Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/806/18435

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 April 2014

Probation workers unite to fight off no-justice vultures

Chas Berry, Kent Napo branch chair, personal capacity

Private vultures hoping to swoop down and feed off the remains of local Probation Trusts got a nasty shock when thousands of workers took strike action in defence of a fully integrated public service.

The action, on 31 March and 1 April, was the second national stoppage by Napo, representing over 9,000 probation workers, in their campaign to defeat the government's misnamed Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme.

Outside magistrates' courts pickets were swelled by criminal justice lawyers, protesting at cuts to Legal Aid.

Many small firms of solicitors facing extinction of their practices have common cause with probation staff in the fight to stop the corporate giants from taking over our justice system.

Justice not for sale

"Justice is not for sale" was the battle cry on the streets of towns and cities throughout England and Wales.

Over 500 attended a rally outside Parliament that went on to besiege the Ministry of Justice building, where a giant 'RIP Justice' birthday cake was delivered to Secretary of State Chris Grayling.

TR aims to privatise 70% of probation work in a planned share sale later this year but the determination of Napo members is causing many to withdraw their bids.

There are now only 28 bidders for 21 contracts with the number falling every week, raising serious questions about whether the sell-off satisfies statutory competition rules.

Questions are also being asked about the cost of breaking up a valuable national asset while handing lucrative contracts to contractors with dubious credentials.

Ministers called before the Public Accounts Committee in March were unable to provide basic information about what the public can expect from the companies hoping to run TR, what happens if contracts fail and who will pick up the bill.

While giant security firms G4S and Serco have been ruled out because of previous 'overcharging', equally dodgy operators like A4e remain in the field despite having to sack a number of its senior staff over fraud allegations.

A successful share sale in October looks increasingly unlikely.

Meanwhile plans to create a smaller, highly centralised National Probation Service for managing high risk offenders are in deep trouble.

Napo has warned that trying to separate the management of the most 'serious' from the rest would be costly, bureaucratic and potentially dangerous and we are sadly being proved right.

Over 9 million has been spent on consultants, and measures designed to ensure the safe exchange of information are adding a whole new layer of complexity to work that requires forensic attention to detail.

TR is not a 'done deal'. While probation work remains in the public sector and private providers remain nervous about the costs of contracts there is everything to play for.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 9 April 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

House of Thieves

Housing emergency

Break with pro-cuts Labour now

System change to save the environment

Hillsborough tragedy - the final chapter?

OECD report: A system in crisis

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Care UK strike: national union support needed

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) elections

Build on the fighting militant traditions of the RMT

Probation workers unite to fight off no-justice vultures

Visteon: Ford makes offer

Sparks fight on!

Homes and Communities Agency strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Swansea: National Front thwarted!

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition progress update

Doncaster: March commemorates miners' strike

Save Leicester Race Equality Centre

Obituary: Pat James 1930 - 2014

Help with the Socialist sales campaign

Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting


Reviews and readers' comments

Book review: Silent Accomplice

Reviews and comments


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 April 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Napo:

triangleWorkers celebrate renationalisation

triangleKnife crime - a product of capitalist misery

triangleProbation privatisation failure

triangleTake on probation privatisation with union action

triangleVote Mike Rolfe for Napo general secretary

Unite:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleI joined the Socialist Party to fight back

triangleOnline rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!

triangleUnited Left general secretary hustings shows widest debate needed for left in Unite

Probation:

triangleRenationalisation of the probation service

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

triangleBoot out failing Grayling and the other Tory wreckers

Legal aid:

triangleJoin the fight for refugee rights

triangleCourts and tribunal services face huge cuts

A4e:

triangleReverse social care sell-offs

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/8/20

Young Socialists

After Scottish government U-turn, Young Socialists fight for a future on A-Level results day

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999