This is the latest weather report from our very own tailgunner, posted over on the Napo Forum:-
Finally last week, the National Agreement reached a stage at which all parties (Unions, employers and the MoJ) felt it was now possible to put it forward to the NNC/SCCOG (National Negotiating Council/Standing Committee for Chief Officer Grades) for ratification. For the unions, this will now be progressed through their respective committee structures and then the NNC/SCCOG is likely to be convened in the second half of January for the purpose of ratification. The positive elements of the Agreement and the reasons why an Agreement is beneficial are as reported in last week's Weather Report. Since then there has been an all day meeting with ACAS and a meeting between the unions and the Minister, Jeremy Wright. The latter took place on 18 December. These meetings resulted in an improved offer of additional protection of continuity of employment for staff employed on the 31 March 2014 who transfer between CRCs or from the NPS to a CRC, post share sale from 9 months to 7 years.
Formal notice of the above is contained in an NNC/SCCOG Circular (NNC11/13 & SCCOG 10/13). Napo & UNISON have also issued a joint statement and both are available via local branches.
Discussions continue about pensions and their portability. The latter will largely be dependant on which pension scheme each CRC chooses to adopt - all must have one in place after April 2014 to comply with the requirements of auto-enrolment. Whilst CRCs remain in the public sector ( April until share sale) this will be the LGPS. There is then a guarantee of being able to remain in the LGPS if one voluntarily moves from one CRC to another or from the NPS to a CRC. This is a bit complicated. The extract, on pensions, from the Agreement reads as follows:
• Continuing entitlement to membership of the LGPS for any member of staff employed by a Probation Trust on 31 March 2014, in accordance with the principles of Fair Deal
•Continuing entitlement to membership of the LGPS for any member of staff employed by a Probation Trust on 31 March 2014 who:
- undertakes a voluntary job move within the employer to which they are transferred on 1 April 2014 - this entitlement to be for the lifetime of the contract in the case of a CRC
- undertakes a voluntary job move from the NPS to a CRC. This entitlement to last for a period of 12 months from the date of share sale of the receiving CRC.
- undertakes a voluntary job move from one CRC to another. This entitlement to last for a period of 12 months from the date of share sale of the releasing CRC
In light of this progress, local disputes initiated by Napo will be suspended pending the next meeting of the NNC. Industrial action associated with the national dispute is not affected and the 'work to rule' continues.
By a curious coincidence, the day agreement was reached over the National Agreement on Staff Transfer and Protections, the employers received authority to make a pay offer for 2013/14. In line with public sector pay policy, it is unlikely to cause huge celebrations at Christmas, but Napo has now sent it out to branches for a vote on whether to accept. If accepted, it is hoped that it will be cleared for payment in February pay packets.
A planned meeting on 'Measures' last week did not take place on account of the intense discussions about the Agreement (above). These meetings will however continue in the New Year and there will be further reports.