Published: 00:01, 06 July 2014 |
Contracts to provide so-called “facilities management” at HMPs Elmley, Swaleside and Standford Hill in Eastchurch have been put out to tender for October.
The publicly funded teams, which are also known as works departments, are responsible for repairing the physical structures, such as broken windows, and includes jobs such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters.
The move has been described as a money saving measure by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) but a representative of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) has called it “privatisation through the back door” and warned dozens could be made redundant on the Island.
Mike Rolfe, POA rep for London and Kent, said it could be the start of a process which sees other public sector roles in the service, such as prison officers and admin staff, replaced by private companies.
He said: “It’s almost a scenario where there will be resistance to a wholesale privatisation so what the government is doing is doing it bit by bit.”
David Todd, POA rep for Swaleside, said about 50 jobs would be affected. Their jobs would be safe under transfer of undertakings protection of employment regulations but only for 18 months after which employers could look at hiring new staff.
He said: “You won’t get the same level of service, it won’t be as cost effective and from the tax payer’s point of view it will actually just end up costing them more.”
A MoJ spokesman said: “The contract to provide facilities management in public sector prisons was put out to fair and open competition earlier this year.
“We are currently considering bids and will always seek the best value for taxpayers.”
Contracts have been put out for all public sector prisons, apart from Isis and Brixton in London. The MoJ says only those which offer better value for money will be awarded.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.