Thursday, 5 June 2014

Latest From Napo 30

Here's two fairly recent emails sent out by Napo Greater London Branch that might be of interest to colleagues elsewhere:-


Day One in the New World Order

I hope that all members have had the chance to read the letter I received from our departing Chief Executive on Friday. There is little point in responding to this letter directly as Heather Munro has now left to pursue her own transformation project.

She did however say that, in copying my original letter to her dated 22nd May to all Members of Parliament within the Greater London area and to the Permanent Secretary, I may have brought the service into disrepute and raised anxiety among my members unnecessarily. If any of my actions have raised anxiety levels then I apologise.

In the penultimate paragraph of her letter Heather Munro claims to have been disappointed with the level of engagement from NAPO locally and makes reference to me having a personal agenda which has got in the way.

I do not know what she means by this.

Since last year, together with the Branch Vice Chairs David Masterson and Patricia Johnson, I have attended weekly meetings with the Senior Management Team to discuss and comment on the various measures being used to achieve the demise of LPT. Perhaps her disappointment stems from the fact that we were generally critical of SMT and their collusion with the government’s plans in their haste to meet the deadline of 31st May 2014.

My agenda continues to be:

  • to oppose the government’s plans to destroy the public probation service in accordance with national NAPO policy
  • to try to represent and protect the interests of all members of this branch.
I attach for the information of all members a document from NAPO National office entitled:
“Working Across the Divide: Advice on what tasks to perform post split”.

The document is long and detailed but, in essence, this is the advice from our national officials:

We believe that members are perfectly within their rights to question any attempts to require them (through management instruction) to work across the two organisations. We do not advocate outright refusal since we do not want to risk the potential escalation of matters into disciplinary proceedings.

Members faced with a management instruction to work across the divide are advised to write to their employer/line manager using the template found at Annex A, which is hopefully self- explanatory. Members are also advised to send a copy of the letter to their branch officials.
Further to the use of this letter, members may wish to consider lodging a grievance on the same basis if the management instruction is felt to be unreasonable. Equally, a grievance may be contemplated if any response to the use of the letter at Annex A is perceived as unsatisfactory.

Any member who feels compromised by a management instruction to do tasks which they feel are no longer appropriate should feel free to contact me for further advice.

Pat Waterman
Branch Chair

Dear All


We are aware that there are a number of IT issues occurring that is causing widespread problems leading to anxiety and an increase in stress across both organisations. This is clearly not a case of some minor glitches causing temporary problems as new systems bed in etc but rather more a case of discovering apparently unanticipated problems that systems are either unreliable, not working, or unstable.

We are asking members to remember the 3 R's when you are experiencing IT problems

Our advice is as follows:

1. Raise the Issues (RAISE IT)

Let the helpdesk know about the problem and also your line manager especially if it means that you are getting behind with work or you cannot meet a deadline.

Note: Unfortunately complaining to your colleagues about IT issues that are impacting on your ability to do your work only provides temporary relief. On the other hand contacts with our skilled colleagues on the help desk are logged and recorded and they rely on information from the front line to alert them to problems that are likely to be experienced by others sooner or later. Our members and other workers on the help desk and in the IT department are also under considerable pressure at this time so please bear that in mind -its not their fault.

So you need to contact the Service Desk immediately and report the problem rather than hoping matters will resolve themselves by the following morning. If you are sending a polite email (personally or via a colleague) remember to copy your line manager in so that they are aware that you and others are experiencing difficulties (this is very important as it provides an evidential paper trail) Make a note in your diary that you experienced IT problems or you spoke to your line manager etc. If you are a manager you may have raised the matter for discussion at a management meeting as a matter impacting on staff and specific work such as report writing and record/assessment timeliness. We all need to discuss ways in which to support each other through the difficult times ahead.

2. Record the Impact IT problems are having on you and your colleagues (RECORD IT)

You need to fill out an A&I form as IT problems place you under increased pressure and may well result in a range of health issues or significant issues around work life balance.

Note: You are advised to fill A&I forms out electronically (if you can) So if you can help it don't print it out and fill it out by hand (as these are more likely to get lost or not actioned) Fill it in then attach it to an email (or scan your hand filled one) to your line manager for action and to be forwarded to Health and Safety Advisors who work across both organisations. It does not have to be technical, detailed, or War and Peace. If you want to you can tick the boxes indicating consent to union notification and even copy Napo in so that we can check that a satisfactory response to address matters is in progress..

3. Repeat the Process (REPEAT IT)

If problems reoccur you will need to repeat the process until things are fixed.

Note: We realise it is an onerous task to deal with matters in this way and that it is tempting to just wait until things are eventually resolved but dealing with matters. The advantage of doing things this way is that it produces important evidence that can be very helpful in convincing those further up the chain that action must be taken urgently. The forms are audited and problems including IT are categorised and the quantity of forms is used to measure the level of problems being experienced ie Zero A&I forms re IT = Zero impact on staff of the problems.

Please contact us or your local Napo Health and Safety Reps for further advice


The CRC A&I Form can be found here



Morna Mensah-Dankwah and David A Raho

Trade Union Officials and Napo Health Safety Convenors
Napo Greater London Branch


  1. 4. Inform your local MP and your local newspaper!

  2. A message to all PO's in Australia and New Zealand be very careful if you are thinking about applying for a job in the UK. The service is in a mess.

  3. I just wish Pat Waterman could be persuaded to stand for Chair of Napo.

    1. Pat and other Napo officers will be up for reelection soon in London and apparently those in power are doing all they can to make sure that doesn't happen - as she is a thorn in their side and speaks out when others are silent. There are those who apparently think that TR is best opposed by not rocking the boat, appeasing Grayling, and certainly not criticising anyone in power that supports it.

      If Pat is not re elected with a strong mandate then Napo will again be severely weakened and we would have lost a strong leader.

  4. The text of the Guardian advert, placed by the 'Criminal Justice Skills' agency:

    Are you a Qualified Probation officer from New Zealand or Australia?

    Are you looking to continue your career in probation whilst in the UK?

    Criminal Justice Skills is a market-leading supplier of staffing services to the offender management work community

    Currently in the probation market we have a scarcity of candidates with background in probation. In order to address this problem we are currently looking for candidates who are experienced Probation Officers, looking to break in to the UK Probation Service. Several of our probation trust clients are interested in employing probation officers from Australia and New Zealand on interim contracts. We are considering offering assistance to any probation officer from Australia or New Zealand who reside in the UK, and who may be interested in this line of work.

    We are running a course in the next 3 months to place experienced Probation Officers from outside the UK who have a minimum of 2 years+experience. We will take you through the policies and procedures, as well as train you on the electronic systems that are currently being used in the Probation Service.

    Main requirements for a Temporary Probation Officer Role are:

    2 years minimum experience in a Probation Officer role
    Available to work immediately, and have proof of eligibility to work in the UK
    Experience in caseload management of offenders
    Have not been dismissed from a probation officer role
    This is an exciting opportunity to enter an industry where there is a lot of opportunity to work, and with an agency who are experts in recruitment in to probation.

    If this is not right for you, but you know someone who would be suitable. Please call up with their details, and we would pay you £50 in vouchers for the referral if placed.

    If you would like to be considered for this position and have the relevant experience, then please apply below.

    The Red Snapper Group acts as an employment agency (permanent) and as an employment
    business (temporary) - a free and confidential service to candidates.

    The Red Snapper Recruitment Group is an equal opportunities employer.

    probation officer, PO, SPO, Senior probation officer, social worker, YOT, youth offending, offender management, offender manager, Australia, new Zealand, Senior Case Management Officer, case management officer, reporting officer.

    1. We recruited many Australian POs into the Probation Service and DIP ten yeas ago- charming, bright and competent but not required to have a professional qualification other than degree.
      Lets look to PSOs we currently employ.

    2. Or perhaps the existing PO's they shafted into the CRC. Already qualified and very experienced in risk management.

    3. No real problem with where we get appropriate qualified officers but the crass insensitivity of NOMS/MOJ again seeking to shit all over the workforce they have .....I continue to be amazed how a large civil service based organisation can GET IT SO WRONG!!
      They must have the most incompetent staff and no regard for staff whatsoever ...splitting staff, de professionalising, advertising for new NPS graduates, aussie PO's ...what next???

  5. I hate to say it but our service users don't even like people from out of town so getting em from Aus will not go down well. Do not expect them to be too co-operative.

  6. I wonder if anyone from Ausi would like to do an exchange, they are welcome to NDelius.

  7. The hourly rate of £27 per hour works out at over £50k per year!!

    1. I think £44K if you take off holidays and bank holidays.

  8. - and then bearing in mind that the agency will be charging too, and usually around the same amount as the wage offered, so i'm told, it looks like the MoJ are prepared to pay £100 000 pa for temp officers to prop up TR!!!

    1. All because they don't want to admit that they got it wrong. I thought all this was done to save money. We should refuse to help them any further all CRC staff should refuse to do PSR's and allocate every NPS case to them, show them the grave mistakes they have made, we are not even into week one and the TRain has crashed with managers back peddling faster than they did the shafting process trying to get CRC staff to plug the holes sorry craters.

    2. Bosses last few months: We're splitting in June - get used to it! We'll be two new exciting (etc) organisations
      Bosses this week: Why are you acting like we've split? We need to work together for the sake of the business!

  9. Simon Garden @TheParoleOfficr on twitter has noticed that they have just taken the advert down. Thanks to him he managed to get a screen shot of it.

  10. I am a PO in a CRC. Last month I was managing 40+ cases, either high risk of harm, sex offenders, serious mental health problems or domestic violence. I was writing a PSR a week and Parole and breach reports when needed. This week I have 17 cases, no reports to write and once I've caught up on the backlog of the previous difficult caseload.... very little to do. Meanwhile, my PSO colleague has 91 cases, my old colleagues in NPS are overwhelmed and we are advertising for people to come from Australia and New Zealand to do what I was doing and still can do. Just bloody bonkers.

    1. It's a cock up epic proportions

  11. Quite agree! I am a PO in CRC with half the caseload I had previously, as NPS colleagues start to look hollow eyed. I am prevented from writing PSRs, proposals for breach reports, managing MAPPA cases - my bread and butter! I feel as if I am operating with one arm behind my back. As for recruiting from Australia, I am lost for words!

    1. PO in crc - twice the caseload, stressed to hell while NPS po's are kicking back, relaxed with small caseloads and knocking out reports. Similar with PSOs. Nationally, makes no sense whatsoever, inconsistent resourcing choices, staff shafted left right & centre.

  12. the problem is - if we don't 100% split now how are we ever going to?? If companies are going to buy us they need to know we are independent of and not propping each other up right until the day before they sign on the dotted line. We definitely need a 'clean' split now. Isnt this why we were meant to have April - June as a trial? I just cannot ever see this working.

    As one of the case-carrying 'footsoldiers' it is very upsetting to see teams torn apart, working relationships damaged beyond repair, service users passed from pillar to post - a few I've got are on their 4th officer due to the amount of temps we've been employing it's just a big mess. As much as I like work, I am purely here for the money now and I hate saying that but it's true.