The march, made up of more than 1000 protesters, started in Trafalgar Square and took the long walk past the office of Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament and on to the Methodist Central Hall. Here, many used their speeches to talk about and denounce key problems in the penal system in the UK. On behalf of CESI, Vice President of the Justice Trade Council, Franz-Josef Schäfer, took part in the march.
UK employees in the field are opposed to the government’s intention to set the retirement age for all those working in the penal system at 68. The rhyming slogan ‘68 is too late’ is something which goes without saying .
To add to this, there is resentment towards the large number of privatised prison places. For UK unionists, it is out and out immoral for private operators from penal institutions to do business with prisoners. Furthermore, those employed by the public service are having to absorb the rising costs of the private sector with rationalisation, salary cuts and worsening safety standards.