Probation Service workers in Barnsley protested outside the town hall yesterday as a vast chunk of the service was put up for sale by the government.
Under controversial reforms to privatise the service which deals with the rehabilitation of offenders, contracts were offered up to the private and voluntary sectors, attracting interest from security firms such as G4S and Serco.
The reforms means those sectors will cover the supervision of low and medium-risk offenders on a payment-by-results basis.
Sharon Price, a local member of trade union National Association of Probation Officers, said the service is facing the fight of its life, and union members strongly oppose the plans.
She questioned how the government can justify companies such as Serco and G4S bidding for the work when they are under investigation for their mismanagement of other government contracts.
Probation workers will continue to lobby parliament, including MPs at Westminster on October 7, as well as taking legal advice about a possible judicial review.