by Will Stone at POA conference in Southport
A CALL for an urgent review of the privatisation of prison service contracts won overwhelming support at the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) conference yesterday.
Hewell Closed delegate Les Dennis doubted whether contracts awarded to private companies are providing value for money or maintaining decent standards.
Birmingham’s Brian Clarke said: “All private-sector prisons should come back into the pubic sector.
“The piecemeal privatisation of our prison services is ongoing and has to be stopped.
“The drive for profit is everywhere, from paper clips to personnel.”
Northumberland’s Gary Edgar called on the union to support private companies in protecting terms and conditions in the meantime, but delegates voted against the idea.
Deputy general secretary Andy Darken said: “We don’t accept that privatisation is the way forward. We don’t support private companies.
“We want services in the public sector.
“We’ve got to look after our members, support our staff and improve terms and conditions.
“It’s not for us to support these private companies.”
POA general secretary Steve Gillan spoke of the difficulty of gaining union recognition from privateers.