Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Tide Has Turned

I know there is enormous interest, confusion, alarm and despondency amongst many Napo members unable to attend the AGM this year, so I hope this necessarily-rushed blog post might serve to clear a few things up and set a few minds at rest.

As it has done for millenia, I watched the tide turn in Scarborough this morning, only today I think it turned in rather more ways than one. 

Those attending the AGM will be aware that the General Secretary made a short unscheduled speech regarding matters that had been discussed at the now notorious 'closed' session on Friday morning. I'm reliably informed that this addition to the programme was made reluctantly and I think people will be interested to know what the circumstances were that precipitated it.

I'm told that Joanna Hughes, together with a small band of intrepid colleagues unhappy with what they had heard during the 'closed' session, spent most of Friday afternoon drafting several Emergency Motions to put before Steering Committee. Essentially these sought to firm up on aspirations for a legal challenge of TR and impose upon the Executive an absolute presumption to proceed towards Judicial Review. I understand the wording was the subject of much constructive amendment by colleagues on Steering Committee.

Clearly the Executive had the opportunity overnight of deciding how best to deal with these Emergency Motions, together with the obvious disquiet being expressed by some members both at the AGM and those waiting patiently for news and hope back at home. 

I understand that at a meeting early this morning, Joanna and her colleagues were given assurances that their concerns would be addressed by a statement from the General Secretary, on the basis that the Emergency Motions were withdrawn.     

At this point it's probably worth reminding readers that, as is the norm, significant changes have taken place amongst the elected members of the Executive this weekend. Readers will also be aware that I have regularly described Napo's governance as 'dysfunctional'. My feeling is that we now have rather greater reason to be hopeful that the union is more effectively under the control of members than it has been of late. I'm clear that what happened today is evidence that things are not going to be the same and that things are going to change.

We are all promised a communication on Monday from Napo HQ explaining what the situation is with JR and what is required urgently of members in the form of evidence. All in all, it's been quite a roller coaster ride of an AGM, but I honestly think we can now have hope. If you drink, raise a glass tonight to a truly intrepid bunch of your colleagues and what they achieved today at the seaside!          

31 comments:

  1. Hurrah!! ( I think....)

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  2. Nice to hear that the power of a union remains with it's members in the end. Excellent news, whatever the outcome

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  3. Can i get a JR please.

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  4. Never forget what this is about. Here's the most recent CEO blog for Cumbria & Lancs CRC from their website. Its signed "Kevin". The most heartbreaking & destructive aspect is that it sounds like an everyday, normal, nothing-to-worry-about set of words - it could be a cake recipe, or a shopping list. It bears no relation to the crisis & catastrophe within.

    "September 2014

    Since we became The Cumbria and Lancashire CRC in June summer has come and gone. I hope you’ve had a great one, whether you’ve been away, enjoyed day trips out or simply took time off to catch up with some DIY jobs around the home, like myself. We’ve now been operational for just over four months and I wanted to give a short update on our progress so far.

    To recap, in June 2014 the probation service split into two. The National Probation Service (NPS) now manages all high risk work and 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) manage all medium to low risk work – this led to the launch of the new Cumbria and Lancashire CRC.

    Since the separation, the CRC senior managers have been meeting regularly with NPS colleagues to manage the changes and have developed an interface agreement, which has established new working arrangements. Together we have mapped out new procedures and processes and worked closely with each other to deal with any early issues being highlighted as a result of the change.

    The CRC has achieved a lot in the short space of time, since June we have:
    • Developed our business plan
    • Delivered on our interim contract with the National OffenderManagement Service (NOMS)
    • Held regular interface meetings with the NPS at local and regional levels
    • Launched our new Positive Futures Offender supervision model
    • Developed our vision and values
    • Taken over the responsibility for six attendance centres

    The next few months will continue to be equally busy as we move forward with the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. One of our priorities will be to support the NPS to operate independently from us by the
    end of October, alongside preparing for share sale and private ownership towards the end of the year.

    If you want some more information about the changes or the work we are doing, please contact us.

    Kevin."

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    1. Thanks for sharing and indeed reminding us what bollocks this all is.

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    2. is this a joke a or devious piece of propaganda?? (anon 20.10). and thank you Jim, for giving us some hope. and good on yer Johanna, I knew she was working on a bid to persuade NAPO to go ahead with JR but it sounds as if it's been somewhat dramatic!

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    3. http://www.clcrc.co.uk/news/blog.php

      Anon 20:27, have a look & enjoy.

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    4. anon - 212.25 -re clcrc blog of a happy clappy world - now I KNOW that it is propaganda - Kevin is the Chief Exec - Kevin Robinson - he was Div Manager at Northumbria for a relatively short period - a very ambitious man who did not take no for an answer. Not a man to be crossed. That report sums up the way senior managers are having to toe the party line, right up to the top. He is not going to be talking about stressed staff and lost offenders. But on the other hand, he may have found a Utopian system of working, and good for him, but I would like to hear from staff there, if they are brave enough. If I am way off the mark, then I apologise and due respect to him for achieving what no other area seems to have done.

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    5. The only Utopian system is delusion. Grayling's plans were Walter Mitty material. More, much more for less. It is as mythical as the Snark.

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    6. Kevin fuck off!! I have been shafted into your crappy CRC and now you are asking me to prop up NPS. Piss off!!

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  5. Feel very reassured that such efforts were made on our behalf to present motions for members to vote on JR this AGM and move us into action. Hopefully too Mondays email will help further clarify what going on. I too feel encouraged by the new Vice Chairs especially Chas Berry. Thanks so much for all your efforts too Jim- hope you will take Sunday off and relax!

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    1. Seriously, lets go for it or not. I can't stand all this bollocks? If I'm faced with this shite at work I address the issues with the individual concerned, stop pissing around the issue. Blah blah blah ( "why don't the rank and file engage"). God's sake, stop twatting around, you do my heed in!! A Geordie PO





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    2. Yeah. But it's not all about you, is it? Appeasing our frustration may be attractive in the short term but it doesn't make it the right thing to do.

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  6. I am cautiously optimistic by the comments above although the proof of the pudding etc etc. I am not a NAPO member but am prepared to provide monthly support to a fighting fund as long as there is a legal opposition to TR. We have nothing to lose.

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    1. I am a NAPO member, and I would put another £50 quid, a whatever £100 in the pot if they needed it, for JR . Anon, but good for the money Ian, if you need it, just post here :)

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  7. Quite frankly I am expecting a massive let down when we receive the email on Monday.......all this about not letting the govt know what we are doing/putting things off until later/not telling members not at AGM what is the true position...........stuff & nonsense.....more delaying tactics until we get the truth when the powers that be decide the time is right......I am getting closer & closer to deciding NAPO is not an organisation I still want to be part of........Bobbyjoe
    PS it all might change on Monday of course.

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    1. As said before 'smoke and mirrors', get ready for disappointment..

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    2. I think the fact that they are only now speaking of the need of individuals experiences (wouldn't you have them already if you were focused on fighting TR), speaks realms.
      I too sense disappointment.

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    3. I understand its particular experiences that are needed..keep faith

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  8. Its not usual to announce your grand plan two days after your main annual conference is it?

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  9. Smoke and mirrors or cloak and dagger. Why?. I've a feeling Napo staff are clearing their desks - it's over kid.

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    1. I understand the pessimism completely, but trust me, something fundamentally different happened in Scarborough. I'm convinced the original plan has been overturned by a combination of changes in the make up of the top table, some highly effective member action, together with appreciation of growing dissatisfaction in the ranks.

      It's the eleventh hour for sure, but I now believe there will be a JR because at last there is a will at the top to do it. Wait for the carefully-crafted email on Monday, but rest-assured there are well-informed people who will be making sure that what's been promised will be delivered.

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    2. Yes we most certainly will be holding them to account if what was promised was not delivered. Even if we have to trudge up to London to do it

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  10. The fight is with Grayling not with each other. This was a good conference, held in very difficult times #understatement. The closed session, the drafting of potential EMs, the Gen Secs announcement: democracy in action, and a decent nay noble organisation doing its utmost. Unity in NAPO I say and also a massive big up for Jeanne and Howard of the Steering Committee, getting democratic processes working. I have been trying to make sense of this last few days for hours and lots of miles, and am coming to the conclusion that right now I am proud of probation, proud of NAPO, and wish I had brought my bathers.

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    1. Thank you anon 23.35 for this post. And for all the efforts at AGM- will have been a lot of tension too I guess. Have spoken to colleagues who went to AGM now- things should be clearer Monday

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  11. Thanks so much for Kevin's cheery and deluded blog! Nearly as hilarious as those being excreted in Manchester!

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    1. Good examples always welcomed on here, with links please.

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  12. Having attended AGM at Llandudno last year and remembering the euphoria and renewed motivation amongst members - Napo, hope we won't feel the same disappointment this time next year! Couldn't be at AGM this year - supporting a family member who is an NPS worker on sickness absence.

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  13. As one of the members who was concerned enough at AGM to approach Steering Committee with an EM, I was given hope by the supportive response from Howard Davies and Jan Peall and even more so from Yvonne, current co Chair. As Jim has already said, I, along with many colleagues will be watching events of the coming weeks closely to see that our GS delivers what has been promised. Having arrived in Scarborough feeling the sell off of CRC's was a done deall I left yesterday with hope!

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  14. I do not know Yvonne but Jan and Howard are solid Napo folk who understand the travails that got us to be a trades union proper back in the 1980s, I am almost certain - I would trust them - phenomenal dedication going back decades.

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  15. Yes you are right Andrew,Jeanne and Howard have real integrity and commitment!

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