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Prison Maintenance Privatisation branded a farce

Industry reacts to the government’s decision to go ahead with the total privatisation of all prison maintenance and facility maintenance staff.

Prison maintenance staff were told on July 31st that their jobs will be privatised on 1 June 2015.

The previous proposal to consider an in-house bid has been dropped.

Construction union UCATT have described the decision as an expensive farce.

UCATT national officer for the prison service Shaun Lee said: “This is an expensive farce. Workers have had their lives put on hold for several years as the Prison Service have pretended there was a chance that work might not be privatised. The reality was that management and the ministers were always determined to sell workers down the river.”

The four companies bidding for the four regional contracts are Amey, Carillion, Mitie and Sodexho.

No company can win more than two of the contracts. An announcement will be made in the autumn about which privateer has won which contract.

Mr Lee added: “Privatising prison maintenance worker will not save taxpayers a penny. The quality of maintenance work will deteriorate which will then have a major effect on safety in prisons. If contractors bring in their own workforce there will be a major threat of security being compromised.”

Mr Lee further added: “Workers who have dedicated their lives to ensuring that prisons are well repaired and safe are literally being thrown to the wolves. This is being pushed through in order to appease the Government’s obsession with privatisation.”

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