Incorporation not the only option

Assembly told incorporation not the only option

Plans to turn Jersey's harbours and airport into a States-owned company are being pursued at the expense of all other options, civil service union Prospect has warned.

On behalf of members in the Jersey Civil Service Association branch, Prospect negotiator Kevin McAlonan has written to every member of the States Assembly to spell out their concerns over incorporation prior to tomorrow's debate.

McAlonan said that insufficient effort has been put into exploring other options, in particular the case for retaining harbours and airports within the civil service.

"Surely any proposition should identify the options, show the arguments for and against and how the decision to choose the preferred option was taken and justified?" he said.

Given incorporation is often the first stop towards privatisation, McAlonan questioned why no consideration seemed to have been given to the threat of the creation of a private sector monopoly.

His letter follows earlier fears raised by the union that:

the tabled proposal gives no clear indication how the Assembly will be able to scrutinise progress at a later dateprevious incorporations, such as Jersey Telecom and Jersey Post, have had a detrimental effect on the terms and conditions of staffthere is no substantive business case to back the claims of gains following incorporation.

"The States are being asked to commit approximately £1.8m of public expenditure on the preparations for incorporation without a substantive business case. If a financial institution was approached for funds on this basis it would throw the application out," said McAlonan.