Saturday, 31 May 2014

Omnishambles Update 50

First, a very public exchange of tetchy letters between Pat Waterman and Heather Munro:-

Everything is just fine (so I am told) 

Since the end of last year myself and the branch Vice Chairs (David Masterson and Patricia Johnson) have been meeting on a weekly basis with the Senior Management Team of LPT to share information and discuss the measures they were implementing to ensure the success of Chris Grayling’s TR plans. The meetings have always consisted of the trade unions posing lots of questions for which there were rarely any answers. The fruits (such as they are) of our labours can be found on London-i and in the minutes of these meetings. Suffice to say that there remain many unanswered questions as we begin the last but one day of LPT. 

We were assured that these meetings would continue to the end and duly showed up for the last meeting this Tuesday. The only member of SMT to come was Everton Bryan who is due to leave at the end of the week to take up a post with a charity. 

In place of our Chief Executive was Peter Costello, the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme Lead and CRC Change Manager, who said he was there to respond on her behalf to the letter I had sent on Friday 23rd May (and distributed to members the same day). 

  • He categorically refuted my suggestion that LPT was in any way “behind” and told me that all the targets for change set by the MOJ have been met.
  • He told me recruitment processes were in place to ensure that any problems occasioned by staff shortages would be solved.
  • He told me that the Case Transfer Process would be completed as planned by 5p.m. on Wednesday 28th May.
  • He challenged most of the assertions I had made in my letter and informed me that overall the task of splitting LPT in two had been successfully completed.
  • He also told me that I could expect a written reply to my letter from the Chief Executive but, judging from the content of her last blog posting on London-i, I am not holding my breath.
I told Peter Costello, in no uncertain terms, that nothing he was saying accorded with the reality currently being experienced by my members. I asked for this to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. 

I also read out the following statement: 

In my opinion the Senior Management Team of London Probation Trust should be ashamed of themselves. In their haste to appease their political masters they have neglected their duties as an employer. 

My letter to our Chief Executive, dated 23rd May 2014, highlighted a number of areas of concern and asked that representations be made to senior NOMS management to halt the split of staff scheduled to take place on 1st June 2014. But the message from Caroline Corby (Chair of the Board of London Probation Trust) issued to all staff today gives no indication that the concerns raised in my letter have even been considered. 

In seeking to meet the deadline imposed by the Ministry of Justice, particularly with regard to the Case Transfer Process, the Senior Management Team have failed to consider the impact that this would have on their staff. I have numerous examples where cases have been recorded as having been transferred when in fact they continue to be supervised by the same officer who is now being required to do additional work. The situation in many offices is chaotic with staff being deemed responsible for clients they have had no contact with and on whom they have incomplete information. 

The instruction to ensure that the case transfer process is completed by 5pm tomorrow takes no account of the reality of the situation faced by the staff. There has, in my opinion, been a dereliction of the duty of care on the part of the Chief Executive and her team in their attempts to achieve the splitting of London Probation Trust by the end of the month. 

The minutes of the penultimate meeting of this group on 20th May 2014  record that there remain a significant number of unanswered questions. I have no expectation that they will all be answered today at this the final meeting of the group. Of particular concern must be the inability of London Probation Trust to share with us its contingency plans following the five day shut down of computer systems tomorrow. 

In my view there has been too much emphasis on wishing retiring and departing members of staff well in their future endeavours and too little concern for the well being of the staff who remain. I am extremely disappointed. 

We shall now be seeking to ensure that appropriate consultative mechanisms are put in place in both the new organisations to enable your branch officers to continue to try and protect the interests of all members to the best of our ability. 

We shall also be continuing to campaign against the government’s plans to privatise the probation service and will  be doing all we can to thwart them. 

The NEC endorsed a plan for mass leafleting on the last working day of the trusts and leaflets should have arrived at all your offices. 

The Branch Officers will be handing out these leaflets outside the MOJ in Petty France at 1 o’clock tomorrow. We hope to gain some media attention by doing so. Feel free to come along and join us. 

LPT may be closing down but GLB NAPO will be continuing to represent its members. 

Pat Waterman 
Branch Chair

Further to my e-mail to all members yesterday entitled: Everything is just fine (so I am told) I received a response to my original letter from our Chief Executive Heather Munro which I reproduce in its entirety below. Members may wish to reflect if this parting missive from her is an accurate reflection of their current reality. 

Dear Pat 

I am in receipt of your letter of 22nd May, copies of which you claim to have copied to all the Members of Parliament within the Greater London area and to the Permanent Secretary. The letter carries little weight as it is written on the basis of factually inaccurate information and is misleading. I believe that by doing so you may have brought the service into disrepute and raised anxiety among your members unnecessarily. 

It is recognised that as with any major change programme, the Transforming Rehabilitation programme carries risks. In carrying out the instructions of the Ministry of Justice, the Trust has done what it can to minimise these for the benefit of staff and the public. As Chief Executive I have taken my responsibilities very seriously and ensured that the Board and staff have been kept informed of progress. Staff have given positive feedback on the openness of the Trust's communications. Indeed we have had weekly meetings with the Trade Unions and shared information with you willingly. 

You are incorrect in your belief that LPT is "significantly behind other trusts". The LPT project team has met all the MoJ timescales and has been rated green in relation to these for each month since the project’s inception. You have raised staffing as an issue and in particular Probation Officer grades in the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). Overall the total number of vacancies is the same as we have experienced in London Probation Trust over the last 12 months and there has been no increase arising from Transforming Rehabilitation. 

Vacancies mainly sit with the CRC because of the rules that were applied to staff sifting, giving the opportunity to express a preference as a key factor. The Trust has continued to fill these vacancies with agency Probation Officers and many of these are now applying for permanent positions in the CRC. 

In order to meet staff preferences for organisation and location, where 
appropriate, movement between CRC and NPS has been allowed. Furthermore, several staff members have taken the opportunity for career advancement and gained promotion as a result of the changes, which has also increased the need for staff movement. These moves will be limited after 31st May 2014. 

The case transfer process has been a challenging part of this programme and the Trust has worked hard to minimise the risks. We have worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and other partners, have liaised with staff of all grades to get the best process possible and have briefed staff about what will be involved. The case transfer process is largely on track. It was not expected that all offenders would have been transferred by the 31st May, as those cases identified as "critical" have a longer time period and it is not expected that these to be transferred until the end of June. 

Concerns about ICT have been raised with the MoJ who have been working closely with all Trusts to manage a very complex change. The Trust is awaiting clarification from MoJ in relation to a number of workarounds in Delius. Most of the concerns you have raised at our weekly meetings have already been logged by the Trust with the MoJ. 

There has been no rise in sickness absence rates and although you indicate the figures are not accurate, the Trust has put in place measures to ensure they are accurate, including a requirement that Assistant Chiefs personally sign off each month the figures for their staff group. I am therefore confident that there has been no increase in the rates. 

The equalities data you refer to is a helpful analysis of what has happened to the staffing profiles as a result of the staff split. On some aspects, either one of the new organisations better reflects the demographics of the communities they will serve. The analysis provides a guide to the new organisations in understanding what issues they may need to focus on and address. 

The MoJ has conducted system readiness tests on all Trusts and London has been visited and documentation provided. There has been no indication from the MoJ that they are concerned about the progress made in London and indeed, we have been praised for the work we have done to minimise risk. 

Clearly you have significant concerns about the aims, purpose and cost of the programme, but as a public sector body it is the Trust’s responsibility to deliver the programme as designed. Where possible, as I have already indicated, the Trust has taken steps to minimise the risks to staff and the public. 

I note the reference to the Risk Register. Your written request was specifically made for 'LPT's Staff Transfer Risk Register' and in response you were advised you that there is no register or document of this description. However, in order to meet your request, information about concerns that had been identified as part of the staff transfer process as at the end of March 2014 were given to you. 

I have been disappointed with the level of engagement from NAPO locally, which I believe could have been achieved despite the NAPO stance on the overall programme. I do not believe you have served your members well and your personal agenda has got in the way of your duty to staff. 

Please confirm with me that you will send a copy of this letter to your members in order that they may be aware of the facts. I am sending a copy to the MoJ for it to be available to any London MPs who may have concerns arising from your own letter. 

Yours sincerely

Heather Munro 
Chief Executive 

The following has recently appeared on the Clinks TR website:- 

Clinks Newsflash | TR legal support update

Transforming Rehabilitation
Legal Support Update

New resource: a checklist for Boards

As part of our ongoing legal support to organisations thinking of subcontracting under TR, Clinks and our partners Russell-Cooke Solicitors have produced a checklist of issues that the management team and Boards of organisations may want to consider before entering into subcontracting arrangements using the Industry Standard Partnering Agreement (ISPA).

Click here to download 'Subcontracting under TR: a checklist for Boards'

An update from the Ministry of Justice

The deadline for Tier 1 bidders to submit bids to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been changed from 16th June to 30th June. The release of the final version of the Industry Standard Partnering Agreement has also been delayed, and it is now estimated that this will be released at the end of May. MoJ has also released an updated list of bidders by Contract Package Area (CPA), and have added in new bidders by area, but have not taken out the ones that we understand have withdrawn from the process.

Click here to see the updated list of Tier 1 bidders by CPA

What next for Tier 2s and 3s?

Given the delay in the release of the final version of the ISPA, and recent indications from Tier 1s, it seems that Tier 1s are unlikely to enter into full agreements with organisations in their potential supply chain before the 30th June bid deadline. This may help take the pressure off organisations to negotiate detailed contracting arrangements with several different suppliers in their area, but it also raises questions about how much the supply chain will be 'locked into' the bids. Tier 1 bidders will be taking different approaches and we will be keen to see how the MoJ will ensure that any commitments to deliver through a diverse locally recognisable supply chain are maintained.

We are keen to hear about the arrangements that you are making with Tier 1s and what is being asked for in terms of agreements. Please let us know, even in general terms, through our TR Helpline. We can also provide advice and support on agreements through the Helpline if required. Confidentiality agreements should not prevent you from seeking legal advice but do let us know if this is an issue.

Contact the TR Helpline, 10am - 2pm, Monday - Friday, on 020 3637 0155

or email

TR Helpline extended until the end of June

Our TR Helpline provides information and advice about the TR subcontracting process. It also acts as a triage service and we can refer organisations to free bespoke legal advice through our regional legal partners. The Helpline will now continue until the 30th June to coincide with the Tier 1 bidding deadline.

Contact the TR Helpline, 10am - 2pm, Monday - Friday, on 020 3637 0155

I think the following left earlier this morning is worthy of re-publishing:-

I dedicate this short piece to the officers of the probation service I used to know and who changed my life forever. And I aim it squarely and unapologetically at the politicos and Whitehall wonks who want to "improve" the Probation Service and get "tough" on crime, but who have tangibly demonstrated their evidenced folly.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the Probation Service of the 70s and 80s.

I joined the Probation Service (The Probation and After Care Service it was then-take note) and was in the job until 1998, when I moved on to a different vocation. I had done a student placement with an area office in '78 and felt compelled to join by the example of many older, astoundingly compassionate but extremely tough officers I met. (Some had fought in WW2, one had been a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot). There were ex-cops, all sorts of people, from all walks of life. They were the opposite of macho, far too genuinely strong to waste their energies on such insecure posturing. Male and female, there were some formidable characters. 

One ex-submariner PO who was one of the kindest and most competent officers I have ever met had such a tough reputation with the local criminal fraternity that a parolee who missed a single appointment though oversleeping handed himself in to the police that very evening as he was so worried what his PO would do! All true.

We knew what it meant to get under the skin of our clients and help them to face their real fears. I recall a man with an appalling record of violence, glassing, knee-cappings etc crying like a baby in my office when we really got to the truth behind his rage. I know of many many serious serial offenders who we helped to stop offending through this kind of |down, dirty and dangerous" work. Get tough? Get real Mr Grayling.

We all had a proportion of our caseload classed as "VPAC". That's "Voluntary Prison After-Care". We were there for anyone who came out of prison, and did a lot of intensive and utterly knackering work resettling people. No extra resources, it got in the way of other things, but we were of a mindset that I now understand had more in common with the armed forces background of my older colleagues than any Whitehall wonk will ever understand. That 'we just do it' attitude is the same one we saw so poignantly illustrated during the Olympics security debacle, when the British Army, many just back from Afghanistan were detailed to cancel their leave and cover for G4S's risible cock-up. Its called "public service". You do it because it is right, and it needs doing, not because it is profitable, convenient, cheap or glamorous.

So all this vacuous verbiage and "airy persiflage" about the 12 month sentence cohort is so much redundant and historically ignorant claptrap. Truth is, we used to do it. They stopped us doing it. Now they are abolishing us because we aren't doing it. Even though we said we would. Got that? No, me neither...

All this just goes to show that Shakespeare's description of the wannabe wonk is so apt. The words of the villainous Iago in the opening scenes of Othello describe Grayling and his accolytes in a way I could never hope to improve upon:

"Mere prattle without practice
Is all his soldiership..."

Last month, The Guardian reported a quotation from an inmate at HMP Oakwood who said "It's a sh*t-hole staffed by kids who should be stacking shelves". Soon the CRC's I am convinced will increasingly see staff of a similarly inappropriate level of skill and experience filling the ranks. Well, Mr Grayling, who would you rather have dealing with the burglars, robbers and domestic violence perpetrators of our land-someone whose attitude and presence of mind was shaped fighting to the death for the freedoms we see you and your ilk eroding on a daily basis, or the kid from the Tesco trolley team...?

Now I know it's a close call, and call me "Mr Pickie" if you like, but on balance...

Finally, I know one shouldn't tempt fate, but a casual glance at the hit counter tells me that there is every possibility that this blog will record it's one millionth visitor today and possibly even as midnight approaches, the official ending of public probation. History has a habit of throwing up some very interesting coincidences. 

Thanks for reading and contributing everyone - I will be raising my glass tonight and warmly toasting you, one and all!   


  1. Is there a prize for the million visitor? :D

    1. Also monday is the supposed first day of the CRC, they have changed signs at our place. I am sure there will be a mountain of fluff flowing from upper management. Blargh.

  2. Thank you for republishing my earlier post, Jim. I am proud to have been a small part of that older-style Probation and After Care Service!

    1. It's a pleasure - like you I squeezed in under Probation and After Care Service and of course Divorce Court Welfare - happy days......

    2. SER's... Part C Follower's, pink 'Part B' summaries... files with "Save Manilla" on the front (no, not a plea to invade the Philippines)... Copies of "Jarvis's Probation Officer's Manual" on every shelf... jackets with leather atches on the elbows, (cue soft focus, gently swelling violins... and every PO looked like Windsor Davies in black and white... hang on, I'm getting carried away here...

    3. Drove Morris Minor Traveller's, drank warm beer after work, had own office with name on door, comfy seats for clients, drank tea with them, coppers didn't all look 19...cue David Jason

    4. There were some females in the service even then.I was one of them! Nearly 38 years in.

    5. Of course and thanks for making the point. If I remember correctly, right from the photo of the inaugural AGM of Napo, the majority of those present were women. Post WW II, probation and education were some of the very few professions that accepted women.

    6. And the hat allowance had just been stopped and I claimed the bike allowance. Nearly 38 years in.

    7. Thanks for that! We've all come a long way - were there prayer meetings in your office?

    8. There was a strong methodist/ low C of E group which I was not part of, being a youngster in the office with spikey hair and rather a lot of eye make up.It was a truly broad church then.What with staff bringing their dogs to work as well......

    9. My first office had a formidable women, 4ft something PO, who had been dropped behind enemy lines in WW2. The pilot who flew Churchill to Yalta, and so on. A formidable bunch who dripped public service.....and succeeded in rehabilitation against the odds. There were those who drifted along without impact but they were not the majority

  3. Why do those in power refuse to see the REAL situation. In our office in Manchester not a single case has yet been transferred. I feel for our manager as in some ways he does not want us to transfer them as he has no one to allocate them to as we are short on NPS staff.

    Also agency staff who only been working with us for a short time have been given contracts to work for NPS, this is so wrong as many of us appealed to be in NPS and instead of transferring us to NPS they would rather give the posts to agency staff. This is so unfair and should not be allowed to happen. They have not been sifted or I interviewed no competitive process for the post, this must be illegal.

    1. Sorry for some errors in my post just got up and read the blog about more LIES and was so angry. Also by giving agency staff
      jobs does that not tell them that staffing is in crisis.

    2. this is the case in Merseyside too. I know of offices that have temp POs in NPS whilst established staff who wanted NPS have been sifted. Its galling and we all think it's been done because they did not want the CRC to be unattractive to bidders. This proves that the CRC is seen as inferior - they can only get permanent POs there by forcing them there by questionable sifting. It's so ethically wrong - sums up TR imho

  4. Jim when we get to a million hits will this reverse TRain.

  5. It will fail. It will fail because it's based on the faulty premise that probation staff are as lazy, idle and dishonest as this govt. Fiddle with a bit of paperwork, coffee, long lunch, post lunch drinks, fiddle a few more expenses, order a new bathroom... this lot wouldn't know hard work if it smacked then in the face. So, we will no longer be able to complete the work of supervising & rehabilitating, monitoring and enforcing because we will be filling in too many forms and scratching around for the vital information we once had at our fingertips... not to mention making sure we use the right headed paper and issue the appt slip with the right corporate logo forw f**k sake. It will fail, strangled by its own bureaucracy imposed by those who spend all their time talking and have absolutely NOTHING to say.

  6. I have it on reasonably good information that the feeling at the centre is that now that the split has happened staff will quickly settle down and follows orders and within a short space of time all the angst about the split will evaporate.......well from an office in the North West I can tell you that this may be the morning after the night before but it is also Day 1 in the reckoning that is coming for TR......

    1. It depends on what their definition is of quickly settling down. I think people will still continue to put the service users first and support them, but I think that those in the CRC will continue to voice their concerns on places like this blog and look for other jobs, after all when you look at who some bidders are, it just fills you with dread as to who we could be working for. And in the NPS, you'll be lucky if you ever get to see a service user again for all the paperwork piled on top of you. Sad times to continue.

    2. some of my colleagues in NPS have 30 odd colleagues with only 6 or so in the community !!!

    3. I never follow orders and I never will. I always do my own thing. Ill continue to do just that.

  7. Hundreds of jobs are on their way to Wrexham following the announcement that Lend Lease will build a £212m super prison on the outskirts of the town.

    Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said the project would be a "massive boost" for the local economy with half of the jobs available going to local people.

    Work is expected to start in August, creating up to 1,000 jobs, and the prison is due to open in late 2017.

    It will house 2,100 inmates, making it the largest prison in the UK.

    The overall project spend is lower than the original £250m estimate and the construction will involve local business and enterprises, with 100 apprenticeships created.

    Mr Wright said the prison, which will be the first in north Wales, would be a significant boost to the prison estate and would hold offenders closer to home and help prevent reoffending.

    Australian based building giant Lend Lease was one of four companies bidding for the £151m construction part of the super prison contract.

    The UK government's Welsh Secretary, David Jones, said the prison would be a "huge boost" for the local economy.

    Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for north Wales said the prison would be a much-needed boost to the community.

    "Our region needs a prison as it's simply not right that families from north Wales have had to travel such long distances to visit family members.

    "The emotional and financial strain put on these families is simply unacceptable," he said.

    It is believed about 760 staff positions will be created to run the prison, and officials have said it will boost the local economy by £23m a year.

    But a review carried out for independent think-tank the Institute of Welsh Affairs claimed that the prison might not deliver the promised jobs and could damage the local economy.

    The Ministry of Justice dismissed the claims and said it was replacing "older, inefficient" buildings.

    The review also said that potential benefits for Welsh prisoners should be treated with "scepticism" and that only a quarter of the prison's population might end up being from Wales.

    Plaid Cymru have also criticised Friday's announcement, claiming the region would not benefit.

    "Only half the labour will be recruited locally, with local defined as a one hour commute," stated north Wales Plaid AM, Llyr Gruffydd.

    "What we have here is a large multi-national Australian firm winning the contract and creaming the profits."

    Outline planning permission for the prison has already been granted.

    The proposals include three four-storey house blocks up to 59ft (18m) in height.

  8. Today is the last day of the probation service as we know it. The truth is I feel absolutely devastated that despite our protest this Gov has failed to listen to a single voice of reason. It is very difficult to explain in words the depth of my feeling at the moment. I have always considered my work as a probation officer as a privilege. Working with every client with the highest level of respect and consideration. I have always approached my work in the same way that I would like to be treated, with respect. It saddens me that the future will place will look very different for many clients and the community. A future that's based on profit for corporate companies - that says it all.

  9. I have just had a look at Napo's advice to members who are asked or instructed to work across the TR divide. In a nutshell, if you are asked and don't wish to, then write a template-assisted letter. The advice runs on for several pages and I cannot see it being much use – but it looks as if Napo is doing something.

    Napo was against the split. Along with the other unions it signed up to the framework agreement. I know the general secretary repeats ad nauseum that they had to sign in order to protect members but in my view they signed up prematurely. The MoJ was desperate to have a framework agreement which it got despite having decided to impose the split last November.

    That was the moment to tell the MoJ to stuff their plans and campaign and strike on the spilt issue. But, instead, Napo signed up to the agreement two months later and this enabled the politicians to say 'we have reached agreement with the unions.' The MoJ needed a collective agreement because otherwise they would have had to get a lot more dictatorial with the workforce en masse, perhaps provoking some ferocity in response. We will never know...

    In my view the unions gave too much too soon, almost as if they were as anxious as the MoJ for a framework agreement with a probation institute cherry on top. I don't see much clarity arising from the agreement, as there is so much uncharted territory to be mapped out in terms of the protocols. And as with SERCO in London, I think we will see history repeating itself. As we heard from Napo's negotiators at that time: 'However, no sooner was the ink dry on the trade union recognition agreement than Serco announced its plans to make 99 redundancies.'

    Meanwhile, facility time is withering on the vine and very soon this is going to significantly impact on local branches' ability to represent members. This was one of the so-called Measures to be agreed, but as with Serco I think we will see an increasingly aggressive response from the MoJ and I cannot see the unions doing much to resist whatever new medicine the MoJ prescribe.

    However, Napo will continue to issue its 'advice to members', but it will all be directed at what individuals need to do because the collective struggle never really got going. Now it's down to everyone to fight their own corner with their template letters.

    1. They sold us out. the NAPO executive never gave a fuck about what happened to us. They were interested solely in safeguarding their position and in ensuring NAPOs 'market share' of potential members post-privatisation. They need to go.

    2. Too true, Net Nipper, however am not sure that many of my locally bound NPS colleagues are fully up to speed with the truth that, as civil servants, when the MoJ in future says jump, their only response can be 'how high'? Having achieved the split without too much pain (for CG, JW et al) I too am expecting the onslaught of serious high pressure directions to start come Monday as the MoJ ups the anti.

  10. Thought this worth sharing as it is a small glimpse of the bigger picture, that this Government scribbled down on the back of a fag packet. The closure of local courts...we have discussed it here before and I wrote to my MP asking for a breakdown of the costs for the town I work in, where the Magistrates Court closed on 30.3.2012. My MP finally got a response from the relevant bod in Westminster (Under Secretary of State for Justice) and replied today, copying me the letter. The letter is the usual drivel, topped off with a comment about "by disposing of properties expeditiously the Department avoids further unnecessary holding costs." Now hold that thought - expeditiously -I thought that meant - quickly and efficiently - it's now 26 months on; I hear there may be a buyer, but negotiations are "regarded as commercially sensitive" (heard that before too). So the cost per month is averaging around £11,730 a month - that's nearly £305,000 so far, for nowt! I am certain JB will have a view on this? As for me, a copy of the letter will be posted through the door of my works - local newspaper first thing Monday morning.

    As for needing advice on how to say no from NAPO, do me a favour! My team (NPS) have already been discussing it and "we are not for turning" oh and having apparently signed the Official Secrets Act - won't be sharing anything - it would be so easy to fall foul of the Data Protection Act.

    Stay true to yourself!

  11. The letter from Heather Munro is spiteful. And of course she could not resist that trusty old favourite often deployed by deficient minds when their power is challenged. Yes, that old favourite, designed to intimidate and isolate: 'I believe that by doing so you may have brought the service into disrepute'. We all know it carries the threat of disciplinary proceedings. Munro should be ashamed of herself for resorting to such a low hit. I thought I had read on this blog that she was worthy of respect. Well, such dirty tactics show another side. As for bringing the service into disrepute, that badge of shame belongs to Munro et al who sat on their hands while probation was shafted. I regret that Pat Waterman has been personally attacked by Munro. It brings home the exposure of those on the frontline dealing with employers in contrast to doing it, out of the line of fire, from Chivalry Road. I hope the general secretary responds publicly and robustly to Munro, making it clear that he will not have his colleague traduced by the Munro and her ilk.

    1. She is just bitter as she wont be there much longer. Also has to put on a front for future employers

    2. Her letter had all the hallmarks of a bully

  12. Dear Colleagues
    We are now in the most dangerous phase of this process, when the MOJ has to prevail at all costs. This is when muscles will be flexed and threats may be made ( evidenced by Ms Munroe's threat in her letter to Ms Waterman).
    It will be necessary for us to ensure we protect ourselves and face the fact we may all need representation. I urge anyone not already in a union to join one. Not for organised resistance to TR ( but that remains a valid reason), but to gain legal protection should you need it. SFOs will happen and someone will be held accountable. Unpicking the facts after the event will be so difficult in the chaos that reigns in every office.
    Look to protect yourself and unionise now.

    1. Yes. I need a union. It would be awful if my employers took away my professionalism, the majority of my roles and responsibilities and effectively made me redundant. I would need a union then to support me and assist me with legal advice and help me get the redundancy I am entitled to as well as the compensation I am owed. Luckily I think the unions are signing up to internal employment hearings so we don't have to pay out for a tribunal. Sounds great! I trust my union! Sure they are working in my best interest!!! Hmmm or perhaps not...

  13. Well, from Monday am Chris Grayling is my boss as I am NPS and won't be able to say anything negative on these forums ANYMORE. So, I would just like to say one last Fuck You Chris if your listening which I doubt because, well, you don't do you? Chris Grayling is a national disgrace and a danger to the public and I hope Karma comes around one day!

    1. you can say stuff here anonymous like. However chris grayling is just a figure head to all of this. There are many hands at work here.

  14. I have found much solace in this blog: firstly as a PO but also as a NAPO rep, it has both informed me and kept me going.
    I am posting for the last time because I will be NPS from tomorrow and as a civil servant no longer able to speak freely. I believe that NOMS will gather information and fear their capacity to trace and make scape goats of us now, there is a sense that this must be made to work at all costs. I am sad beyond words.
    I want to thank you Jim, for all you have done and wish you every success for the future. As for me? I will work as instructed and have given up the free overtime of ten hours a week I used to provide out of the goodness of my heart. Let's hope they have figured out what needs doing eh??

    1. I have not read any civil services guides yet. R u saying we can't post anything negative on twitter Facebook or on here? What about if we r napo activists or members of a political party?

    2. At least NPS staff can worry giddily about signing the secret act, spare a thought for your colleagues in CRC who have been shafted, stripped of their title, role, and professionalism and maybe their jobs in the future.

      Graying really knows how to divide and rule. The most anarchist PO's that I know seem very delighted with this new status of being a civil servant and signing the secrets act. As PO's before we were not allowed to do jury service but no one made a big deal about that, and we had to abide by the same codes that you have to now, so its no different, its only words, to play games with us and make you feel important.

    3. I'm certainly not happy about it and don't feel good about being a civil servant . I shall continue to fight and campaign against the sell off. This is for everyone clients communities and all staff

  15. Visitor 999,960 - with ref to yesterday's post about a fallen colleague, I used "fallen" in the context of war. Our colleague is dead.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. Our team also lost a colleague in March and we have no doubt that TR contributed to her stress. Heartfelt sympathy to you and your colleagues x

    2. We also had a colleague die two weeks ago. Our thoughts care with their families.

    3. Sorry to hear of your losses.

  16. I couldn't give a toss about the official secrets act. It's silly harking back to ugly empire nonsense. I don't recognise country boundaries. They're just arbitrary lines. Silly politicians trying to be important. Idiots. Britain is broke, rubbish and doomed and I wish I'd been born elsewhere.