Over 200 probation staff across West Sussex will be striking tomorrow, against current government plans to outsource a high percentage of probation services. Staff across the Surrey and Sussex Probation trust are fuming at the announcement but feel like there is no other option than to strike as protest. The government are not listening to the opinions of probation staff, and instead are going full steam ahead with unnecessary changes that ultimately do not work in the favour of the current probationary services.
There are plans to eradicate probation trusts across England and Wales, as well as moving all offenders supervision to external community rehabilitation organisations. There are worries that larger companies will take on the probation contracts, leaving the smaller national probation services to deal with high-risk cases. As a result, the worry is that this could result in under trained staff having to respond quickly to ever changing high risk situations, and not being experienced enough or having the right resources to react rapidly. Ultimately, this could leave members of the public in danger.
The strike will last for 24 hours, and it is suspected that staff members will protest outside courts and at chosen offices.