Ucatt says plan by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling for £450m savings makes no provision for in-house bid


UCATT has reacted with anger and dismay to a plan to accelerate the outsourcing of prison maintenance work.

The union represents hundreds of workers who are responsible for keeping prisons functioning, including carpenters, painters, locksmiths, plumbers, bricklayers and electricians.

UCATT says it has learned that officials intend to complete the outsourcing plan during next year under a privatisation programme announced last week by the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling.

Coalition ministers claim outsourcing services will save £450 million over six years.

UCATT describes the figure as ‘spurious.’

Steve Murphy, UCATT general secretary, said: “Maintenance staff that have dedicated their working lives to ensuring prisons function and are safe and secure, have been kicked in the teeth.

“These workers are now facing an uncertain future. UCATT is dedicated to ensuring that they will receive the union’s full support throughout this process.

”UCATT also believe that the outsourcing programme is motivated by political ideology, rather than cost, as there will be no provision for the prison service to make an in-house bid.

“By bringing private contractors into a secure environment, the outsourcing proposals will have a major impact on prison security.

“The government seems determined to privatise the prison service and any option of keeping the works departments in-house has apparently been ruled out.

“We do not believe that the announcement will deliver the quality of service or the savings that ministers quote and this will prove to be another monumental mistake by this government.”

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