Probation staff who work for the National Probation Service, and 21 privatised community rehabilitation companies, were set to stage a day of protest to call for a pay rise this afternoon.
Union members will join a lunchtime demo in Blackpool, from 12.30pm - 1pm on the Promenade, in front of the Tower. Labour MP for Blackpool South, Gordon Marsden, will also be attending.
The unions, Napo and Unison, claimed that 18,000 probation staff have been treated more harshly than other public sector workers, and received just one per cent pay increase since 2009.
UNISON national officer Ben Priestley said: “The government’s attempt at reform has been nothing short of disastrous.
“Last year, ministers bailed out the failing privatised companies to the tune of £342m.
Yet they can’t find a penny to increase pay for dedicated staff keeping the probation service going in extremely challenging circumstances.
“Money set aside for a pay rise was reallocated to the CRC bail out and a prison staff pay increase. No wonder probation workers feel so devalued and demoralised. It’s high time they got a decent pay rise.”
No-one at the Ministry of Justice could be reached for comment yesterday.