Friday, 20 June 2014

TGI Friday 3

We are a bit like England, down and with a high percentage of being out.

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After another very stressful day at work just signed the petition and feel great, the minister of INJUSTICE needs to be sacked. Some light in this dark times that we are experiencing.

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In our team (NPS) we have 2 off on long term sick (nothing to do with TR) and have drafted in agency workers. Creaking at the seams! Poor enforcement officer has almost had nervous breakdown trying to negotiate the stupid illogical IT system. I completed a start licence Oasys and when asked re RM2000 inadvertently clicked the wrong button................OMG it cannot be undone! I HAVE DEFINITELY SIGNED THE PETITION. HE SHOULD GO ASAP.

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I've signed too - I also wanted to share a conversation I had with a Team Manager friend the other day. Concerned for the lack of information available to 3rd year PQF's, this particular manager contacted Noms to ask for some up to date information, as the situation is becoming critical - with many of our 3rd year PQF's completing their degrees in the next few weeks. Said manager was flabbergasted when after asking the question, she was asked, "What is a PQF"?

Locally the message from on high is that there are 'plenty of jobs for PO's in CRC's.....not what was hoped for and I suspect there will be a lot more chaos as a consequences. For example: Two 3rd Year PQF's were sifted into the NPS in my team; area wide there are a fair number of them. So between 1.6.2014 - 30.6.2014 - my 2 colleagues will possibly be Trainees with a mixed and managed bag by way of caseload - sifted into NPS when their caseload changed accordingly and they transferred a host of folk into the CRC. They took the caseloads of 2 colleagues who had qualified in the last 12 months, who were shafted, sorry, sifted into CRC.


So, before the end of the month - they may rejoice that they have successfully completed a 3 year degree course and secured the title of Probation Officer.....but their joy may be short lived, as they again transfer yet another caseload, if they are to go into the CRC....it is nothing short of tragic and I for one, would like to see Grayling sacked and forced to work for McDonalds 60 hours a week - minimum wage - no expenses, no stars; cos he's so damn incompetent!

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Interested in the terminology Jim 'to what degree caseloads continue to be manageable'. The hypothesis has to assume workloads were manageable in the first place of course and according to sources they were not. I understand from the grapevine today that the NPS is in trouble in our area, not enough PO's to do Court reports and grasping at CRC PO's for sessional working of which without they would be up the creek as they say. 

The establishment process was undertaken by NOMS who dictated to the Trusts the numbers of staff needed, now they have ripped apart the complex processes it is becoming all too clear there just aren't enough bodies and not enough skilled qualified workers to fill the gaps. Whilst it would be heroic to turn down work as a sessional not everyone can afford to give up their jobs as some brave souls have chosen to do. The reality is that it is not an option for everyone and wouldn't be any good suggesting this to NAPO members who are struggling financially and emotionally. 

I know of 2 PO's who walked today. NAPO needs to start counting these losses, they are rapidly increasing nationally, alongside the risks of health to staff. Report these where you can and get them out there. Complete risk assessments and report stress to the right people. The fight against this mad plan of Graylings is not lost.

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In our office NPS offered overtime whilst the CRC using agency workers. This new system must be saving a fortune. Efficient is not the word. Clever man the Secretory of State.

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Case Allocation Tool aaaarrrrggghhhh!
Do it this way, no do it this way, nope that's not right do it this way.....ok you've done it and written loads in it...so now try and open it on Delius ...ooooo it doesn't open as a doc so all the work you've just completed to advise the receiving OM of what needs to be followed up cannot be read FFS!!!!!


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I go into work everyday and want to hide, I have no clue what I am supposed to do, being pulled in all directions and staff moved at some rate of knots, surely this cannot be right, every ones in fear of something serious happening. The look on the faces of staff is so sad, everyone is at the brink of either walking out or of breakdown.

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Ridiculous arguments with the IT team this week. Very much abridged but involved two managers, hours of work from a Senior Admin, various correspondence with NOMS and a really touch and go deadline to get a Parole Report Addendum to an Oral Hearing taking place today:

My team: "Please can you give me access to the assessment and contact records for this man who is serving a life sentence for a very unpleasant murder" NPS/NOMS: "No, you are CRC and do not have access to this". Me: "But I wrote it!" 


Hours and hours later, finally sorted out but warned very severely by IT that this is the last time they will help us out like this. I have turned into a potty mouth.

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Team managers in NPS in our office are routinely using language like "we're in emergency measures", "crisis management" and "trying to hold on" and "it feels unsafe". To be honest, there is no enthusiasm to hold on and lots of people are looking at agency work. This new case allocation tool takes about half the time it takes to write the PSR in the first place. Just bizarre IT systems and no-one can see any end to it. The Court teams are in chaos with high sickness and nothing is getting properly allocated. Our reception staff can't see high risk people on NDelius and are turning them away, whilst lots of new cases haven't found their way onto NDelius at all (ie, not started or allocated) so they too are being turned away. It's a disaster zone. And there is no sense that it will improve soon. It's getting worse all the time as the backlog of unallocated cases increases, like the passport office only more dangerous.

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Spoke to 30 year time served PO today who, for reasons we have historically never questioned, chose not to work with sex offenders, until sift into NPS. She is now working with clients in ways in which she lacks competence and the necessary emotional resources. Skilled group workers now doing OM and skilled PMs now running groups. Sift has replaced skilled workers with nervous conscripts. The farce continues.

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Very lovely, enthusiastic and highly motivated young person with a Criminology Degree and now halfway through the PQF has sent us CRC bods this case:
Previous Manslaughter for battering to death someone he perceived to be having a relationship with his first wife. 2 yr custodial for Threats to Kill second wife and/or partner. New offence: Breach of Restraining Order for driving past new ex-wife's house where she lives with new partner.
Trying to send a case back to NPS that we think was wrongly allocated in the first place seems to be almost impossible. Meanwhile, he's my case and I'm the responsible officer.


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Before the shafting I guess you would not even have batted an eye lid at such a case. I hate TR.

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Thanks anon at 22:42! You're right! I wouldn't have. And I would have worked hard with him and other agencies, probably including a referral to MAPPA Level 2. Now I find myself trying every which way to bat it back to NPS and this man is not being helped, monitored or assessed. I hate TR too.

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I now wake at this time every night, head full of work and fear about work. There is no point in saying anything no-one is listening. I do not have a poor sickness record but am so fearful of becoming ill. I cannot begin to describe the chaos in my team (NPS). One PO off sick already and saying she will not come back and we cannot cope without her. Work is not being done properly and I read about the Inspectorate plans and am terrified as we will be blamed. Who will tell them about this chaos and that we have done our best...the blame game will end with PO and PSO grades.

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I personaly think that the situation has now become so dire and dangerous that the union should draft a letter to Cameron stating that their concerns are now so grave at the way the MoJ are dealing with, and implementing TR, that they feel they have no other option but to send direct to him (Cameron) any communication that they also send to the MoJ. Somebody will eventually have to be held accountable, and the union need to be able to demonstrate that they made it clear to government at the highest level that TR was a public danger and an unmanagable mess.

At least by doing that Cameron has to do 'something' to avoid any personal reputational damage to himself, and I feel with the state things are in now its a fair and legitimate thing to do.


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I'm concerned at the differentiating roles between CRC staff depending on which LDU you are in. We have now been told that we have to start managing standalone UPW - no other LDU does this but we've been described as 'unique'. Local NAPO advice is that part of CRC will be anomalies such as this and described them as 'merging roles' and that if and when a job evaluation is ever carried out then we should score more points. WTF do another persons job on the strength of there may or may not be a JE at some point in the future and it may or may not stand us in good stead!!! Some older staff also brush it off as 'well that's what we used to do anyway' but the jobs changed significantly since those days.

We are only into week three and they are just cutting back so much they are getting the remaining staff to mop up all the excess on top of the heavy workloads they've already got. and its not right - maybe OMs should take turns on reception too!!


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We do that already. Not enough staff to provide reception cover for a full day unless we take turns.

30 comments:

  1. pointless blog post20 June 2014 at 07:52

    This is lazy blogging Jim. What is the point of you reposting comments from this blog and from the (private) probation facebook group.

    Sometimes you write good posts but it's getting a bit pointless coming here to read facebook comments and Napo emails I've already read!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ROFL That don't bother reading it mate!

      Delete
    2. Well said.

      I guess there are few who read every comment - so highlighting some of the most significant does at least two things, draws them to the attention of a wider audience and gives recognition to the writer, many of whom say they are not heard at work.

      So just keep going as you are, editing is a crucial part of publishing.

      Delete
  2. And has anyone noticed that there are ( at the last count) 47 Probation Instructions that have been issued this year so far! Only applies to NPS of course. Covers everything that we do, some of them running to 150 pages ...licence conditions, Parole process etc etc. and has anyone been told about them, given a direction about how the work might be changed, as this is what is supposed to be governing everything we do. So if we get it wrong we will be told that of course there was a PI to be implemented on June 1st which explained it all. Fantastic.
    And while I'm at it, has anyone else felt bullied by all those other agencies out there? Courts, Parole Board, Immigration, prisons....why haven't we done xyz, why is xyz lTe...tell them it's TR and swapping hundreds of caseloads being told you're doing a new job...not interested. When is someone going to give a bit of leadership and say this is an impossible task, they are appointing plenty of new management teams. Huh.

    ReplyDelete
  3. anon 7:52 - this isn't all about you - some of us haven't read the posts and enjoy them being collated in the one place. In addition this is where bidders and/or MPs will look for information - I cant imagine them having the time to scour private facebooks and various other social media networks unlike your goodself appears to.

    thanks jim - you can only please some of the people some of the time!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree wholeheartedly with Anon 07:55

    Please avoid regurgitation, makes the blog boring. Only fresh content should be added to centrepieces.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is nothing stopping others from adding 'fresh content' and I like reading and reading the posts - it can be encouraging, uplifting and of course, as I work full time I cannot possibly read every post and every comment made.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm tired of reading comments commenting that the blog should not include previous comments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm tired of reading comments commenting about comments which comment about the blog including previous comments :)
      Can anyone beat this?

      Delete
    2. probably Grayling could!

      Delete
  7. probation officer20 June 2014 at 09:19

    It is pointless to copy and paste comments and emails from elsewhere which you do all too much. At least add a bit of commentary, opinion or context. To respond to a bit of feedback with 'ROLF well don't read my blog' is pretty poor 'Jim'. God help whichever poor soul that proof reads your reports. Recently you was pleased to reach 1 million hits, it's the readers that got you there. Take the feedback.

    http://m.wikihow.com/Write-a-Good-Interesting-Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. probation officer,

      How refreshing to have a few comments that are less than complimentary - if you can't work it out for yourself, I'm afraid I'm far too busy to explain why it's not a waste of time, but we're all entitled to an opinion.

      I will refer you to the statement at the head of this page - I'm grumpy, it's my blog and for good measure will repeat:-

      "ROFL That don't bother reading it mate!"

      Delete
  8. And it's not too difficult to include a reference or source for these types of posts. Always important to know where the info came from!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's Jim's blog, he can write it how he likes. If you're unhappy with its structure and/or content, you can always a) stop reading it and b) start your own.
    Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb! But nothing wrong in having one's ego dented sometimes.

      Delete
    2. Well, you can't please all of the people ............etc. But credit where credit is due _ pushing 75k hits since about 1st June surely indicate a few people think it is worth the read and a return visit. Am doubtful that that many people would read anything I cared to write about.
      Deb

      Delete
  10. Well I enjoy reading the blog. It feels good when Jim highlights and makes reference to your comments. It helps to personalise ones involvement, making you feel valued and appreciated as one large community. Something that NAPO has so far failed to do, and I pay them my subs-corrupted self interested tossers.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jim, if someone cannot see that value of one person bringing disparate and hitherto un-collated information together, they probably think 'omnibus' refers to a form of transport, and that edi-tor is a small hill on Dartmoor.
    Keep up the good work.

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  12. The wicked oppressors want to keep the oppressed isolated from each other. This blog lets the oppressed know that they are not suffering alone. Who knows that knowledge might eventually lead to some co-ordinated action against the oppressors. Jim Brown, Probation Service hero.

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  13. I appreciate the posts summarising comments/opinions/experiences - now I'm out of Probation finally it helps me stay in touch with what former colleagues are experiencing without having to scroll through other posts or locations.

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  14. This is the only blog I read and I appreciate jim taking the time to bring everything together as he does. Keep up the good work jim and take no notice of the rather rude comments and opinions which sometimes appear here.

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  15. There's something about being part of an ongoing discussion which this blog reflects, in a time when we all feel adrift. Have seen the blog as a bit of an anchor and Jim usually adds comment when there's something to say. Keep going.

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  16. Ha Ha , Jim as a good PO I can see the pattern in your postings!
    Clearly you have been down the boozer drowning your sorrows at a. The England Team performance and/or b. TR Omnishambles - or is it ,of the several composite posts , all match key Probation Institute milestones - I therefore accuse you of been the Architect of the PI - you are unmasked...... :)

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  17. Rather than complete a breach, I've just won a blouse on Ebay. I now intend to do nothing for the rest of the afternoon, making a special effort NOT to complete a ISP that is due today.
    Targets...Meh!!!

    Can any readers beat that for a 'sod it Friday afternoon'?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me! I took the afternoon off as TOIL. Sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine and catching up with Holby City. No Delius contacts done all week :-)

      Delete
    2. Shit, I have enough toil to last until next year, the problem is that if I take it nothing gets done :(
      Do you have a spare glass of wine you can drop off at Middlesbrough???????

      Delete
  18. Cant beat 14:05 bit I have been trying to complete a psr on oasys for 2 days. Person on remand & oasys set up full report b4 migration of data. Went to start report weds & received message saying prison got.control. requested transfer. Nothing (usually instant) got message y'day saying wip (work in progress) by another person. Me thinking what the fook are the prison dping witj remand prisoner. Tryed to sort with.IT help desk to be told would get back to me cos only one staff to deal with it. In the meantime ca worked out the oasys remained.with the Trust and I was accessing via NPS. Happens that I had requested transfer from myself who was the wip (hadnt started it but set up in my name). Due for tues crown court & not started. Now on way to branch agm so wont see it until mon. Never requested transfer of work from myself before- a first!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This was posted yesterday on the Napo forum by Duende and it's a response to the posting by Mactailgunner who looks after Napo's back.

    'Problem is, and this should be obvious right now, Westminster doesn't give a toss about TED talks and these kinds of values and principles, much as we really do. The profession sold it's soul to public protection some time ago and this has only been reified in the new NPS. We sold our principles down the river, on the great ship Risk. How much about justice, criminal and social, has that been? We do as we are told. We watch the devils. That is all. "Read the PI. Get on with it".'

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  20. I had another night mare IT day with it has to be said, brilliant support from our IT people. I was really proud when one of them ( shadowing me again) asked me "how the hell did you manage THAT" as he tried to unravel something for me.... I tell you TR has nothing on the chaos I am now capable of...and I used to be soooo good

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  21. Can't believe these dickheads with nothing to say their selves bitching about how jim should or shouldn't present information. fucking idiots.

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