PCS welcomes MOD U TURN on training privatisation

PCS: Union welcomes MoD U-turn on training privatisation
Thursday, 25 Oct 2007 16:22

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) welcomed today’s announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to halt the privatisation of approximately 4,000 staff who train the armed forces in driving armoured vehicles, lorries and jeeps as well as languages. The union hailed the decision to keep one half of defence training in the public sector as a victory for common sense which would ensure world class training for the armed forces whilst providing value for money for the taxpayer. PCS called on the MoD to see sense and halt the privatisation of the other half of defence training which includes technical and mechanical training.

The union warned that pushing ahead with remaining half of defence training would represent poor value for money and lead to a loss of knowledge and experience as staff would refuse to relocate to the new training base in South Wales.

The main sites that will be remaining in the public sector are: Worthy Down and Marchwood in Winchester, Southwark Park in Portsmouth, Leconfield n Hull, , Aldershot, Beaconsfield and Chicksands in Cambridgeshire. PCS members are currently voting on further national strike action across the civil service as part of the union’s campaign against job cuts, below inflation pay and privatisation. The campaign has already seen two strongly supported national one day strikes this year. The ballot closes on 31 October 2007 and the result is expected to be announced shortly after.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Thanks to the well argued case put by PCS, the MoD have rightly recognised that keeping the linguistics and driver training of armed forces in the public sector, not only represents value for money but ensures the continuity in world class training. They now have to see sense and recognise that privatising the remainder of defence training will result in poor value for money and a poorer quality of training for our armed forces as experienced staff refuse to relocate.

The union can take heart from this announcement and will be making a renewed effort to convince the MoD that the remaining privatisation is unnecessary and damaging.” ENDS Notes to editors:

For further information, interviews and comment please contact Alex Flynn PCS national press officer on 020 7801 2820 or 07833 978216.

PCS, the Public and Commercial Services Union is the union representing civil and public servants in central government. It has over 315,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies. It also represents workers in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK’s sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich. Alex Flynn National Press Officer Public and Commercial Services Union 160 Falcon Rd London SW11 2LN Direct line: 020 7801 2747 Mobile: 07833 978 216 Fax: 020 7924 1847

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