Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Criminal justice crisis requires trade union unity

It is alarming to read it today’s Guardian about the crisis in our criminal justice system. According to this report new national offender management service (Noms), which runs prisons and probation services in England and Wales has a £40 million deficit – and the London Probation Service has a £10 million shortfall half way through the financial year.

These financial problems come on top of continual pressure to privatise services, which are familiar to those of us working in local government and in health. With UNISON members also under threat it is obvious that joint union action is needed.

Probation Officers union – NAPO and the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) both supported the joint union Public Services not Private Profit campaign, the success of which helped to contribute to the TUC policy proposed by UNISON last week which calls for a coordinated campaign against privatisation. The sooner the General Council implements this policy the better.

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