POA Circulars

124 | 24.09.2010

Competition Dialogue Process - Final Bid

A special NEC was convened on Thursday 23rd September 2010 to discuss the final bids from the Prison Service Public Sector Bid Team.

Terry Fullerton and I have attended the Birmingham branch whilst Steve Baines has visited Buckley Hall and a report was given to the Executive from the branch meetings. Taking into account the concerns of the members, the National Executive had to decide whether it was in the best interest of the POA to support the bids for Buckley Hall, Birmingham, Doncaster, Featherstone 2 and Wellingborough.

The Executive considered the decision and outcome of the adoption of emergency motion 119a in 2009, the debate on Annual Conference Motion 13/2010 and previous ballot result (the attached verbatim report from both motions are for your information).

The NEC and local branches have engaged with the Prison Service Public Sector Bid Team in an attempt to develop and support public sector bids for those prisons involved, in compliance with Conference Policy and the decision of the membership through the democratic process at the ballot box.

The aim of this Union has always been to prevent public sector prisons being privatised and to return private prisons back to the public sector, we must do all we can to achieve these aims. There are a number of Conference Motions covering privatisation, Market Testing and clustering but we are dealing specifically with the Market Test/Competition Dialogue Policy.

The Executive accepted the invite from the Prison Service Public Sector Bid Team for members of the NEC to evaluate the final bids for each prison. The team has reported back to the Executive on the progress previously.

As a result of the Executive’s concerns the sub-committee of the NEC have revisited the bids again and put forward proposals which amend the staffing and cost of each bid, although the final profiles and costing will fall to the local branch if successful at the final stage. The Prison Service Public Sector Bid Team have asked that the NEC support the final amended bids and as such it was proposed:

“That the NEC accept and support the final bids as they provide the best option for these prisons to remain in the public sector.”   

This proposal was the subject of a full and frank debate by the Executive and after careful consideration of this issue the proposal was carried.

As National Chairman, I have advised the Prison Service Public Sector Bid Team of this decision and the final bid will now go forward on the 28th September 2010.

Whilst the NEC have supported these bids, it does not mean that we agree with the process and we will continue to oppose privatisation and competition. However, whilst the Prison Service and Government use such tools, we as a Union must defend public sector workers and prisons and do all we can to retain prisons within the public sector.

I trust that you accept this decision, which has been done in the best interest of the membership, and we now await the outcome of the final stages of the competition dialogue process.

Yours sincerely


National Chairman

Yours sincerely


Deputy General Secretary

MOTION 13: Conference debates the outcome of Motion 119a (Southport 2009) BIRMINGHAM
COLIN MOSES – NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: Motion 13, Birmingham. Brian, I know you like that walk, I might try it one day!
BRIAN CLARKE: NEC, Chair, conference. I bring this motion to Conference so that we can…
COLIN MOSES – NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: Brian, sorry, can we have a seconder for this motion please?  Conference debates, no seconder, alright go on Brian. It’s my mistake Brian.
BRIAN CLARKE: Thank you Colin. I bring this debate to Conference so that we can make Conference aware, and make members aware, of what has been happening with Buckley Hall, Birmingham and Wellingborough in particular over the past several months.
I remember the Conference at Southport last year very well. I remember looking at our motion, many written months and weeks beforehand, before the Right Honourable Jack Straw made his pernicious decision to put Birmingham Prison into the market testing arena, along with Wellingborough. Thus, for nothing more than publicly challenging WFM, and for resisting the offer, Birmingham and Wellingborough were put up for sale. Were put in that unhappy group of prisons with service level agreements, alongside Buckley Hall, Manchester, Doncaster, Blakenhurst and many others, too many others. 
I have to say that Southport last year was an experience akin to attending your own funeral. Processions of friends, processions of people calling you to say how sorry they were, expressing their sympathy, the beer tasted flat, the atmosphere was flat. The birthday celebration seemed somehow inappropriate. I felt that I’d no right to enjoy the usual lively social scene while my friends at Birmingham were still raw, still shocked and still very angry. When Buckley Hall’s motion fell, 56 I think it was, Conference took another dimension, I felt genuinely a feeling of despair. I knew for a certain fact that our branch wanted to have a say in the market testing process; at least to have a voice to speak on their behalf, in a process that was not only going to surgically remove swathes of staff from our profile, but hack and butcher the profiles, for no other reason than to drive down the operating costs of prisons across the service.
I knew that on behalf of friends and colleagues at Birmingham I was going to have to act in breach of union policy. Well, Conference voted on the emergency motion brought by Andy Abrahams and we were successful in securing a ballot on the issues of engagement in privatisation and clustering; and the ballot result was to engage, and I thank you, colleagues, for that. I thank you for your support, for relating our plight and our dilemma to your members. While we were busy at Conference changing policy and adopting policy, the Prison Service were busy too, they were forming the Prison Service Business Unit. Groups of managers, their best managers from far and wide, experienced, cold and calculating and impartial, apparently. And all of them deciding on the nature of the bids that could win for a public sector prison or Prison Service bids.
It was put to each of us at Buckley Hall, Wellingborough and Birmingham that the unions had to be involved in this process or no bids would be put forward by the Prison Service for their prisons, take it or leave it - join in or you just get handed over to the private sector. And along with my colleagues, now firm friends, Martin and Jackie and others at Buckley Hall and Wellingborough, we engaged. It wasn’t half-hearted, it wasn’t conditional. We entered a process that would put a confidential bid on the table. That bid was due in November, perversely the day of my birthday. Then it was announced that there were delays and that the bid would be put in in December, just before Christmas. Then we were told that the bid process had been delayed again and that it was going to be put in in the New Year. And days before Christmas, we were then told that the bid process had changed. We would now be competing by competitive dialogue for our jobs and that local involvement was not needed any more. No officers that worked in these prisons, no union officials that worked in these prisons were officially and firmly told that in contradiction to what we’d been previously told, that we must engage, we were now well and truly out of the bid process. We’ve got no voice, we’ve got no ears, we’ve got no negotiating rights, we’re not even going to be consulted. Strangely, we were told this news at the point in the evaluating process that we were going to look at the profiles, we were going to look at the operating costs of prisons.
So what’s the net outcome of this? Well, I believe it’s this. It was either the Prison Service believe that the union would not change its policy and would not ever engage and they expected to put their own bids out to challenge the private sector. Or they were always going to bid but didn’t want union engagement, they just wanted to be able to say we won and we won without you, we are the smart people. Perhaps the Prison Service even expected union officials to sabotage or delay the bids to the competitors. It certainly wasn’t any trade unionist that took a job with the private sector competitors during the process as it was happening, and it wasn’t trade union officials who left the business unit for a promotion elsewhere in the country.
What is absolutely clear though is that we’re not part of the process now and we ask ourselves, what role do we have as this business comes to a conclusion? My feeling is the business service business unit, the bid teams for Birmingham, Buckley and Wellingborough are going to be successful. The bid teams know what to deliver. They should do, we’ve been running prisons for a long time, but my feeling is they are going to deliver and deliver only on price. We’re well aware, and no promises have been made to the contrary, we’re well aware that we will be working in the same prisons, with the same prisoners, but we will be delivering more and we will be delivering more with a vastly reduced budget. We have the scenario that sometime this year, sometime later this year, we as union officials will be driving these profiles, telling our members how lucky they are to be public servants, as we work the same prisons with less staff.

My feeling is that Birmingham, Wellingborough and Buckley Hall will become benchmarks in terms of operating costs for comparative prisons. We will become models of specification for managing offenders and providing regimes with greatly reduced budgets. It is coming your way. The Prison Service Business Unit is expanding and when they’ve finished with us, they’ll be coming for you. I hope I’m wrong. I hope that next year you will be looking at me sympathetically and saying Clarky you did lose the plot.
COLIN MOSES – NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: As always, I have to ask if there’s anyone else wishes to partake in the debate before I go to the NEC speaker? No. Glyn Travis on behalf of the NEC.
GLYN TRAVIS – ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Good afternoon Conference, NEC, Chairman.  Conference debate the outcome of motion 119a of 2009. 
I suppose the fact of the matter is we are where we are. The membership voted as directed and they determined that we would get involved in the process. You could easily say in hindsight that it was the wrong decision but democracy rules in this union, always has done, whether it’s through the ballot box or at Conference.  So I listened to what Brian said and I think he’s sort of captured where we were, where we are and where we’re going forward; but there’s more to it, isn’t there? Brian’s touched on the fact that if Buckley Hall are successful, if Wellingborough are successful, if Birmingham are successful, that they will then be used as benchmarking. I think the one thing that’s never changed in this process is the National Executive Committee have made it clear to the Public Sector Bid Unit, the only people who will sign off a bid are the National Executive and that bid will have to be safe, decent and secure. 

And if as a result of that being rejected and saying, well, we’re going to give it to someone else, I think the National Chairman made it perfectly clear this morning, the consequences of contracting out any public sector prison. So as an outcome of 119a, I think we are pretty much where we are. There was a great phrase used last year, wasn’t there Jackie, ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it.’ Well, if we had to be in it to win it in May 2009, and as Brian’s quite rightly said, locally they don’t want them in it anymore. And I attended a meeting with the DGS on behalf of the National Chairman, who directed us both to attend, where Jackie, Martin and Brian were being met by the head of the Public Sector Bid Unit, Mr McConnell, who’s now left and gone to Northern Ireland, pastures new, God bless Northern Ireland.
And we tried to outline how important local POAs would be as a conduit for communications. What was his answer? It’s not really the role of the Public Sector Bid Unit, it really is a role for industrial relations and local governors. But it just didn’t quite sit right, because when we said well, you’ve got them there, you can put them on full time facility which is what they were on before, the governor could afford them then. And if you really want us to be involved and get this process right and deliver safe, decent and secure public sector bids, that you should be utilising their skills. And the question was put to the three individuals, would you be happy now to continue? And all three said yes. And I don’t know what the situation is on that. I don’t know whether they’ve been used to continue on that process or not, but that was where we were.
But what’s happened since that is there’s been an awful lot of work done by this National Executive Committee on it. It might not have been relayed or portrayed to the membership in the best way, or best fashion. Because the most important thing of this process is the GAD certificate or the GAD passport. Those two phraseologies, and Brian Caton and Colin Moses, with Thompsons, have written letter after letter after letter to NOMS, to the Public Sector Bid Unit, to the Ministry of Justice, and eventually we got a letter from Vincent Godfrey.  Fine fellow, he’s got a lovely signature just like Mark Freeman. And he assured us that as the process goes through, that all private sector bidders will have a GAD certificate or a GAD passport, which will guarantee a comparable pension should any public sector worker be transferred to the private sector. And that’s been one of the key issues. Because one of the concerns of all members of staff has been revolving around TUPE, what happens if I’m TUPE’d across. 
COLIN MOSES – NATIONAL CHAIRMN: Glyn, can I ask you to start rounding up please?
GLYN TRAVIS – ASSISTANT SECRETARY: So where are we colleagues? Well, as a result of that, on 23rd February 2010 the pre-qualification question for custodial services for works for HMP Birmingham, HMP Buckley Hall, HMP And YOI Doncaster, HMP Featherstone and HMP Wellingborough under the due contract were successful. And the Public Sector Bid Unit will confirm that their pre-qualification had been successful. We were then told that G4S Kerr and Justice Limited were bidding for all processes. Serco Ltd were bidding, Sodexo Limited were bidding and the GO group UK Ltd were also bidding. We were told about Glen Parva too, we were told about Featherstone too and we await where we are.
So I think the crux of the debate, colleagues, is there is still a Public Sector Bid Unit. We have a decision from Conference that we will engage in this process and the assurance that we’ve got is that the National Chairman, Colin Moses, is on the Assurance Board of the Public Sector Bid Unit. Thank you.
COLIN MOSES – NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: Brian do you wish to come back. OK, thank you.
I would just like to make this statement to Conference as Glyn has just mentioned. I sit on the Assurance Board and report back to the National Executive. I have attended one meeting which I did last week and to say that, as Brian has stated, which way they’re moving, I certainly found it confusing. I believe the system they had in place with the local branches is one they should not have abandoned. And so you have to ask yourself why did they abandon that system?
MOTION 14: That this NEC ensures that if any prisons are clustered, the committees of those prisons involved will, if requested by them, remain as individual committees and not become one branch. PARKHURST
Motion 14 Parkhurst.

Motion 119A. As a matter of urgency Conference calls on the National Executive to consider all the policies in
respect of clustering and Market Testing, following the rejection of motion 63a.
Furthermore, Conference instructs the Executive to ballot the membership on both issues to establish the union’s

Andy Abrams, Doncaster:
Thank you Chair. Comrades? Andy Abrams, Doncaster leading to move Emergency Motion 119 alpha. I’ll read it so you understand it. As a matter of urgency, Conference calls on the National Executive to consider all the policies in respect of Clustering and Market Testing following the rejection of Motion 63(a). Furthermore, Conference instructs the Executive to ballot the membership on both issues to establish the Union’s policy. This may possibly be recorded in history as one of those most significant unity decisions taken by this Union in a long while. Understand the level of threat is high, the level of threat is wide ranging and the level of threat is long ranging. The forces against this Union are mustered and they are prepared. Fear, confusion, anxiety or from this week is already driving this already emotional issue to near panic for some. To leave Conference with no meaningful direction will lead to Wellingborough, Manchester, Buckley Hall and I dare say Doncaster and they’re all adrift
in the desert. Who then? Who then? Emotions are high over this Motion will allow the NEC to resolve their position but it has to be by the end of this month. There’s no more time. It’s now. This Motion is intended to slow down the momentum of the forces who would relish the divisions and discourse within this Union. Be aware they will sell your futures for political expediency.
Oh, yes they will. While ever we’re emotionally divided and confused. But I want you also to be warned. Because there’s not one of you is ever going to be given one paragraph in history more than Arthur Scargill got. This Motion will allow you to return to your Branches and to make considered judgements that’s in your members’ best interests. Use the time well. Consider any individual posturing on any side. Use the time well. Consider your individual Branch’s position and needs. Use the time well to
consider the future, shape and store of this Union. Use the time well for calm, considered reflection. POA, we’re at a crossroads.
I’m giving you the time and opportunity to choose your path. Choose your pathway carefully and with care. First step is to support this Motion. Please support.
Martin Ennis, Secretary, Wellingborough:
Chair, NEC, colleagues. Martin Ennis, Secretary at Wellingborough. Thank you. I’m a bit out of my depth here so you’ll have to bear with me listening to that. I do respect Union policy, and will support it to the best of my ability. That’s why I attend Conference each year. On the two issues mentioned in this Motion however, I’ve been a little confused this year as to where we
stand. I have this week spoken with Mr. Straw, Mr. Spurr, Mr. Wilkinson and have been left in no doubt where we stand with them. This Market Testing and Clustering is going to happen. Having listened to many colleagues giving me and my Chairman support,
advice this week on what we should do is very evident that on this floor you all have the feeling and the pressure of who is next, and what the hell you’re going to do about it. If we’re told to strike then that’s what we’ll do but let me ask you. Is that the right thing to do at this time? However many of you will get involved if, no I won’t, not if or when, they knock at your door will you get
involved. I think they intend to sack me, sack you or sack the NEC if we strike without making an effort to talk or get involved on these issues. If we don’t like it once we start talking then we can get out at any point. Colleagues, I implore you to give us a chance and talk. I want to be at next year’s Conference. Please support this Motion.
Jackie Bates, Branch Secretary, Buckley Hall:
NEC, Conference. Jackie Bates, Buckley Hall, Branch Secretary. It’s coming your way, every single one of you. Acklington, thanks for the Motion, it was nice to feel you all support a strike for us but it’s too late for Buckley Hall and Manchester. Brian stood up and said he felt on his own, well I don’t blame you. We are up on 26th June next year. I’ll walk out with you, I might help you save your jobs. But we won’t save ours. And if you were in our position you’d do what we are doing. Doncaster, don’t take that back to the public sector. What a nice Cluster there? Lindholme, Moorland, Hatfield and Doncaster. Great. Absolutely great. You heard Jack Straw did you not? Yes, he’s a bully, he’s a plonker, but you heard him. We’re a level three Prison Buckley Hall. We’ve improved drastically. Still being market tested. Still being put out to tender and it’s all down to cost. Don’t get involved if you don’t want. If I weren’t in that Vis Room last week Buckley Hall would have one on a landing, one. It’s going to have two, whether it be in grey or black and white. On Monday we heard these sentences didn’t we? In it to win it. Brian Caton
said fight to blight. Tom Robson, we need to engage to influence. Market Testing and Clustering will bring your wages down and it will bring your Staff down. I openly admit that they are going to fetch the Staff down at Buckley Hall but our Staff want to stay in the public sector. For those of you who have ever worked for Group 4, you don’t want to go there. But you will be because Jack Straw will privatise you without a public sector bid if you don’t get involved. The choice is yours, it’s too late for us. I’ll still
walk out with you. Please support the Motion.
Dick Knox, Camp Hill:
Chair, NEC, Conference. Dick Knox, Camp Hill speaking against the Motion funnily enough. I’ve got a problem with the wording
of it and Buckley Hall has my every sympathy but Motion 63(a) was rejected. Forget it. It was rejected. Now as I understand it, Conference made a decision on Motion 63 which was carried which if I understand the NEC’s explanation correctly it’s for local Branches along with the NEC to be involved in Clustering. That was carried. Market Testing is a different matter, which this Conference voted on to not be involved in and indeed we voted to take industrial action up to and including strike action if
necessary. I also have a problem with the wording of the Motion which says we have to ballot the membership. The policy of this Union is decided here. We do not have to ballot the membership. We made a decision here. Please reject the Motion.
Brian Clarke, Birmingham, Winson Green:
Chair, NEC, Conference. Brian Clarke, Birmingham Prison, Winson Green endeavouring to persevere to prevail. I’ve said it a few times this week, we have no policy. I genuinely believe we have no policy, no tools for the members of Birmingham. No tools for me to go and use to persuade the members of Birmingham that Conference is right in its endeavour to persevere to prevail. We are going back to a Branch that two weeks ago was 100% behind the Committee, the NEC, the Union and its policies.
When I came away from that Prison I’d got about 60% of that Prison behind the Committee, the NEC and this Union and its policies. They are all looking inwards, they are all looking at themselves. There are young men and women there who have mortgages five to eight times their annual salary, there are young men and women there with kids, mortgages, families, debts,
loans and now worried, now worried. And we are exactly where Manchester were many years ago, where Buckley Hall are now.
We came to Conference before this issue was dropped on us to support them in their right to get involved. We can follow Union policies for industrial action for opposing privatisation. We can do all that even while we’re talking and negotiating because that is the only thing I can do. Follow Union policy as best as I can and follow what the Branch want. We need a dialogue. I’m a good negotiator, negotiated good Profiles every time they have been brought up in our Jail and I will only do the same again in
this competitive tendering bid. They will only get a safe Profile which delivers. Give your Committees a chance, give your Committees under threat a chance, give your friends under threat a chance and allow us to still follow Union policies. Not conveniently, not conveniently but realistically with a target, with an aim, with a plan, with a strategy to achieve it. We ain’t got one at the minute. Support this Motion. Put the ballot to the members across the country, go back and tell them what I said to
you and Andy and these good people down here are going say to you, give them the strategy, give them the plan, give them the tools. Give members the choice by ballot. I stood here at the Special Delegates Conference in January this year.
Colin Moses - National Chairman:
Brian, can I ask you to start wrapping up please.
Brian Clarke, Birmingham Prison, Winson Green:
I certainly will Colin. I stood here at the Special Delegates Conference last year and said the same as our friend from the island under threat, that we have the mandates here. Conference voted overwhelmingly against me. We do not have the mandates here, I was told firmly by our General Secretary, by Conference that we ballot our members on these kind of important decisions.
Please support.
Alan Bonnet, Branch Chairman, HMP Gartree:
Chairman, NEC, Conference. Alan Bonnett, Branch Chairman, HMP Gartree speaking in favour of the Motion. We heard earlier on in this Conference a quote which came from a film about endeavouring to persevere. I’ll give you another quote from a film.
And the film was Gladiator. And when Russell Crowe stood in that arena with his fellow gladiators, he turned to them and said, we’ll stand a better chance of fighting whatever comes out of that gate if we stand together, and this is what we’ve got to do.
Throughout this Conference we’ve spiralled round. We passed a Motion which says we strike for more pay. We passed another Motion saying we don’t do PP. That is pay, pay we’ve negotiated. We’re told we’ll get involved with Clustering? But we won’t have anything to do with Privatisation? So we’re in and out all the time. We’ve got to have a common policy on these things and I believe we do need to ballot members and we need to ballot them and have a common policy on the whole issue of pay
and on Privatisation and Market Testing and it’s got to be a single policy. And we have to negotiate. I spoke earlier at the Conference about what happened in 1939 when Hitler marched through Eastern Europe and people being swept away by the tide for doing nothing. Well today Herr Straw is about to march into Prisons backed by the SS, that’s Shared Services by the
way. So we can’t just stand back and let him walk into Prisons. We’ve got to stand and fight and we’ve got to fight together, and if that fighting includes talking then we have to do that as well. We can’t just let this pass us by. Please support the Motion.
Lou Ralls, Portsmouth:
Chair, NEC, Conference. Lou Ralls, Kingston. By the way my Sec’s told me to calm down. Right, I fully support this Motion. I tell you why I support it. It’s easy. Yes, we come to Conference. Our Branches kind of whizz through the Motions and then we either come with open mandates or if there is something that really catches the eye we actually come with a mandate specific.
But what I am saying to you now, are we, this should go back to our colleagues to our Comrades for them to decide what to do.
Otherwise we’re saying we know better than the other 26,000 and that ain’t right. We must get them to decide which direction for us to take. How can we expect them to come out and support the Buckley Hall, Doncaster and all the other Prisons that are under threat at the moment unless we’ve asked them to? Unless we’ve gone back and let them make the decision. We’ve heard
the NEC bang on about free collective bargaining accusing the Prison Service of not taking part in it. Are we not doing the same thing now by refusing to talk? Conference, support this Motion.
Kirk Robinson, Leeds:
Colleagues, Kirk Robinson from Leeds. Everything that I’ve wanted to say has already been said. I don’t want to go over again that ground except for one thing. Market Testing is Government policy. Do we really think that we’re going to beat this Government and when the nice Mr. Cameron forms his Government in May next year that we’re going to beat them? We’re not.
Please believe me, we’re not. We need to let local Committees engage in winning their business. I don’t like that. It’s repugnant to me but this is the real world. Please, for God’s sake, give them a chance with this Motion. Please support. Thank you.
Andy Greig, Chair, Hewell Brockhill:
Just two things to say. One is about the original Motions pertaining to this matter and I believe if they had been put in the proper place, if Standing Orders had looked at the mood of Conference now, if we’d have discussed this, if this had been on the Order Paper now, we wouldn’t have had to go through an Emergency Motion. Two, it’s very simple to me, If you do accept the status quo that we do not engage, you leave eight Branches currently who have got to go back and fight, discuss, ponder whether we
are going to go against the POA policy. If you want to drive a wedge through this Union which starting with eight Branches, another however many next year then reject this Motion. Thank you.
Wayne Evans, Branch Chair, Styal:
Chairman, Conference, NEC. Wayne Evans, Branch Chair, HMP Styal. Just two things that I need to make sure that you
understand on this. Colin Moses since I’ve known him, has said two words loudly and often. And they are ballot and box.
Consistently since I’ve known him, he has stood in front of you whether you have agreed with him or not and said let’s do it through the ballot box. That’s the first thing I want you to remember. The second is that fairly recently we had Frank Rogers stood in front of us, for the first time that I can recall telling us that yes, we can make decisions here but it’s far better when it comes from our Branches. Through the ballot box. Conference, please support this Motion.
Tony Carter, Branch Secretary, HMP Chelmsford:
Tony Carter, Branch Secretary, HMP Chelmsford. This is not the first Conference I’ve been to where inadvertently a failure to understand implications of some Motions and the impact on other Motions has left Conference in a confused state and with divided policies. It seems very strange to me that we are going to engage fully with Clustering but not engage with Market Testing. And I tell you why it seems strange to me, because I believe that Clustering is an integral first step on the way to Market
Testing. Private Sector companies don’t like little organisations. Private Sector companies like lots and lots of noughts after their figures. 10 million is peanuts. 110 million is an attractive bite. A couple of billion, well you’re talking serious, international conglomeration. Chelmsford is shortly going to be joined by Runwell at Basildon and Dagenham and Barking. We’re adjacent to Bullwood Hall. Too public, too private. What a Cluster. Where’s the next Cluster? There’s a huge inland island surrounded by a motorway. All the Jails around know who they are. What a Cluster. So Clustering is about streamlining management initially and once they’ve streamlined the management which is the most difficult sector of the workforce to deal with, the rest of us are easy pickings. In 2001, the Financial Times produced an article with a series of suggestions on how the public sector could be dealt with through privatisation. Clustering, Market Testing, Privatisation of a management with the workforce in the public sector.
Colin Moses - National Chairman:
Chelmsford, could I ask you to start wrapping up please.
Tony Carter, Branch Secretary, HMP Chelmsford:
Public sector management with privatised workers or wholesale privatisation. We’re divided, we have a confused policy, it’s only right that we return to our members now and seek their guidance and do what they want because that’s what we’re here to do.
Support the Motion.
Paul McLennan, Moorland:
Chair, NEC, Conference. Paul McLennan, Moorland. When these Motions came out we faxed it back to the Branch or we texted back to the Branch and I wouldn’t like to tell you the answers that we got. But all I can say is that everybody at Moorland wants us to support this Motion. Support the Motion.
Colin Moses – National Chairman:
Steve Baines on behalf of the NEC.
Steve Baines, NEC:
Mr. Chairman, NEC, Conference. And it’s a great pleasure that I get the opportunity to respond to this, Motion. I feel like I’ve been stood outside the Headmaster’s office waiting to get a right good spanking. But here we go. The NEC are going to ask you to reject this Motion with a qualification. And the qualification is this. This NEC will give you our assurance that we will consider all the policies on Clustering and Market Testing and will publish this as a matter of urgency. And if, after deliberating
all the issues that we feel we need to ballot our members on issues that come up, we will do so. Why? Because that is why you have elected us to this Committee. Colleagues, it’s been said by many of you this week that this NEC has a bad habit of flipflopping.
Well I would urge you, set us an example. Stand by your decisions this week and don’t flip-flop. Allow the NEC to carry out its duties. Do you think we are going to achieve (Inaudible)… do the work embodied in this Motion anyway. That is a contradiction urge support. Thank you.
Colin Moses - National Chairman:
What I would also say is that was not the Point of Order.
Andy Abrams, Doncaster:
Thank you Chair. Comrades. I understand the crossroads we are at today. Don’t go back in retrospect in five years time and wish that you had taken your futures, your deliberate creation for this Trade Union into your own hands. I am offering you the chance of reflection; otherwise you leave this Conference confused, full of anxiety and divided. I am offering you a start of a path to resolve this most massive life changing issue for you. Take the responsibility. Take your own futures, your members, your
Branches, this Trade Union in your own hands and retain the ballot. Support this Motion.
Colin Moses - National Chairman:
All those in favour, please show? Against? Motion carried.
I now move to Motion 120.
Conference’s permission to withdraw 120? Please show? Withdrawn.