Wimbledon Magistrates' Court hit by probation strikes
Wimbledon is among the courts to be affected by industrial action by probation workers yesterday and today.
The magistrates’court and youth court in Alexandra Road saw some disruption to cases as Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service insisted impact on individual courts was minimal.
Members of the probation officers' union Napo went on strike over what it said are Ministry of Justice plans to outsource 70 per cent of the probation service’s work by the end of the year.
On the union’s website it said: "If these plans proceed it will lead to fragmentation of the service, staff cuts (that is how the government will make its savings and the companies their profit) and will severely compromise public protection.
"Napo is campaigning vigorously to defend the probation service from this threat."
A member of staff at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court said: "Quite a few solicitors haven’t come in.
"Duty solicitors are doing some of the cases and some have been adjourned.
"It’s quite peaceful."
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: "It is very disappointing that Napo has chosen to strike when we are making positive progress towards the implementation of these vital reforms.
"We are pleased that Napo, along with the other probation trade unions, has recently ratified a National Agreement on staff transfer that will provide a series of protections for probation staff.
"We are therefore surprised that they have now chosen to adopt this unhelpful course of action.
"Probation Trusts have well established contingency arrangements to deal with any potential action and we will continue to support staff and engage with unions as our reforms move forward."
The union has had support from other organisations including the National Union of Journalists and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union.
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