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North Queensland public sector workers have stepped up pressure to rule out privatising Medicare and Centrelink services

North Queensland public sector workers have stepped up pressure on the federal government to rule out privatising Medicare and Centrelink services. “Community and Public Sector Union Queensland assistant regional secretary Amy Smith said the use of labour hire and potential privatisation of the service industry would negatively impact the North. ‘Centrelink services in North Queensland are under pressure because the Government has put profits before people by selling out jobs and millions of dollars to Serco, Stellar, Concentrix, Datacom and other labour hire companies,’ she said. ‘The money that’s being handed to corporations through privatisation should be spent providing quality, permanent jobs in North Queensland.’” The union has launched a “Proud to be Public” campaign.

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Private contractors paid millions to run UK detention centres

The British government has paid hundreds of millions of pounds to private contractors to run its detention facilities, but no one knows for certain just how profitable the industry is. “One of the 10 UK facilities is run by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, but the rest are contracted out to outsourcing firms G4S, Mitie, Serco and the US-owned GEO Group. (…) Commercial confidentiality agreements mean the Home Office and outsourcing companies are not obliged to publish detailed financial information about immigration detention centers in the UK. But figures released under freedom of information laws and published on the government’s Contracts Finder website show the value of some contracts when they were awarded. (…) The profitability of detention facilities has proved to be a contentious issue for the contractors. A Guardian investigation last year pointed to a 20.7% profit margin at the G4S-owned Brook House in 2016, while at Tinsley House the margin was 41.5%. (…) GEO Group, which operates Dungavel House, Scotland’s only detention center, may be making up to 30% profits on its contract, according to an analysis by Corporate Watch.”

Hands off our public services!

Sabrin Farooqui, a Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) delegate, says “Centrelink needs more permanent staff! Privatization and Serco aren’t the answers.Sabrin Farooqui, a Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) delegate, says “Centrelink needs more permanent staff! Privatization and Serco aren’t the answers.” Melissa Donnelly (@DonnellyMel), the deputy secretary of CPSU, shares news of community protest against the government’s cuts and privatization of Centrelink services. They are sending a message to Craig Laundy, Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation: “hands off our public services.”

After Carillion: Public sector outsourcing and contracting

Thisreport finds that government ineffectiveness has contributed to the problems that Carillion and other companies have faced. The Government has deliberately promoted an aggressive approach to risk transfer to the private sector - often even attempting to transfer risks that the government itself has completely failed to analyse or to understand.

Outsourced hospital staff protest for pay justice

More than 60 Unite members, who are employed by outsourcing firm Serco, “protested outside the board meeting of the hospital’s trust to demand that the hospital and its contractors fund a pay rise which is equal to that for workers directly employed by the NHS.” Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon “said that it is an ‘injustice’ that Serco workers are being paid less than NHS workers performing the same line of work. ‘It’s time to end poverty pay for NHS workers employed by private contractors. Serco workers should get the same increase as their colleagues to help pay for the high cost of housing and transport in London. They are demanding pay justice.’”

Source: Morning Star

The National Disability Insurance Agency has hired Serco to run its call centers

An uproar has been created in the disability community because the National Disability Insurance Agency has hired Serco to run its call centers. “The British-based Serco has become a byword for those opposed to the privatization of government services and its expansion into Australia has seen it run detention centers and recently win a contract to provide call center services for Centrelink.” People with Disability Australia co-chief executive Matthew Bowden said “We have no details on what expertise Serco have in providing communication services for people with disability, or why the NDIA has decided to outsource such a vital part of its services. The NDIA needs to hire more staff and make their communication avenues with people with disability more transparent. Instead, they are offloading their responsibilities, and requirements, to deliver services to people with disability.””

Source: Newcastle Herald

Outsourcing NDIS contact centres to Serco 'an accident waiting to happen'

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) National Secretary Nadine Flood has denounced the government’s decision to hire 1,000 more Centrelink workers from the private sector instead of restoring some of the 5,000 public sector jobs it’s slashed. “Instead the government is continuing to sell the agency off piece by piece,” Flood said, “lining the pockets of their corporate mates like Serco rather than putting that money into wages and secure jobs for call center workers.” Opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten says “We don’t need privatization of key Human Services, we need reinvestment in Human Services.”

Source: the Guardian

A Minister who strongly defended a private prison pays a heavy political price

A Minister who strongly defended a private prison pays a heavy political price. “Worse than that, actually. Within days of that speech, the Corrections Department had stepped in to take over the running of the prison again. By December, Serco had lost the contract to run Mt Eden. And Lotu-Iiga was dumped as minister. It was a bloody demise for both Serco and Lotu-Iiga as months of anguish and allegations about Mt Eden spewed forth in Parliament and the media. But did the scandal mask wider problems going on in the prison system?”

Source: assets.stuff.co.nz

Minister must stop prison privatisation failure

Labour Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says “the government’s announcement that Serco will pay back some of the profits made from mismanaging our prisons is confirmation that National’s privatisation experiment is a complete failure.” Davis declared that the minister “should confirm that she’s not going to carry on with National’s privatisation agenda and place Mt. Eden Corrections Facility under Government control.”

Source: www.scoop.co.nz