due to underfunding, LGA says
Nursery schools: ‘What society gives children less chance than their parents?’
Council tax rise planned for Northumberland residents as authority faces £36m cuts
'Trump can't hack Trebs' - the best signs from Newcastle anti-Trump demonstration
Racism at work
Economy grows but there's a shortfall
Advice on gender pay gap from Acas
Tories offer no solution on discrimination
Eight assaults a day in Welsh schools
A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.
Winners in January.
Northern Region Young Members AGM
UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.
Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.
In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.
Papers for the meeting on 6 February.
Death by a thousand fire service cuts
Guidance on stress
Modern-day slave traders jailed
Fees let bad bosses get off scot free
Top-ranked inclusive employers 2017
Get tough on pay, says pension funds
Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.
Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.
Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.
Wales to ditch parts of 2016 Trade Union Act
Inflation rates at highest since 2014
Retail inflation eating into earnings growth
UK unemployment at nine-year low
Public sector pay poised to fall by thousands in real terms, TUC says
May’s promise on workers’ rights is hollow if she doesn’t get a deal
NHS crisis: the one act of self-sacrifice that could rescue our health service
Politicians have ignored the working class for too long
World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%
Crisis, what NHS crisis? Theresa May must stop this denial
Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act
UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition.
Courier's tribunal win against CitySprint
TUC warns over Brexit threat to workers' rights
Lame excuses for not paying minimum wage
High street store fined over safety
Manufacturing output edges higher
Child poverty briefing
Winners in December.
Consultation on political fund review: December-January
We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.
Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.
UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.
'Precarious pay penalty' of zero-hours staff
Plans for a Universal Basic Income
2017 — economic forecasts for year
'Fat Cat Wednesday' has been and gone
Northern Ireland to reveal political gifts
UK's deficit in trade in goods gets ever worse
UK economic growth revised upwards