Serco failure a lesson against privatising vital public services

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the ‘fight club’ held at a private prison run by Serco is a disgrace and shows that private corporations should not be allowed to run our vital public services.

The PSA is New Zealand’s largest union in corrections, representing 3000 staff at the Department of Corrections and 100 at Serco’s two private prisons.

Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary, said “Private prisons are focussed on profit, not on ensuring safety for staff or rehabilitation for prisoners,”

“Staffing levels at the Serco run facilities are insufficient to ensure staff safety and proper monitoring of prisoners.

“The prison fights are inexcusable and the whole situation must be independently investigated, and the Government must commit to bringing prisons back under public control.

“Private companies like Serco are not subject to the same public service ethos as those directly employed by Government.

“When corporations are put in charge of vital public services, all New Zealanders lose,” said Erin Polaczuk.