In the first motion of the day, composite 11, the TUC debated the contracting out and privatisation of the criminal justice system from prisons through to the court services.
“Is there anything left in Britain that’s not for sale?” asked Ian Albert on behalf of PCS. “We represent more than 20,000 justice workers and have long campaigned against the government’s ideological drive to privatise services.”
Ian listed the “chaos” that has already been caused by privatisation in the courts including: young people deprived of their liberty without a proper explanation in a language they can’t understand and a £42 million contract for court interpreter services seeing only 58% of bookings met.
“But there is hope and PCS campaigned against post room services at the Ministry of Justice HQ from being privatised and we won,” he said. “Working and winning together is critical. This should not be about profit but about trusted public services.”
The motion was carried.
The union launched a petition last year calling for an independent inquiry to consider the overall impact of prison privatisation.
Sign up at pcs.org.uk/prisonspetition