To: NAPO MEMBERS
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.
“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.
IT PROBLEMS ARE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
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
RAISE IT RECORD IT REPEAT IT
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