Monday, 21 July 2014

Latest From Napo 37

Here is the latest email from Pat Waterman, newly re-elected Chair of Napo Greater London Branch:-


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)

And finally:

People have sometimes commented on how angry I seem. I make no apologies for this. I am angry; 
  • 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.
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:

I won’t back down (if you don’t know the song look it up on YouTube and be inspired)

Pat Waterman
Branch Chair


  1. Here's Johnny: -

  2. I wish I had her as my branch chair.

  3. Prisoners are angry too. Frustrated by the lack of contact with prison staff one individual pissed and shat in a bucket for several days throwing it over the next officer he came across. On Radio 5 today an ex Independent Board of Visitors and an ex magistrate has written a book about how dangerous it is in the Scrubbs and about why prison doesn't work. She said that she chaired a report about prisons but when she gave it to government they said that she was wrong implying that all we are experiencing is teething troubles because of the amount of change. I dont think being showered with shit suggests this. Its bloody dangerous for all concerned; when someone is killed will they say he/she is not dead? We are being bullied by politicians and senior management, cowed via fear for our jobs and the need to pay our mortgages but it is open direct bullying of a profession. When will the media pick up on this and tell the truth? But are they being bullied too.

  4. Congratulations on your re election Pat this is good news for all opponents of TR. I know there are many who would prefer you had gone for National Chair and ruffled a few feathers at Napo HQ. London is lucky to have you and the loyalty you have is well earned both from those you represent and those who sit on the other side of the table. You are generous to your opponent and I think this says a lot about you. Grayling will of course not be sending his best wishes and we will take this as a compliment to the strength of your opposition to his plans.

  5. Just got home to open Napo election material.Feel encouraged by the positive & assertive Vice Chair candidates standing: maybe its because I"ve had a day from hell at work but have no sense of inspiration from those for Chair however. The choice of our NEC reps is going to be even more important.

    1. I would urge people to vote for Dino Peros for chair. He is a brilliant rep who knows his stuff inside out. He has been my rep on one occasion and obtained the desired result. He is very feisty and I feel we need some one like that to deal with the likes of grayling and the Moj. He predicted a lot of what has been happening a long time ago. He has a long history of trade unionism and I think he will give grayling a good run for his money
      Jill n

    2. I'm impressed by the election statements from Yvonne Pattison & Chris Winters (job share) but know little other than what is written in said statements. Are any readers of this blog able to recommend them? Also, Yvonne / Chris do you read this blog? Be great to hear from you if you do!

    3. One would imagine that ALL candidates would be familiar with the sentiments of the staff as reported on this blog....perhaps THIS will be the forum of choice for their canvassing!
      At least one candidate has started to engage on here...perhaps Jim you might be able to encourage further involvement from the candidates....


  7. CompletelyRidiculousCockup21 July 2014 at 22:49

    I did wonder what Pat was alluding to in the above missive, that was until I stumbled upon this Blog....mind you I'm a bit slow these days, what with the problem of how to prioritise the unmanageable... to the extent that I only just made it to vote for the branch chair on Friday missing both proposals.
    (The real reason being 2 attendees from Court for 12 noon interviews- no prior notification,no Delius entries, no paperwork, no English(no interpreter) and local train delays meaning I caught them on my way out the door at 13.30!)

  8. Yvonne and Chris for Chair - Good solid and dependable grafters who won't set the world on fire but will certainly get the job done.
    Chas and Kate for Vice Chairs (though Dave seems ok too)
    Richard and Ikki for NEC Black Reps.
    Let's get it right this time for the members people.

    Show boating, self promotion, cushy directorships, laziness, personal agendas, scandals etc

    NO THANKS!!!!!!!

    Just listen to the members concentrate on doing what your elected to do and nothing else is required (or else we'll send Pat Waterman in to sort the lot of you out - so behave yourselves!!!!!). Thanks.

  9. Napo needs a strong leadership. If only Pat Waterman were to run for the National Chair. Tough job ahead for the elected National Chair. Yvonne and Chris may be seen as a pair of safe hands but are they capable to lead the union through this challenging times? We need someone who is capable and able to steer our much loved service away from the mess Grayling has put us in. Having said that, respect to those candidates who have put their names forward. We just need to get it right this time round as we appear to be losing members in numbers.

  10. ChaosRulesandno-oneCares23 July 2014 at 00:55

    Just had the 47th TR split re-allocation/transfer case given to me today, I say given....the paper file has been lost/hidden by the temp PSO who ran away last week when their 6 month inactivity on cases looked like it was about to be rumbled.... I told the only available manager within a 20 mile radius I didn't take kindly to inheriting someone else's cock-ups/behind filing cabinet hidey hole and hope no-one notices jobbies in bulk without any form of management review being performed on them and I don't intend to have another heart attack on the job. I explained the physical symptoms I was experiencing in graphic detail and went off sick.
    He informed me that I was possibly too passionate about the job and should stop worrying about things which were out of my control.
    I asked him whether he could hear what he was saying, because from where I was sitting all I could hear was Bollocks.....
    Pat W. if you read this...I may need a Rep ;)