National Chair

Issue 57 | 24.07.2009

Market Testing - Privatisation Input of Local Bid Teams


Dear Colleagues


The process for establishing local teams for Establishments subject to a Market Test or the renewal of existing Service Level Agreements is well underway. It has to be morally wrong for a management who failed the Prison, its staff, tax payers and the general public alike, to be given such autonomy in the process, a process that will determine thousands of people’s future and the process that has no appeal mechanism.

The recent workplace ballot determined that POA branch officials “should” engage in the process and we encourage officials to do so, but not at any cost.

The Prison Service are “blackmailing” POA officials to engage, they are threatening them with the ultimate sanction that no public bid will go forward if they don’t engage. How can New Labour allow these disgraceful tactics? What happened to the freedom of choice and expression and the rights of workers? On top of these threats and the blackmail, POA officials are also being told that they must “fully support the bid”. How can anyone fully support something when they do not know what is involved or what the consequences of the change may bring?

No local officials will sign up to any new SLA or a Market Test bid on behalf of the POA. Only the National Executive Committee will endorse the new SLA or Market Test bid.

This Union will not stand aside and allow our members to be used as political pawns, bargaining chips or a punch bag to save money.

  • We will work together to make Prisons safe, decent and efficient.
  • We will defend our members and their workplace.
  • We will take our fight to the Courts.
  • We will take our campaigns to Members of Parliament.
  • We will enlist the support of the TUC and other Unions.

I call on all members to stand shoulder to shoulder, side by side to stop the Privatisation of Prisons and support our colleagues who are at the sharp end of the process and not allow the Prison Service, NOMS or Government to threaten or blackmail this Union. 

Colin Moses
National Chairman