Saturday, 26 July 2014

Election Special 2

I'm pleased to say that the Napo Election Special blog post generated quite a bit of comment and even flushed out some responses from Dino Peros, one of the candidates for National Chair. The observant amongst you will have noticed that there has been no response from any other candidates. This could be for a variety of reasons including they don't read the blog, don't want to acknowledge its existence or don't want to campaign or engage here.

Given Napo HQ's reported attitude to the blog and conspicuous failure to even acknowledge such a large elephant in the room, it would be a little naive to think otherwise seeing as most, if not all the candidates, have very close links to Napo HQ already. 

This is a very important election at a critical time in the future not just of the union but our whole profession. I read somewhere that the turnout for the election of the General Secretary was something like 19.06% - this is derisory and I would venture to suggest we have to make sure that the turnout this time is significantly higher.

This comment from last week raised a number of key issues:-
So according to Jim you would be a better candidate for chair if you posted on this blog!,,,, I am beginning to think that you have a hidden agenda Jim. Some of your posts are very anti Napo and not helpful at all. 
Well, I do indeed have an agenda, but it's certainly not hidden. It has two parts and the first is I want to fight TR. Now the observant will have noticed that all the candidates want to do that because it's akin to motherhood and apple pie. But the second part of my agenda is tackling the dysfunctionality of leadership at Napo HQ. As far as I can see, none of the candidates tackle that one up front in their election statements, but we have this from Joanna Hughes:-
Dino has a reputation for being divisive, but I have always known him to be decisive, committed and actually able to make things happen. Above all, he has been outspoken from the start over TR and will stand up against Napo HQ: certainly, it will no longer be business as usual. I have always found Dino to be approachable, and to have good ideas. Even if his mind is not always conventional and I sometimes struggle with his formidable knowledge about unions and get lost, he has never struck me as someone who puts himself first or holds grudges. Rather, he commits himself to representing others and working for the union, and he is completely committed to defeating TR. While his grammar may leave a bit to be desired, he is passionate and he has shown himself capable of standing up against those at the top of the union, and so I favour him over the other candidates. We need to fight and fight from now until the election. This is also why I would vote for Chas as he is a fighter. (I can’t see a shared post working as they will only have 50% facility time anyway).
For me, and possibly those other Napo members not happy with the way things are at the moment, we would do well to dwell on these passages "will stand up against Napo HQ:certainly, it will no longer be business as usual" and "has shown himself capable of standing up against those at the top of the union."

Now, contrast that with the following on the SaveProbation facebook page:-
Napo now you should have received your ballot papers for positions of chair, vice chair and black's really important that you all use your vote, whichever way you decide to go. You will know by now that I am standing alongside Chris Winters as a job share for chair and I hope that you will consider us as an option. We feel we have strengths which compliment each other, can offer some continuity and a job share will allow for 100% facility time between us too. If you have anything you wish to ask or seek clarification on then feel free to message or mail me here or on napo mail. Whatever you decide, use your votes and let the membership speak! 
Yvonne Pattison
So, given that this blog has consistently highlighted the dysfunctionality of leadership at Napo HQ, members have a very clear choice to make. If you disagree with me and feel "some continuity"  is just what the doctor ordered, you have your candidates in Yvonne Pattison and Chris Winters!

If, on the other hand, you feel like we need more of the same like a hole in the head, Dino Peros looks to be more likely to be your candidate. In political terms it looks to me like an ocean of blue water between these candidates giving a very clear choice between 'continuity' on the one hand and 'no more business as usual' on the other. You pays your money and makes your choice, as they say. 

Whoever becomes Napo Chair, they will need a clear mandate from the membership because we're heading into even more choppy waters than experienced hitherto. We now know that Tom Rendon did not enjoy the support of his fellow elected officers towards the end, or maybe he never enjoyed it, and members need to be aware that history may repeat itself if they decide to cast their vote in favour of a Chair that wants to rock the boat a bit. It's a tough one, but we all know we're up shit creek already. Facing up to the issues now, whilst undoubtedly painful, might just be more preferable than the alternatives that are coming down the track at alarming speed. 

I'm extremely conscious that there is a third option in relation to National Chair with Robbie Bourget, but I simply don't know where she might be in terms of this key issue. For all I know she might be the ideal candidate who's approach to all this falls somewhere between what we might term the extreme positions of the others. The sad thing is we might not know unless people are willing to acknowledge the herd of elephants that currently reside at Chivalry Road and have an honest and open debate about it. I'm always happy to be proved wrong, but it seems unlikely in my view unless there are some changes in personnel. 

I'll just end this by pointing out there has been no mailout to members since the last NEC meeting when Chris Pearson supposedly took the reigns at Napo HQ. Looks like the dysfunctionality is set to continue for a while yet and I'm sorry if that sounds like it's 'anti Napo and not helpful at all', but who's fault is that?    


  1. Napo had better get itself sorted pronto because the assault on the role of probation staff continues, as this press piece reveals. Not a mention of TR in the story...

    "Paul McDowell, Chief Inspector of Probation, said a recent inspection looked at whether the service was working so as to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and whether it provided a high quality service to courts and victims.

    The inspectors' concerns included:

    - An initial assessment of the offender’s likelihood of reoffending had either not been completed or been completed too late - this meant proper consideration could not always be given to the methods most likely to be effective when working with the individual.
    - A number of cases had not received an initial screening or full analysis of the offender’s risk of serious harm to others and too few cases included an effective plan to manage the risk of harm an offender posed.
    - Court reports did not always include information from children’s social services where there were potential child protection concerns because inquiries had not been made

    There were some disappointing findings ... Specifically, a significant number of initial assessments and sentence plans had not been completed, or had been completed so late that they were not meaningful. Oversight by managers needed to be more rigorous so that these deficits could be addressed. Notwithstanding this, when appropriate work was delivered the results were satisfactory and we saw good use of restrictive interventions to manage an individual’s risk of harm to others.


    1. Interesting that the only praise was for the use of "restrictive interventions".

      "More tags please!!!"

    2. It would be good to know what period this report relates to? I suspect the race to do FDR's (Fast Delivery Reports) as opposed to Full Reports, (SDR's which include a full risk assessment) is one reason for them not being done. The advent of Post Sentence Assessment will ultimately mean that a full risk assessment could be too late, if the client reoffends soon after the order is made. Oh and as I mentioned last week; no checks on Child Protection Services, welll the reduction in time available to do reports, maybe a cause, as Social Service's can take time to respond; and then of course there is the shyte IT systems, for a significant period last week, we could not send to or receive external emails - so I had to explain in 3 SDR's - the email is broke, and nobody uses faxes anymore....

      We need to be honest with Courts about the impact of TR and maybe then, someone will stand up and make a noise.

    3. Here's the foreword of the HMI report in full:

      The inspection of adult offending work in Wales was undertaken as part of our Inspection of Adult Offending Work programme that started in April 2013 and will cover all areas of England and Wales. Our purpose in undertaking these inspections is to assess whether the sentence of the court is delivered effectively, and whether work with the individual offender protects the public, reduces the likelihood of reoffending, and provides a high quality service to courts and victims.
      This is the final inspection of six where we are enhancing our focus on the work of Probation Trusts to protect children. Our sample encompasses work with a range of people who have offended; in each case inspected we expect to see an assessment of whether the individual may present a risk of harm to a child or children, and appropriate action taken where this is required.
      In all cases we also consider the general assessment and management of risk of harm to others, and we examine the progress in addressing factors that have contributed to the offending behaviour, thereby reducing the likelihood of reoffending.
      The fieldwork for this inspection was undertaken during a period shortly before the abolition of probation trusts as part of the changes introduced by the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. We amended our inspection methodology accordingly, spending one week inspecting the work undertaken by offender managers but we did not return for a second week to meet with senior managers, sentencers and service providers.
      The case sample for this inspection was drawn from those cases managed by Wales Probation Trust in the South Wales area. There were some disappointing findings in relation to the work to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and the protection of the public. Specifically, a significant number of initial assessments and sentence plans had not been completed, or had been completed so late that they were not meaningful. This meant that offenders did not have the opportunity to engage at an early stage with their sentence and that work wasn’t always appropriately targeted. Oversight by managers needed to be more rigorous so that these deficits could be addressed.
      Notwithstanding this, when appropriate work was delivered the results were satisfactory and we saw good use of restrictive interventions to manage an individual’s risk of harm to others. The right level of resource was available in most cases and offenders had been directed to a wide range of local services to help reduce the likelihood of reoffending.
      We have made a number of recommendations designed to address the shortfalls identified by this inspection which we would encourage senior managers from the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies to prioritise.
      Paul McDowell
      HM Chief Inspector of Probation July 2014

    4. "Napo had better get itself sorted pronto"

      I read the pseudonymous Jim Brown's helpful and reflective Blog and the first sentence of the first comment which I have quoted.

      I am extremely grateful to 'Jim' for his commitment and pleased that he is not London located, because having personally grown up in the suburbs of London, which I left at 21 years of age only to move 'South of the River' to London Railway Commuter belt land - it was an hour and five minutes by nonstop train to Cannon Street Station, in the heart of 'The City' in 1970 - I was truly shocked back then to find how angry I got at the way almost everything , then on the national news agenda - seemed as if it only mattered if it drew a comment from the London Media. That was The Heath Government, power cuts, three day week, strikes in manufacturing and supply industries, that ended with the - who Governs Britain election - that produced the answer 'not you mate' and delivered a majority so slim for Wilson's Labour Party that neither could he govern, until he had a second election in 1974.

      By the time of that second election, I was at University in God's holy city of Liverpool, whilst living just outside the City in Sefton District that was trying to be part of the Palatine County of Lancashire whilst the battered Docks of Bootle were tying it to the industrial deprivation of Liverpool. On the day of the '74 election, I was 'on placement' in the partially built new-town of Skelmersdale, then without modern transport links to the rest of Lancashire or even Liverpool and Lancashire but with new factories lured there by government grants, many of which collapsed after the 5 year grant payments stopped.

      It was then I joined Napo, and had the same non-voting status as I now enjoy as a retired 'life' associate member. Having begun to become familiar with several non-London places, especially Liverpool, in those few years, changed my attitude to the London centrist UK for evermore, despite the UK still seeming to be evermore London centrist, particularly with the minimisation of the powers of local government and other traditional power bases, such as Justices of the Peace.


      In 1974, I attended the first ever national student conference, run not by national Napo, but the then London Branch - (led by Bill Beaumont and other Camdenites) - there were a lot of issues; this was the very beginning of the CQSW (The first national probation entry qualification - 1st awarded in 1974). I found my fellow Liverpool students pushing outspoken me forward, when it was said there would only be a student conference, the next year, if students from that 1st conference came forward to run it.

      During the organisation of the 2nd national student Napo conference for 1975, we learned that Napo’s salaries Committee was on the point of recommending a pay settlement that extended the confirmation period for newly appointed CQSW POs from 1 to 3 years. That was a sort of pay off to the Government for a significant pay rise for experienced POs - who stayed as 'field workers'. That meant that the terms we (several hundred) student POs had begun our training on, with full contracts of employment, were being changed, without us having ANY sort of a say. Employee rights were not as advanced then, industrial/employment tribunals were still new and it seemed to me I could pass the two year CQSW course then work for another three years & still fail to be confirmed as a probation officer. That meant five years after I gave up another career! We protested, by letter to all concerned and instead we got the salary rise via the very flawed A and B grade system of short but stressful duration for those of us caught by it - ever "jumping through hoops"!

      Napo was in great turmoil and we who attended the General Meetings - I think once, a one day meeting in Preston achieved the quorum then of 12½% (it is now just 5%).

      "Napo had better get *ITSELF* sorted pronto" - presumably written by a member - Napo will never be sorted out and the collective agent of the full members, unless they say WE, US and such like. The constitution is there to be used, we have a system of NOW electing the general secretary - it was not always thus - is it working? Does it need changing, what about the quorum for elections?



      This is the business of the full members in employment NOW in CAFCASS, NPS, the CRCs, I think there may be one other employer organisation that has full members as well as there may be some in NOMs.

      By all means study carefully the claims of those standing for the officer positions but equally, perhaps of more importance are those standing for the NEC, (national executive committee) as it is the NEC that decides policy between General Meetings - and make sure you are at the General Meetings - the last two turnouts have been, frankly pathetic, with so much at stake.

      Also consider carefully the vacancies on the national committees, they are the folk who work on and implement some of the detail of the policies and are often short of members. Consider the constitution, does there perhaps need to be a change in the committee structure to reflect hoe the probation services and CAFCASS are now structured – what about some special review committee or procedure Jim Brown and other have been calling for since we sadly learned of the problems over the personal relationships between two former assistant general secretaries, one who became the previous general secretary.

      Napo has a forum, should it be private to members, so that members from different branches can exchange ideas and develop policy out of the public eye? Should there be a motion to a general meeting about such matters? It just takes TWO full members to propose and second a motion to get it on to the agenda of a general meeting.

      Might there be an internet forum to nationally cover the work of the new informal “Motions Committee” being established in Greater London Branch, or can you be sure they will only discuss things that affect London Branch?

      I’ve probably said more than Jim Brown wants to publish or any sane person wants to read – I’ll stop – Napo is the organisation its members make it even if they describe it as *IT*!


  2. I agree with you. We don't need more of the same. But I think that goes beyond just the usual portrayal of Ian Lawrence as the twirly-moustachioed villian of the piece. tbh, I' m increasingly finding that a bit simplistic. He may come across as a dinosaur with a blunderbuss, but are we really meant to believe that the test of chivalry rd- the chair, the officers, the entire NEC- couldn't control one person, an employee at that? Your references to the last chair reminds me that this narrative dates from the odd, and self-serving resignation e-mail he sent, blaming everyone but himself. There may well have been/still be dysfunctionality ay the top but it goes well beyond just IL. As for the last chair losing the support of fellow officers, whatever could he have done to have caused that??

    1. "but are we really meant to believe that the test of chivalry rd- the chair, the officers, the entire NEC- couldn't control one person, an employee at that?"

      I think you will find each recent General Secretary, including Judy McKnight, have remarked on the complete inability of the NEC to exercise accountability over them. It needs a determined tough Chair to challenge this farce and change things PDQ.

  3. I am not sure what Yvonne Patterson has said about her and Chris Winters' bid ie that they will be eligible for "100% facility time" ( in combination) is correct. I understand that the absolute maximum allowed now is 50% PER POST so they would get 25% each to make up the max of 50% as they are sharing one post, if elected.Sloppy and misleading members, imo

    1. Worrying if she's got something so basic wrong. I'm increasingly thinking "Time for Dino".....

  4. A couple of points. Saying and doing are two different things. Dino saying he is not an insider is good but so what! He does need to improve his communication skills. The message needs to be succinct and focussed. I acknowledge on a personal level he may be a good 'streetfighter'. I don't know. The problem is I don't know anything about any of the candidates other than what they put on their mailouts for the election. Of course the mailouts are useless because they are bland and 'just stating the bleeding obvious'. I don't like the idea of a job share. We need a figurehead who can grab attention and who can communicate the message cf.....Owen Jones, Peter Tatchell are examples for me. Why can't we have some sort of hustings event/s. Surely it's not beyond the wit of NAPO to organise this? We need to think outside the box. Like most people I think the process we've gone through has been awful and corrupt. Problem is as others have said most people just keep their heads down and carry on because there is little choice if yoiu have a mortgage, rent to pay. This blog is an example of what can be achieved though. Jim is unpaid and spends a lot of time unrewarded putting out the message recording for posterity what is going on with no other resource than a blog site. In contrast NAPO uses our subs to do what exactly? For instance where is NAPO's equivalent of this blog? Where are the daily updates for us all of what is going on? Why is the NAPO forum dead, (apart from Tolkny)?

    My job as a PO is becoming untenable; I am very angry about what I see and about what has happened. Emailing those concerns to NAPO is part of that but I want to see results now on twitter, blogs, parliament and on the airwaves which articulates the issues in a direct and succinct fashion. It's not happened to-date. Harry Fletcher did it for years but he's gone now. Who is going to do it now? I don't want some insider hack who will do Ian Lawrence's bidding or keep on the right side of Chivalry Road. Of course we need people who can work together but I don't want that used as an excuse for the blandness we've had for far too long! It's time for a fresh start. There are nine months until the next election. These are crucial months during which a focussed plan of events/campaigning/communicating etc needs to be organised. Every day in this will be precious because if the scum bag tories win again we will be dead. I frankly don't give a toss for candidates views on diversity. I have never spoken at NAPO meetings because I'd be censored/monitored. I'm not completely unreconstructed as such but I always smell hypocrisy and bullshit and NAPO meetings are full of self righteous hacks who pussy foot around fearing to say something in case it gives offence. Fact is though the people who we are fighting against are as hard as nails. I've met some of them. What they will not like is bad publicity. They were able to sell TR through the lie that probation wasn't up to the task of supervising the under 12 month sentenced. They lied about the reconviction figures and have promoted the myth that charities can do our job cheaper. Their real agenda was simply selling us off to large corporations and they have been able to do this at the very same time that these corporations have been exposed as being corrupt. What does that tell may indicate our 'campaign' to date has been pretty ineffective?
    Ian Lawrence playing to the gallery in Birmingham and announcing the Judicial Review route has fizzled out like a damp squib. Benefit of hindsight reminds me of David Steele's 'prepare for Govmt' speech in 1981. Lets hope the parallel of fortunes between the lib dems and probation/NAPO doesn't continue!

    1. Hustings Meeting - that is a good idea, perhaps via a private members only live internet video?

      Probably too late this year - the rules for the election have already been fixed in accordance with the constitution approved by all members - whether or not they voted or were at the GM that agreed it.

      So change it for the future - it does not all have to be worked out in advance, just a succinct Motion to the next GM (or call one for the purpose) - the AGM in Scarborough 9th - 11th October, - give the NEC the task of bringing forth a plan for approval to a future GM (set the date) for hustings meetings for specific elections - perhaps especially the general secretary elections, if the appointment is to continue by election.,d.d2k&cad=rja

    2. Incidentally motions for The Scarborough GM 9th - 11th October 2014

      "Motions and constitutional amendments must reach
      the General Secretary no later than 12 noon on Thursday 14 August"

      according to "Formal Notice of Annual General Meeting" linked above.

    3. Shouldn't any Tom Dick or Harriet be able to propose a motion on here, that should be good enough! FFS NAPO why are you not following this through?!

    4. To anon 22:25 sorry but that idea is plain silly! You have to be a member of the union to propose a motion and you eithrr send it in with 1 person proposing and another to second or send to your brsnch to vote whether the branch supports it and will propose and second. Then the list of all proposed motions gets sent yo all members to vote on whethrr they want them debating at AGM and ftom that they work out priority in which motions are debated ie most populat first

    5. I was being sarcastic.

    6. I don't have to be an expert in communications to detect your strength of feeling 08:53 Anon sorry I could not post directly under yours. A Clear statement on the current PR direction and the position on judicial review. I am responding to some posts and this example is the sort of engagement you would expect any Chair to seek to work closely with, including others both inside and outside of Napo. Anyone who is up for fighting TR ! (Sorry for another old adage) "The enemy of my enemy is my friend " Yes they are ! Then after we can go back to being enemies, after we get what we need TOGETHER.

      I am grateful for posters support like Joanna and others. This blog has become for readers and posters, who, for whatever reason are able to share their daily frustration and wider analysis. I get a lot of opinion and ideas from here so the JB is a thinking pool and a resource. I have said the same before.

      It is becoming obvious that we have started to feel the dangerous creaks of the CRC. POs in CRC are now prevented from what we currently regard as real professional investment to case management.

      More frustrating for POs as their tasks in CRCs is really a mechanism of recording whilst their Professional skills will become eroded over time. Recall and breach already potentiasl for countermand. Already gone authority to take part in oral hearings and other Court work and no longer officers of the Court or board !

      The alternative laid out in the CJA 2007 to disband Trusts. Into what exactly was not specified ! Mr Graylings gang is serving no one well. Their daily changing specification of his TR experiment . What were the Unions thinking when that lot was missed ?


      I do not think it will help if I speculate further on what should be happening on these issues. We know NAPO central campaign is to record the issues coming in. I would expect these are to look effectively at all examples for collective appropriate challenge. I do not recall any agreement from NAPO that provides for the de- professionalisation of its members. Therefore we are not going back on any claim of acceptance.

      The position on JR is becoming lost to my thinking ! I heard it then as reported by Netnipper , in his account from the AGM is on the blog somewhere.
      I also hear the GS provide a very different knocked about account recently. Despite the updated account at the SGM we still do not have news of a Judicial Review.

      Readers might infer from this and I would be encouraging the first few words from the GS address at AGM ( after the obligatory hello and how you feeling ) A clear list of the issues then straight into Members grounds for a Judicial have been laid already. I would hope many noted in JBs blog and a good few more make up the case. A clear call for the protection of all POs tasks and staff in CRC that remain underwritten as public services emanating from the Act. Back in line with NPS.
      We need is to ensure members have the tools to make sure we don't assist the TR machine destroy us any further.


  5. I agree with the others the election statements are bland and mechanistic with mainly previous roles in the union.

    My view about the candidates is this - If they are NOT reading this blog they are not worthy of consideration for the job.

    No one person will get any sense of what is going on unless they have a personal set of contacts across the country to whom they regular speak OR they read the blogs.....As we all know the NAPO blog is like a wasteland , others have fallen by the way side or provide ad hoc posts which leaves Jim's Blog in splendid isolation.
    Now I KNOW key MoJ / NOMS people read the blog because they have said so , therefore it would not be beyond the wit that our own candidates would do so - for me , no show on the blog , no vote......simplistic I know, but I am not about complicated processes, if you know your backside from the barn door there is a good chance you will remember the staff who are paying the subs.
    I am not very active in NAPO but I have met some of the candidates and all of them have strong personal values - but will they be able to stand up and be counted in a complex and difficult environment?
    We don't want a power battle between Chair and Gen Sec , we need united and concerted effort against the TR and bidders now!

    Who can provide a visible and credible message whilst tugging the lead of the GS?

    My paper is next to me presently and I await a strong voice to respond to.

  6. Nothing like elections to invoke invidious emotions. All the candidates are 'insiders' in the sense that they have been active in Napo for years. That is more badge of honour, by the way, than shame.
    I, too, found it odd that a co-chair aspirant believes there will be 100% facility time.

    There seems to be some momentum on these pages for Dino – simply because he has stated he will stand up to HQ. He has been around some time and previously occupied national roles. What's his track record in standing up to HQ?

    On these pages much has been written about Napo's need for an effective communication strategy. I have read his words and I have heard his words across different settings and whilst we are on a promise that Dino will generate heat, will there be sufficient light and clarity? In my opinion we may be entertained but we will not be informed.

    I am afraid the usual polite conventions do not apply when someone is seeking office. It is often the sitting on doubts, biting the tongue, that leads to the wrong decisions.

    As for Ian Lawrence, it appears he is being stereotyped as the villain. I have criticised some aspects of his leadership, but I don't think the problems of TR and Napo's dysfunctional structures can all be put at his door. We hear that Judy McKnight regarded the NEC as the dog that often failed to bark or lacked any bite. And I don't buy into the canonisation of Harry Fletcher who chose to leave Napo at a crucial moment. And Tom Rendon lost the plot.

    Whoever becomes the chair, I don't not envisage any High Noon moment, however exciting it can be to pitch one personality against another. Not a single candidate is calling for a proper review of Napo past and present. Nothing radical or iconoclastic - all peas out of the same pod.

    I just hope for a large turnout, because that in itself would be a shot in the arm for the body politic – it is time there was another elephant in the room at Chivalry Road – the membership!

    1. It is fair to say I am not new to the inside Netnipper but that changes quickly. I carry enough labels another badge wont help me or us !

      I do acknowledge a sense of shame what happened to our Union and despite appropriate inputs others did not heed good advice.

      The main reason I am not calling for any review is, because during the difficulties I had some if not quite all the information. Also there was some governance on role limitations within that.

      Oddly no one has ever actually asked me to account for anything throughout that period ? When 2 NEC members did ask a few questions they were suspended. I think for passing an e mail between themselves and communicating to all NEC reps. Subsequently I understand NEC reps cannot immediately call up their e mail group and share views perhaps look for support or debate ! However if NEC reps wanted a reinstatement of an e- mail group I for one would welcome that!

      Readers may be surprised to learn that some of the suspended 3 attended the critical NEC where they wanted to have their questions aired. In my view that's the place for initial accountability and that episode I feel more than shame in my NAPO observation.

      A high noon moment sounds exciting and only adds to the idea of entertainment. We do not need anymore drama. The GS is a capable man, relatively new in role. . We have a mutual respect for each other. We may not agree on many things but the NEC are there for the final say. I would like to see that happen more often if not part of normal process. Open transparent reporting. After that, it is the NECs decision through the year.

      Large turnout we share that call. Of course a proper mandate for any Chair will act as marker they have a significant mandate amongst the officers and officials. The reminder in there is that they have that responsibility for those who elected them in the first place !


  7. Members are pissed off, they are worked ragged their morale is at rock bottom, NOW is the time to act. If not now never, soon the pissed off will retire or find new jobs leaving the downtrodden who must stay to pay their mortgages the sycophants and the greasy pole climbers. Some sort of "new normal" will be established and now will become the good old days. The heart of the service will have been ripped out and old codgers like me Jim and Andrew will be boring our grand kids with tales the " New Choreography" and the way that power corrupted the nicest of people who got too close to it at NAPO HQ.

    Whilst our veins are still full of adrenalin we must do something because it will pass.


    1. Folk too scared to fight im afraid ......

  8. Sounds like netnipper has qualities to make a good chair. Or how about joe public. What happened to Joe ?


  9. If you got bored with Ian Lawrence's message yesterday you may have missed the message from Chris Pearson, copied below

    Napo has a new interim Chair

    As announced recently, the National Executive Committee elected Chris Pearson as Napo’s interim Chair. Chris says:

    What a surprise, but a pleasant one even so! I’m talking about the decision by the National Executive on 9 July, firstly to decide to appoint an interim Chair of our union, then to choose me to fill the post.

    Anyone who knows me will be aware of my longstanding commitment to the work and values of Napo and all our members across Probation and the FCS. I joined the union within weeks of starting as a Trainee Probation Officer in 2002 and have been an active member since. Throughout my working life I have subscribed to the view that only by collective endeavour can employees be ensured of fair treatment by an Employer.

    It is the union’s role to stand up for individuals in time of personal difficulty. It is also the union’s role to negotiate for the best possible terms and conditions of employment, which it has continued to do at both a national and local level since long before my involvement. Now, not for the first time, but on a potentially unprecedented scale, staff face uncertain employment futures.

    Should share sale occur we know from the experience of colleagues involved with the Serco Community Payback contract that jobs will be at risk. Remember that more than one third of the workforce was cut to make that contract attractive to the profiteers!

    Those of us who have ended up in the National Probation Service can’t be complacent about jobs either. The MoJ is committed to huge budget reductions over the next three years and these are bound to effect conditions of service, establishment numbers and the quality of support for staff in this fledgling organisation.

    I am aware that on the ground, to many of you, the split of staff and the rushed introduction of untested processes to bridge the divide, makes it feel as though TR is a done deal. Rest assured it isn’t. Until share sale there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Only by sticking together alongside your elected leadership in what undoubtedly is probation’s darkest hour, do we stand a chance of seeing TR off. When I took on this role a comment from another NEC rep was ringing in my ears from an earlier debate that day: now is the time ‘to step up to the plate’. There still is a very good chance to see this off, keep probation public and bring us all back together to do what we originally joined the job to do.'

    Support the campaign against Privatisation of Shared Services Centres

    Notwithstanding the recent difficulties affecting some of our members around union deductions and expected payments which are not the fault of our PCS Colleagues within the SSC's, all Napo members are urged to show their support for the PCS campaign against privatisation. This features a one week strike being undertaken by members in Bootle SSC with further strike action having been announced for the Newport CRC later this month.

    More news to members will be issued as soon as it is available and will include positive outcomes form today's meeting of the National Negotiating Council.

    Chris Pearson

    National Chair

    1. I certainly did miss that - thanks for posting!

  10. I stiil say Dino has the tenacity and knowledge for national chair
    Jill m

  11. Any news on the disturbance at HMP Ranby?

    1. his facebook page is usually worth following for prison stuff: -

    2. Does this mean that NAPO is calling a one week strike to support colleagues in the Bootle CRC? Or we are just thinking about them?

    3. HMP Ranby, in the constituency of Labour MP Michael Mann. Was he the one who insisted there be a full public enquiry into the lost/destroyed/mislaid child abuse documents?

  12. Courtesy of

    9:25 pm
    The riot has now ended with no injuries to staff or prisoners.

    The Ministry of Justice said "The disturbance at HMP Ranby has ended safely. No staff or prisoners injured. Visits tomorrow will take place as normal."

    8:55 pm
    A regular visitor to the prison - who was present when the riot kicked off today - has told the Mirror how the situation "is appalling".

    The woman - who wishes to remain anonymous - claims one of the reasons for the riot is because prisoner association time between 5pm and 7pm in the evenings has been cancelled due to staff shortages.

    She says the riot is taking place in House Block 3 North.

    The woman said visitors were "kept waiting" today before they were told of an incident. She said many visitors had travelled hundreds of miles and left with limited information.

  13. Another Grayling mess!