There is bullshittery galore surrounding Serco today, with headlines such as “Serco set to soar”, “Customers are satisfied with the quality of work we have delivered”, “Increases in number of asylum seekers we are looking after”, “Extension of Emergency Measures Agreement on the Caledonian Sleepers”.
So how does Serco treat its staff on the Caledonian Sleepers? “RMT members are standing firm again in their strike action on the Caledonian Sleeper this evening but it remains a scandal that SERCO have wasted a whole week stonewalling talks and knocking back union proposals for a settlement. That confirms our suspicion that the company have deliberately provoked this dispute and have never had any intention of entering into serious negotiations with the union.
“We now have independent evidence from SERCO’s own advisers that the fatigue issue at the heart of this dispute is deadly serious. Instead of working with the union on a solution to the very real issues being raised by our members SERCO have instead chosen to declare war on their staff. That is a scandalous dereliction of their basic duty of care”.
Serco, which is leading the UK Government’s Test and Trace scheme, said it had achieved strong revenue growth in the three months from July, highlighting extensions to contracts to provide test sites and call handlers. Bosses said this was “an indication of our customer’s satisfaction with the quality of work we have delivered” as part of the £12 billion committed by the Government to the system.
The company added “We have also seen increases in the number of asylum seekers we are looking after on behalf of the Home Office, and our new Prisoner Escorting contract has been successfully mobilised. We have now secured an extension to the Emergency Measures Agreement on the Caledonian Sleepers to the end of the year”.
It expects a trading profit, before any one-off costs, of between £160 million and £165 million, compared with previous estimates of £135 million to £150 million. Full-year revenue is expected to be around £3.9 billion – up from £3.7 billion previously predicted. The announcement comes a day after NHS Test and Trace recorded its worst ever week for contact tracing as cases of coronavirus continue to rise.
It is understood senior Government officials have expressed concern that Test and Trace could become “overwhelmed” if case numbers get too high. New data showed 62.6 per cent of close contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England were reached through the system in the week ending October 7.
This was the lowest weekly percentage since Test and Trace began, and is down from 69.5 per cent the previous week. The way the system operates has been the subject of a political storm, with Labour highly critical of the use of outsourcers and calling for Serco to be ditched from the operation.
But here in West Lancashire there is no Labour call for Serco to be ditched from the scandal ridden Beacon Park Golf Course operation. The wreckage of the course is seemingly of no concern to West Lancashire Labour, which is actually providing essential greenkeeping services to Serco at undisclosed costs. And if THAT isn’t bullshittery we can only wonder what is! Customers, senior golfers, satisfied with the quality of the Beacon Park Golf Course delivered?