Saturday, 5 July 2014

TR Week Five

I must admit I didn't think that the 'names out of the hat' story would have legs, because unlike Chris Grayling, most of us knew there was provision for 'random' selection under certain specified circumstances during the sifting process. But this story really does seem to be taking off and Grayling has very definitely backed himself into a corner.

I notice that yesterday's blog by Ian Lawrence claimed responsibility for getting the ball rolling:-
No, it is more likely that it will be his propensity to be consistently economical with the truth and bore everyone half to death at the same time that will do for him; and if so he will have been helped on his way by the direct contributions that you are feeding in to the campaigns@napo.org.uk inbox, which is providing fuel for some testing Parliamentary Questions, such as the one which asked him whether staff names had been ‘pulled out of the hat’ as part of the dreadful assignment process which was used to determine the staff split.
The story has been picked up by a number of blogs such as the Huffington Post:-
Justice secretary Chris Grayling has been accused of ignoring warnings that probation officers have been forced out of the public sector Probation Service and into the private sector entirely at random. The government has outsourced large sections of the service to companies such as G4S. Labour MP Toby Perkins has complained that the decision as to which employees have to now work for the private companies is apparently being decided by names literally being "drawn out of a hat".
Grayling has dismissed the allegation as "absolute nonsense". However a letter chain between South Yorkshire Probation Trust and one probation officer seen by The Huffington Post UK reveals staff are being told the opposite.
"There was a random selection process and employee numbers were used to select between NPS and CRC. The details of this process were shared with the Trades Union," the trust told one probation worker who questioned why their job had been privatised.
"Employee numbers were drawn out of a hat by a panel of 3 including an ACO, a board member and an HR representative. No names were used in this process and this gave an order or what was pulled out 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. The ranking was subsequently used to fill in the NPS posts unto establishment."
On Tuesday Grayling told the Commons "names were not drawn from a hat" and that "there was a carefully constructed process of selection".
There's no doubt that Toby Perkins MP has absolutely skewered Chris Grayling and has handily published not only the South Yorkshire Probation Trust email trail, but also a photo of his note to the minister offering him the opportunity of correcting his answer, together with Grayling's terse response. Naturally, given the evidence, Toby Perkins has written to him demanding an apology and we all await the response with interest. As with most bullies, it won't be easily forthcoming and it certainly won't be gracious.

Meanwhile, the following comments from the frontline are dedicated to all outgoing chairs of Probation Trusts who might be as deluded as this guy quoted in the Swindon Advertiser:-
Paul Aviss, chairman of Wiltshire Probation Trust, said the initial buck against the plans has now subsided after the Wiltshire Probation Trust officially disappeared at the start of the month. “Locally in the Wiltshire Probation Trust most people are saying they know what is going to be happening, we have some issues but let’s get on with it,” he said.
I left my role as a probation officer back in February. My decision was two fold, family circumstances along with the uncertainty the changes brought. I visited my IOM team (with cakes) this week and saw first hand the strain my colleagues were under. Today as I read about the mess in pay I can honestly say I'm so thankful I was n a position to leave. My thoughts are with you all.

*******
Im a Probation Officer in the CRC. One of our CSOs got a PSO job and has left - this only leaves one CSO for our LDU and the vacancy is not being advertised. So now we have been told that we have to take standalone UPW. It's a nightmare - each day before I do any of my bread and butter job I have to trawl through to see who did or did not turn up for UPW the day before. Also it is taking the best part of an hour to induct people on ICM cases - half an hour for a regular probation order plus another 20mins on top for UPW. We're all fed up - oh and the dedicated UPW CA is also being trained on the probation side of things so she can cover and vice versa - they are just spreading us too thin.

******
Hi I just want to say, I work within the Unpaid work bit of CRC - have been informed that they are trying to get us to take on the Supervision of Offenders in light of the shortage of staff within CRC and their caseloads. Please note we are also understaffed - has only been 2 of us running our Unit since the SERCO takeover. I have not been trained to do or take on Probation cases or work. 

The higher body who is trying to do this, is only interested in targets, rather than the repercussions this will create on the mental and physical health of the staff members in question. I used to love my job, but this has sent my anxiety and stress levels through the roof. We struggle with the Unpaid work as it is which has escalated since the 1st June and now this, one really doesn't know what to do anymore.

******
I am a PO in the CRC with a completely new caseload of 75 and rising (on a 4 day week) My two PO colleagues are in the same boat with a PSO colleague carrying nearer 100. I haven't been near oasys since the split and don't anticipate accessing it any time soon - no time. If the client's file has arrived on my desk (and many haven't to date), and if I'm lucky, I'll manage a quick skim of the PSR, read the last couple of delius log entries and that's it prep wise. 

My Manager is aware of this. I've still got a copy of the enquiry report following Sonnex, and I know what I am walking into. However, I am also very clear that, should there be an SFO on my watch I will not be taking responsibility for it. I seem to remember post Sonnex that some colleagues in LPT were described as 'bad eggs' or 'bad apples' or something as the blame game started. Management had better not try that with me.....

******

True, true, true. One CRC office in our area has a major staffing crisis with no replacements for 4 PSOs who have left/are leaving, 2 PO vacancies and no current local manager in post. Caseloads have escalated by almost 100% in 8 weeks, i.e 30 mixed bag pre-split has become 50+ med risk post-split for POs; up to 75+ for PSOs, with programme duties in addition. 

Caseloads will continue to climb as 90+% of new cases are allocated to CRC. Current estimate is 30% of oasys incomplete, especially since NPS were excused risk management plan duties. Although not necessarily the highest risk by definition, it is a widely held view that the most volatile cases, the most likely to be involved in SFOs, are within CRC, e.g. DV, PPO, IOM, new entrants to the adult CJ system.

Bidder Beware. The Perfect Storm is brewing.

******

I am aware our area NPS - ACO (Assistant Chief Officer) had been doing the rounds, supposedly to show support for staff. I am so glad I was on leave. I hear the individual made a series of unhelpful and in my opinion, inappropriate comments in response to real concerns being raised by staff....things like, now is a good time to make a mistake, as nobody will be held accountable...for me, this is a dereliction of duty. This senior manager, all managers, should be offering helpful advice, sharing information in order to generate some stability. An insincere 'don't worry, do what you can' attitude, is not what staff need and it is, quite frankly, insulting to think staff want to hear such clap trap. I would appreciate it if the ACO just earned their your inflated salary, did something constructive to manage the chaos, and challenge the MoJ. It is shameful.

*******

Want to hear something funny - the most helpful people I've come across in past week are the Serco community payback team. Used to think there wasn't many of them but they now have better staffing levels that CRC and they're really helping us out with Delius and sorting out our cases. That's not their job but they realise what a mess we are in. How did we get screwed over more than the private sector staff before we even work for private sector?

*******

Serco staff also have dual access to delius so they have NPS access plus CRC access to whole of London. Why are they getting special treatment and none of the rest of us?

*******

Looked on NOMS jobs today and saw PO grade officers required for NPS - Liverpool and Tees Valley.....CRC can only apply as a secondment! How does that work then???? Shafted ....you bet

*******

More news of staff hemorrhaging today - one NPS & one CRC ( both POs) have baled for bigger salaries and less hassle. One said: "... Probation used to be easy money but its started to get hard now. If I have to work hard I may as well get paid properly."

I'm not sad to see that person go, but it will be tough. That's nine staff (po & pso) in six months, with not a single replacement.

*******

I have been analysing offender data this week and have spent the last three days wrestling with nDelius and eOASys. I spoke to two IT people locally who are tearing their hair out because these news systems are poorly designed and do not talk to each other in the way the previous systems did. In shoot, they said that the introduction of nDelius has, in effect, bombed them back into the IT stone age

Worse still, I have just found out that two of my colleagues, both highly competent and one a Butler Trust award winner, are leaving to take up new jobs outside of Probation. Neither wants to leave but each fears for the service and its professionalism. Tragic waste of decades of experience and training.

*******
"Treating the future of dedicated and experienced probation staff as if they’re no more than balls in a game of bingo" 

There in black and white. Precisely what our Lords and Masters think of us. I left early today, told my manager I was at my GP's but had a job interview :) Whilst I think my job is somewhat secure, I no longer enjoy doing what I'm doing and the constant stress of one report after another is just doing my head in.


*******
It's shocking to know that my 31 years in the service went down at a pick of a ball from a hat. This has got to be rectified.

*******
I'm only seven years in but I still think the taxpayers have been short changed by training me to work with High Risk people, sex offenders, to write pre-sentence reports and appear at Oral Hearings etc, etc. All gone at the pick of a name from a hat. Meanwhile they are trying to recruit new people to do what I can already do. It's a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

*******
Every comment that Grayling makes sounds sooo childish, I don't know why those asking him question about this omnishambles don't just dismiss him. How can he continue to get away with it and now names out of a hat fucking shyte. What next?, All I can say is that I have never felt so low as I do now working for the Probation Service and I really don't know what I am doing anymore battling with delius and oasys everyday along with all the LIES.

******
25 years' service/experience/sentence - goodness knows how much spent on training - plaudits from high court judges and others about quality of work with high risk and highly complex cases - now CRC, no explanation beyond the "11/11" response. Having to endure being managed by young thrusting ambitious eager people with blinkers fixed and eyes on the £££s.

Would rather shove a barbed implement into my genitalia than go back to work next week. However, a direct debit of blood, piss and pain don't impress HSBC. Thanks, Chris. Now, given you've been creaming your pants about bidders, why don't you have the good grace to tell us who has bid for where? It won't affect their final sealed bids, but it might help staff decide whether to fuck off sharpish.


*******
Anon 20.30, I felt the same fighting the process with both managers, colleagues and ACEs, no one gave a shit. I'm still the same will never bow down to the disseminating of our service, but just like you I did not get heard especially by those picked out of the hat to be in NPS. I am waiting to be made redundant I hate what has happened to the service and to some of the people whom I thought I could rely on after years of working with them. The British colonial way of divide and rule has worked for centuries but I didn't think the people who work in Probation would fall for it, I thought we all knew better and fought against it, but it continues to be good tool.

*******
Our NPS teams are in tatters. We are in survival mode - not even managing to do the bare minimum. Court processes are a disaster. Allocations are all over the place. Many staff have gone off with long sick notes, others have decided it's a good time to have babies (and probably won't come back). It is unsafe. People's personal resources are running out. It's an unbelievable shambles, so news that names were drawn out of a hat is not a surprise. I can't see CG lasting much longer, he's an idiot for all to see, but the damage is done.

*******
My grievances are ongoing and I'm in touch with a solicitor. I haven't given up just yet.

*******
Signed off with work related stress, I went to GP today. Locum, so I had to start the whole sorry story again. Mid account, she asked where I worked. "Probation Service" I said. Her face fell. "Stay away" she said, scribbling.

53 comments:

  1. Thank you for continuing to publish the reality of what is happening all over the country. I have been updating my (Tory) MP on a weekly basis and will be meeting her this Monday to give my personal evidence of the meltdown taking place.

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  2. Probation Officer5 July 2014 at 08:50

    As I said yesterday, what an awful state of affairs. This confirms what were suspected. It's bad enough Trusts we required to do this, even worse they actually did it. It also confirms my fear all along that we are simply moving towards an outcome that has long been decided.

    Our problem is that there have been many expected and actual dodgy decisions made along the way and not getting enough coverage to stop the TR train. From the outset there should have been a Napo/Unison strike with staff in all offices, AP, Prison OMU's etc walking out. They should have had the POA, PCA and PA fully on board with all walking out too and vocal against TR. With every prison, AP and probation office empty the government would have stepped back. When the govt tried to privatise child protection the leading academics petitioned the govt with a letter signed by many, where were they when TR arrived? Sadiq Khan this week said he wants to hand over young offenders to YOTs when in my experience probation do a very good job with this age group, with many of our staff trained in social work, have worked in YOTs. As with most of the current, not a single word has been said against Khan's nonsense, and let's not forget its Labour who introduced privatisation in the first place.

    Then they came for probation - and there was no one to speak for us!

    http://offendersupervision.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/then-they-came-for-probation-and-there.html?m=1


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    1. Probation Officer - you are absolutely right and there will be a time to conduct an extensive post mortem - but may I suggest we put our effort into thinking up cunning ways to derail the TR omnishambles instead? I know that's an oxymoron, but I think we all know what I mean.

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    2. Jim what about a mass walk out, legal challenge and a lengthy strike action. Enough people read this blog for us all to support each other in this, if we all walked out they can't sack us they will have no staff, and lets face it there's not a pool of staff they can turn to that can do our job.

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    3. Sorry forgot to add it doesn't have to be "cunning", we can take direct action. "Cunning" hasn't seemed to work.

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    4. I really don't think there is a simple 'silver bullet' solution and we've been over the business of a strike or walkout numerous times - it simply won't get widespread support. It has to be lots of individual actions, including putting pressure on union officials to keep the fight going on a whole range of fronts including Judicial Review and Parliamentary action.

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    5. PCC election in West Midlands on 21st August - someone needed to stand - there will be a low turnout (surprise surprise ) but what a a good publicity wagon....oh , and I don't live there so can't stand.

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  3. Probation Officer5 July 2014 at 09:08

    And I don't buy it from Napo in taking credit for leak of this information. Napo is barely visible in mainstream me media outlets, and the poorly written GS blog is not good enough. The only one to speak of is Harry Fletcher who seems to pop up everywhere, but Napo closed their contract with him!

    Btw nice mix of articles and comments - very lively blogging :-)

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    1. "And I don't buy it from Napo in taking credit for leak of this information. Napo is barely visible in mainstream me media outlets, and the poorly written GS blog is not good enough."

      Oh you old cynic you! lol

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    2. Can we just leave all that rubbish behind. For the first time in a very long time this blog was starting to be come informative again instead of being used as a way of attacking napo officials. Yes Harry did a good job ...but he walked away as well. let's just let the whole thing lie and concentrate on sticking together to fight the share sale.

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    3. This blog pursues a policy of attacking TR vigorously and in order to further that aim it will have a go at any organisation or individual if it's felt they are in any way hindering the fight, or not being effective for any reason.

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  4. what is going on with the serco people? why are they in a better position than tge rest of us?

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    1. We had some good news about Serco in london yesterday. They lost the. Docklands light rail contract. Another triumph!!

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    2. I am having a little solo rebellion. In order to hang on to my sanity I have not changed anything I do and am not using any of the corporate speak bullshit.

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    3. Do u work 4 serco?

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  5. One more thing. The sinister thing about this is that there will be cases where no 'hat' was used. We have heard that in some locations there has been a disproportionate lack of women and black staff sifted into the NPS. We have heard of Trusts where CEO's designated to CRC's seemingly took their top SPO's with them - without consultation of course. There maybe many more patterns that can be drawn along diversity lines, or maybe just how well you knew the boss or not.

    I think this has the potential to become a very damaging issue and there maybe a number of CEO's and HR managers feeling very anxious at the moment. Those that sat on sifting/selection panels and appeal panels knowing that a level of discriminatory and unfair practices were employed in these processes. Somebody should look at the stats across Eng and Wales because ultimately the buck (probably wrapped in a P45) will stop with Mr Grayling.

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  6. The main problem with the assignment process was that, in the absence of any formal competitive process, it was inherently unfair. To suggest there was a fair way of implementing it is ridiculous.

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  7. http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/jul/04/chris-grayling-prison-book-ban-novelist-revenge-plots

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    1. There have been petitions to Downing Street, letters and protests in a bid to reverse the frankly indefensible decision from the Ministry of Justice to prevent books being sent to prisoners. But Kathy Lette has hit upon a route that may prove more effective in removing the ban than persuasion: humiliation.

      Lette told the New York Times that her new novel Courting Trouble "will feature a corrupt lawyer named Chris Grayling who ends up in a prison where he is deprived of reading matter and goes insane". Good lord.

      "For Britain to be punishing people by starving them of literature is cruel and unusual punishment," Lette told the paper. "We are going to impale him on the end of our pens. Poetic justice is true justice."

      Grayling, of course, is the justice secretary who has overseen the introduction of new rules which effectively put in place a blanket ban on families sending small items to prisoners. This includes books.

      "Grayling says books are a privilege whereas I think of them as a staple, like bread and water," Lette added to the Evening Standard. "As I'm of [Australian] convict stock, and as I left school at 16, this ban on books for prisoners really irks me. Inmates should be rewarded for reading. I mean, what a captive audience."

      And Lette is not the only author considering taking such revenge: no less than Margaret Drabble told the Times that she's halfway through her own new novel, Death by Fire, and that "she had ample time to create a character called Chris Grayling, adding that perhaps 'he could die in the fire'." Crikey.

      Perhaps all the authors who are fighting back against the lack of books in prison could join them – Philip Pullman, Mark Haddon, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Carol Ann Duffy ... there could be a host of villainous Graylings appearing in the fiction and poetry of months to come.

      In the meantime, take a look at this fantastic new reading room which has just opened at Wormwood Scrubs prison, thanks to the charity Give A Book, which was set up in 2011 in memory of writer and playwright Simon Gray. According to the charity – which is planning more of the same – prisoners described this as a "welcome development", delighted to hear that they could "just take ... [the books] back to [their] cell and read them". But the "icing on the cake" was when one inmate asked after a history book and was pointed to a copy of Antonia Fraser's The Gunpowder Plot, completed with a dedication from the author to "the B Wing Book Room at Wormwood Scrubs".

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  8. the issue of "the hat " must now be followed up with the unfair and discriminatory practice that has led to women and BME staff sifted disproportionately - evidence needed and a question for the House I think.

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    1. Couldn't agree with you more, there is a disproportionate number of those classed with protective characteristics in the CRC. This sort of discrimination against minorities is against the LAW and the very things that we fight against to give our clients a fairer more justice system, now we fall foul of it. Someone please take CG/MOJ to task with a judicial review. Once the shafting process is deemed illegal the whole thing should collapse. So bidders beware.

      There you go Jim here's your answer to a cunning plan.


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    2. How come clients are good at having judicial reviews and winning and then changing laws, They are far smarter than us.

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    3. Manchester's figures were published and it did show a disproportionate number of older people, women, black officers and those with protective characteristics. They tried to brush it off with the fact that it wasn't that significant. Bullshit. The unions could use these figures, they are there in black and white.

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  9. A dumb process with dumb outcomes. We all knew it would happen

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  10. Trouble was, NAPO Reps were directed not to have anything to do with the sifting (shafting) process, so even tho our Trust wanted us there as independent observers, we did as we were instructed and declined the opportunity. With hindsight I think that was a big mistake ref matter of transparency.
    Deb

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  11. I'm finding it very difficult not to agree with the increasing view that some form of concerted strike action is not the way forward. Our areas cannot sack us if this is lawful strike action but this would have to come from Unison/NAPO so as to offer the required protection. At this stage I have few qualms about going out for several weeks, I'm at a stage where I do this via strike action or via sick leave. Whilst the latter leaves money on my pocket, the former would give more satisfaction and the loss of a few weeks pay would be more than recompense for the head-ache we would cause the MoJ (as well as sending a signal to buyers.

    Lets do it I say.

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  12. I requested my so called sifting criteria after I was assigned to CRC and wanted to appeal. It became apparent that anyone with a high caseload stood no chance of getting NPS because each case scored points and then it was divided by the number on the caseload. Therefore all our staff with low caseloads got NPS the rest got CRC. What a load of rubbish. This was not a fair process and I was told I had no further grounds for appeal. Where is the democracy in this. I would have been better being drawn out of a hat - at least it would have been a 50/50 chance rather than almost impossible chance.

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    1. Ours was the opposite so you could have someone with a caseload of 10, all high risk and someone else with a caseload of 30 with the majority of MAPPA 1 cases to bulk up the scores, plus two or three high risk and the person with the most cases went to NPS as the score was not divided by the number on the caseload - this also negatively effected those on phased return for sickness or winding down for maternity leave etc.

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  13. I think NAPO was right not to open the union and its reps up to the possibility of being accused of being collusive with the shafting process. Can you imagine how we would have been criticised had we sat in on this even as observers? The idea that somehow we could have put a brake on this disgraceful process is simply not how it worked. We have all seen the Grayling effect first hand now.

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  14. I think a strike now of several weeks would do the trick but we need both NAPO and Unison to call one together and perhaps the POA would agree to a work to rule. Surely the unions are talking about this and I can still see Grayling eating rats anus in the jungle. Come on "Lets Get him owtta here"

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    1. Hear hear. I second this motion. Lets hit the fucker when he's down.

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  15. so how comes crc staff are trusted to do nothing and serco staff are trusted to do everything?
    crc cannot create new cases but serco can
    crc cannot see nps cases but serco can
    crc have no staff in loads of places but serco staff are not busy at all
    basically crc staff have got no rights left but serco staff do
    how does that work?

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    1. Because its a pile of shit and we have been SHAFTED. As CRC assigned I feel humiliated in the way we have been treated. NPS PSO's who have never managed risk are checking my breaches, what a load of bollocks, only a few weeks ago I was advising them whether breach action should be taken or not. THANKS GRAYLING, HOW WOULD YOU BE LIKE TO BE TOLD THAT YOU CAN'T DO THE JOB THAT YOU HAD TRAINED FOR AND WORKED AT FOR DECADES, ARSHOLE.

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  16. STRIKE NOW!! (Watch the new labourites in napo panic and tell us why we mus'nt do it!)

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    1. Here was our opportunity - another own goal by napo.

      "The government is facing the largest one-day strike over pay by public sector workers since 2010 after firefighters announced they would join walkouts planned for 10 July by up to a million local government workers, civil servants, teachers, passport staff and health workers."

      £20+ a month in subs for ???? A strategy-less group of people who get paid to sit in an office in London and send emails every now and then, while another gets £70k to write a lame blog. Why aren't we out on 10 July?

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    2. Becsuse we are in a different situation with pay claims hence we have not been balloted whether in Unison,Napo or GMB.A Napo circular explaining this went out to Branch Chairs to pass on to members about a week ago-guess Unison & GMB will have similarly explained to their members.

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    3. Yes lets take industrial action, we must strike, it maybe our only hope to save the service. Com'n unions lets re-ballot and take strike action. There are plenty of disputes starting with the illegal shafting process.

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  17. I can not tell you how p****d off I am at the moment, shafted into NPS and working in utter chaos having to now work at 3 sites and battling to get my facility time as a NAPO rep trying hard to represent members when the whole bloody world has changed and NO-ONE has any idea of what is going on.
    I am doing union work every week-end and I am bloody doing my best but I am sick and tired of members having a go at me for this mess. Members who NEVER EVER attend union meetings telling me what the union should have done and be doing - and the one I really struggle with, members who did not strike now calling for a full scale walk out....WHERE WERE YOU WHEN WE NEEDED STRIKE ACTION TO WORK AT THE OUTSET?
    I will honestly do my best but please try to understand I am working flat out to try to help and have nothing left in me to engage with the bloody blame game. Tell Chivalry Road, go on do it I dare you! But stop sounding off at those who have no reserves left and need to focus upon representing members in a very troubled work place.
    I love this blog Jim and it really has kept me going. I do not want to offend anyone but there really was a time when we needed our members to stand up and be counted and YES to shape the union response but sadly many abdicated their responsibility and now just sound off. Come to branch meeting exercise your votes!!
    a rep on a rant (sorry again)

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    1. Anon 20:07 - I have engaged fully with every napo action and truly want napo to survive. Its NOT the life-wrecking, up-all-night effirts of local activists or officials, its the lack of any nowse at the centre that fucks me off. I'm equally irritated by holier-than-thou colleagues who quit napo and joined unison, but I know they won't be out on 10 July either. Okay, its a choice, but without solidarity its pointless to have a "union". Clue is in the name, I guess.

      "UNISON local government and school support members in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will strike on 10 July."

      Is napo's refusal to join the 10 July action a toys-out-the-pram response?

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    2. Anon 20:07 I think it's worth repeating that I'm not aware anyone has a beef with branch reps doing their level best on behalf of members. As you imply, Chivalry Road is another matter and dissatisfaction with the quality of leadership and strategic direction is rearing its head again.

      I understand your anger and really wish things were different, meanwhile take care and I'm sure many members will echo how much they appreciate the hard work you put in on their behalf.

      Cheers,

      Jim

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    3. Any further industrial action, will, by law need another ballot of members.

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    4. Dear Colleague,

      Day of Action on Pay 10th July


      This circular:

      Advises you about Napo's position on the planned strike action involving a number of other unions on the 10th July.
      Explains why Napo and Unison have not balloted our members within Probation on this occasion.
      Explains why it is possible that both unions may enter into a trade dispute in the near future.

      Background

      Napo members will have seen that a number of Trade Unions are currently balloting their members for strike action on 10th July in protest over the public sector pay freeze which has led them to register formal disputes with a number of employers. As we have previously reported, a joint pay claim for 2014 was submitted to the National Negotiating Council (NNC) prior to the termination of Trusts on 31st March 2014.

      It has not been possible to open negotiations on the claim, as the Treasury have not yet issued instructions to the employers representatives in terms of a remit to proceed with talks. Secondly, we are in the final stages of establishing a new forum for collective bargaining within the new NPS/CRC structures that will mirror the former NNC arrangements. The Unions have also demanded that a meeting take place urgently to progress the 2014 pay claim and other outstanding issues.

      On that basis, and alongside the equally important fact that Napo and Unison are not yet in a formal dispute on pay within the probation service, both unions have decided that they are not able to join with the ballot and will not be advising our members to join in industrial action on 10th July.

      Future dispute looms

      Napo, UNISON and GMB are currently in talks to explore the next steps in terms of joint campaigning against TR, and our early exchanges have flagged up the possibility of a new national dispute which may include the issue of the pay claim subject to developments in negotiations over the coming weeks.

      The unions will be issuing joint material very shortly to explain what this campaigning activity involves and how members can directly assist us. The Napo National Executive Committee meets on 9th July and will be asked to endorse this approach and advise on the industrial options including a ballot of members on a fresh national dispute should this be deemed necessary.

      Please look out for the Napo Campaign Bulletins, direct member mail outs and updated news and blog postings on the Napo website.


      Yours sincerely

      IAN LAWRENCE
      General Secretary

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    5. Anon 20:07 I totally understand where your coming from I am a local rep and I am getting complaints on a daily basis why haven't napo done this that and the other as well as trying to support members through sickness absence, grievance etcetera. As I said before, I think we should move on about what is wrong with napo and put all our resources into fighting the share sale.

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    6. FBU aren't striking about pay claim, they're continuing their own dispute about pensions. The TIMING is the key. Napo told us they had a mandate to strike without further ballot when we were out on our jack jones last time. As mentioned elsewhere, aren't there enough disputes ongoing?

      Have to admit to having failed to notice, open or read the Ian Lawrence circular - which presumably came via the many hundreds I seem to receive daily. Thanks for (re?) posting, Jim.

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  18. What about dispute regarding privatisation of probation?
    Dispute over no workload management tool
    Dispute over the shafting of staff
    Dispute over high cases
    Dispute over health & safety
    Dispute over .....

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    1. Agree 100%, we need to dispute as stated above, and go on strike, there are plenty of disputes that the unions can use to call for a ballot to strike, I'm ready. LETS STRIKE.

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  19. Information Sharing.
    I've been reading up on all the legislation for information sharing protocols (I know, fun weekend!) and have noted that the majority (if not all) of the information sharing agreements and protocols as well as legislation, in relation to MAPPA, IOM etc specifically refer to Probation Trusts. When will they all be re-written? Can the information sharing continue legally in the mean time?

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  20. Why do the unions feel that we are not in dispute, every person on this blog has highlighted again and again our poor working conditions effecting our health, people leaving the service in huge numbers, the de-professionalization of lots of Probation Officer, names picked out of a hat, shafting of staff, people going of sick due to unmanageable workloads, privatisation of an award winning service recognised by the world, unworkable IT system, and there's lots more, I am sure one of these amounts to us being in dispute. Maybe I'm not good at all this union stuff but people have taken strike action for less than what we are being put through, I thought unions are there to protect us. LETS STRIKE.

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  21. STRIKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. In my Trust, only 25% of the employees wete in NAPO. On the day of the last strike, in which I took part, only 25% of MEMBERS took part. That is 1/16th of the workforce. I will strike if a ballot says so but I cannot see it happening.

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  23. And when we go on strike we ALL need to go to London to a place that will have an impact with ALL of the other workers in the Criminal Justice system, ALL off them.The Unions need to make this happen and soon, there is a lot of anger out there. Come on NAPO dip your bread and earn your money.

    We and our families are being bullied and discriminated against by a bunch of politicians who represent the elite to which they belong not the people. The fight is bigger than the Probation Service the fight is about social justice and social justice is the reason many of us joined the Probation Service. On a personal note I'm going to fight or walk away from a job that is tuning into a a form of repression of the damaged and vulnerable instead of advising assisting and befriending.

    papa

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