Staff at the Ministry of Justice in Bootle are to have their jobs ‘outsourced’ to French owned firm, Steria. This matters because Steria has already been involved in the controversial failure of a high profile IT failed project which cost the taxpayer £56 million.
And it matters because other government departments who privatised the same departments under threat in Bootle are seeing hundreds of jobs going to India the moment that an agreed no redundancies time period of 12 months had ended.
Staff in Bootle work in so-called shared services. These services include payroll and HR. Both the Prime Minister and the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling have previously given assurances that they would bring jobs back to this country and oppose further outsourcing yet the privatisation is still set to go ahead.
Given the shambolic write off of £56 million on a previous Steria contract and the job cuts which followed the last privatisation the minute that the moratorium on redundancies ran out, it is no surprise to learn that staff who work in Bootle are worried that privatisation of shared services will cost them not only their civil service status but their jobs as well.
The staff who work at Bootle, live right across Merseyside. Many are constituents of mine and I shall be raising this in a debate in the House of Commons, having already asked a question of the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling.
Worryingly, Mr Grayling confirmed that he could not guarantee the jobs of people who have given many years of loyal and excellent service. The Bootle office has been commended for the quality of its work so it really is a concern that the government wants to privatise such an excellent department.
Sadly, it seems that the Tories are only interested in profits for a small number of private companies and don’t care what happens to staff who have worked hard and done an excellent job.
This is about people’s jobs, their livelihoods and their families. The Tories are on the side of the very few who are making money at the expense of the staff and the wider community. People in Maghull, Crosby and Formby who work at the Ministry of Justice are fighting for their jobs. That’s why they went on strike for the first time just last week and why they will strike again.
They feel they have no choice.
I was proud to go and meet them on the picket line and I will do all I can working with my Labour colleagues to try to reverse this terrible decision.
The private company which has been awarded the contract was involved in a shambolic failure of a botched IT system at a cost of £56 million. It looks like they are being rewarded for failure. But my constituents and the other staff who work for the Ministry of Justice will feel that they are being punished for success.