TO: NAPO MEMBERS
Phew...........what a scorcher
On Friday 18th July (on what has been the hottest day of the year so far) over 120 members attended the Branch AGM. Our Guest Speaker was Ian Lawrence, NAPO's General Secretary. Unfortunately Yvonne Pattison, National Vice Chair, was too ill to attend but a statement from her was read out by Patricia Johnson, Branch Vice Chair.
After the Branch had voted to adopt the Annual report and Accounts there was an election for the post of Branch Chair. I am honoured, privileged and delighted to have been re-elected as the Chair of Greater London Branch for a further two year term of office. My commiserations to Robert Hull. On behalf of the Branch Officers and the Branch Executive I do hope that he will use the experience and knowledge he would have brought to the post of chair to the service of the branch.
It was a lively AGM and I am grateful to all those who attended and participated, especially the proposers and seconders of motions and our NEC Representatives who gave a very comprehensive report back to the branch. As I said in my last e-mail (Meeting, Meetings Meetings) there were some very important meetings last week.
On Tuesday, together with the Branch Vice Chairs, I attended a meeting between the Senior Management of both the London CRC and NPS and the trade unions. We were the only trade union present. Members may recall that, in a letter to me just as LPT was about to end, our then Chief Executive said:
“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.”At the meeting on Tuesday we were advised that the process of Case Transfer is far from complete. Many cases are still not in the “right” place and although over 6,000 cases were transferred before the end of May there are still over 4,000 cases which have yet to be transferred. It is envisaged that half of these transfers will be completed by the end of July and the rest by the end of August.
As the schools prepare to break up this week, those of you who have been working in the field for some time will know that the summer is always a difficult time as staff take leave. I have never known an office to be fully staffed over the summer period and that was before staff started resigning as a result of this omnishambles.
So now we are told everything will be sorted by the end of August ..........really.
The London CRC has just published on London-i a consultation paper for staff and service users entitled"Influencing the Future of the London Community Rehabilitation Company”. As one of the recognised trade unions in the London CRC we have been invited by the CEO, Nick Smart, to participate in this consultation exercise. We have as yet reserved our right to participate in this consultation exercise subject to consultation with members of this branch. Please e-mail MAIL LONDON NAPO and let us know whether we should participate and if so what we should be saying on your behalf.
On Wednesday I attended a nationally organised meeting of Branch Chairs and Vice Chairs. Ian Lawrence , NAPO’s General Secretary, addressed the meeting in much the same way as he had addressed the NEC the previous week and would address this branch two days later at our AGM.
He made clear his views about anonymously critical comments of both himself and other NAPO employees on social media. This branch has chosen to engage with social media, as part of our campaigning activities, to the extent that we have our own Face Book page and Twitter account. It is used as yet another way of communicating with members and providing them with information and links to other sites which they may find useful and relevant.
At the meeting on Wednesday Ranjit Singh, National NAPO official, launched the union’s “Recruitment and Organising Campaign: A five point plan”. This plan will be discussed at the Branch Executive meeting this afternoon.
The Branch Officers have already started an extensive mapping exercise to help us identify the “gaps” in membership. In conversation with the chair of another branch, who had devised spread sheet which she agreed to share with us, she told me that it took her two full days to map 300 members. We have close to 1,000 members so this exercise will take some time.
Napo is planning a national lobby and rally at parliament on Wednesday 3rd September. The focus of the Rally will be ‘Members’ Voices’ and on briefing MPs on what is happening to the service in reality. More details to follow but please note the date in your diary.
Please also note the following date:
National AGM 9th -11th October in Scarborough (more details to follow)
People have sometimes commented on how angry I seem. I make no apologies for this. I am angry;
And so I will, with the help and support of the Branch Officers and Branch Executive, continue doing what I have been doing. In the words of Johnny Cash:
- Angry at seeing a profession, in which I have worked my entire adult life, being destroyed.
- Angry when I read about the aggravation so many of you are experiencing as you try to do your job
- Angry about the stress many of you are experiencing as you try to grapple with IT systems that are not fit for purpose
- Angry on behalf of you all as you become increasingly frustrated on behalf of your clients as well as yourselves.
I won’t back down (if you don’t know the song look it up on YouTube and be inspired)