It has come to the attention of the recognised Trade Unions within Newry, Mourne and Down District Council that advance discussions and meetings have taken place between the Council and CAPITA to privatise Planning Services in part or whole.
The information we have to date is that a secret meeting took place on the 29 April 2019 with members of the senior management team including the Chief Executive.
The Trade Unions are informed that at that meeting CAPITA gave a presentation which resulted in an imminent 12 week trial period of the services they provide.
We are extremely concerned as no consultation, formal or otherwise, has taken place regarding this attempt to privatise the work of our members. More importantly to the rate payers of the Council area we believe this has been done without the knowledge of the elected members.
We are equally concerned that Management of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have refused to meet with the full time Trade Union officials on this matter despite our request. We have now written to the Council and insisted that no further action regarding this proposal is taken until such times as this required and meaningful consultation takes place.
We cannot stand by and let this Council privatise the work of staff and erode their terms and conditions.
Private companies are only concerned about profit. This is a system that has seen many failures in many areas of the public sector. We believe the haste in which this has been done by Council can only lead to another such failure and detriment of the services provided.
The Trade Unions will be seeking meetings with the newly elected members to highlight our concerns and to ensure this matter is brought to the attention of the public.