Labour Research May 2004


School staff protest against hive-off

School auxiliary staff in Northern Ireland last month picketed the Department of Education in protest at the privatisation of their jobs. The cleaners, caretakers and school-meals workers in schools in Bangor and Comber are members of the UNISON public services union.

As part of a private finance initiative (PFI), the schools are to be refurbished and the auxiliary jobs will be privatised.

The preferred bidder for the contract is Jarvis plc, currently under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive over its role in the Potters Bar rail crash.

UNISON regional secretary Patricia McKeown said: "Hiving off our cleaning, school-meals and school-caretaking services to companies who have already proved unfit to run our public services is unacceptable in Northern Ireland."