Monday, 8 December 2014

Latest From Napo 50

Latest e-mail from Napo HQ sent earlier this afternoon:-

NAPO SECURES CRUCIAL CONCESSIONS ON SAFETY FROM GRAYLING

Napo has finally forced Grayling to recognise the serious safety risks in the re-organised probation service, and provide details of the steps he will take to address Napo’s long-standing concerns before Community Rehabilitation Companies are sold into private ownership. As a result, the Napo officers have unanimously agreed that the proceedings should conclude as we are satisfied we have achieved all that we could accomplish through the court case.

As you know, Napo took legal action to force Grayling to address publicly the dangers generated by the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. On 26 November, the High Court forced him to hand over the test results he had tried to keep secret. Those results showed that Napo had been right about the risks in the re-organised system. On the basis of that evidence, on 1 December, the General Secretary wrote detailed submissions to Grayling, highlighting all the problems that officers are still facing. These led to questions in Parliament. Grayling gave us more evidence on 4 December which showed that the Ministry of Justice are now – finally - taking steps to improve the safety of the system.

We are advised that we have secured everything possible through these legal proceedings, and the Napo Officers have instructed its lawyers to conclude the proceedings. We will be applying for an order that Grayling must pay the legal fees we incurred as we struggled, and finally succeeded, in getting him to face up to the safety issues you told us about.

We started the legal proceedings after months of writing to Grayling asking to see the results of his safety testing, and asking him to take notice of the safety issues that front line staff were encountering. We demanded:

(1) Disclosure of his evidence and test results on the safety of the system;
(2) That he should take account of Napo’s evidence and representations about the risks he had created;
(3) Recognition that the system was currently not operating safely and that a number of steps must be taken before it is safe to transfer it to the private sector.

Grayling has now recognised the risks and set out publicly what he says he is going to do to solve these problems. We will hold him to these promises. We know many of you, like us, will be sceptical about whether Grayling’s promises are achievable. We will be seeking meetings with CRC chief executives and NPS deputy directors prior to contract signature to ask them to spell out how they plan to implement the amendments and ensure improved safety. We will continue to fight for our members’ health and safety in the workplace.

Napo will maintain the political pressure on Grayling to make sure he does what he says he will and makes the flawed system he has created work as safely as it possibly can. If he doesn’t, and if any Napo members are harmed as a result, we will be bringing individual court cases on their behalf to sue Grayling for negligence.

We will be sending members a briefing about what to do if the promises made by Grayling are not kept. In the meantime, if you want any further information, please contact the Link Officer at Napo, through your branch.

Ian Lawrence (General Secretary) and the Napo Officer Group

149 comments:

  1. I am confused as to what this means in reality for us now. Sounds like the game is over in terms of the fight against t r or am I missing the point??

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    1. If the signing of contracts goes agead before the new year that's not good. Grayling as been found to lie to parliament, the public, napo and most probably charities and bidders - the wise charities and bidders have got out. Grayling is a unchecked mad man, who will lie, promise anything and appear to give people what they want to get his way with TR

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    2. Anything short of suspension of signing is a failure.

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    3. Anon 15:21 it is over, we have been sold down the river, the shafting just don't stop. What we need to do now is all walk out then Grayling may take notice, remember they need us more than we need them. Arseholes, sold out by everyone, managers, government and now the very people we pay subs to and rely on for support unions. Everyone can just fuck off.

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    4. How on earth can they trust Grayling, he is the ultimate liar. How can they be so stupid, should have let us have our day in court. I can't take no more so deflated and near to tears.

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    5. I agree anon 17.42. Nothing short of a large scale front line walk out will stop them now. I reckon it'd be one or two weeks of strike action before the MOJ would agree to stop the signing of contracts.

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  2. NAPO have fucked up. What a stupid decision.

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    1. I agree they got mugged off by the court NAPO lost the contracts were signed a week before the JR

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  3. So having resisted action on JR for as long as they could get away with it, only relenting when facing mutiny at conference the union executive have now abandoned the proceedings before a hearing can take place. What a dirty, disgusting and dishonest way to proceed. To add insult to injury the weasel worded email, reprinted above, is worthy of Grayling himself in the way it glosses over the truth and tries to make members believe that the sharing of some limited information - a preliminary step in this JR Process - accompanied, supposedly, by some empty, unenforceable promises, is dome kind of victory. The point of judicial review action is that the fucking court was supposed to issue a ruling and according directions. It's a fucking disgrace

    Simon Garden

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    1. I agree Simon - probation is finished, if grayling has made weasel worded promises now, what he have been forced to admit in a court. We, the direct victims of grayling TR wanted and needed our day in court.

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    2. I'm with Simon too! Whatever this means for NAPO, TR or Probation, it's a poor show! Feels like someone let the air out of our balloons! That letter from NAPO, will go down as well as a fart in a spacesuit! CG wins again!

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  4. Please say this is a cruel joke?! Heartbroken. NAPO I'm disgusted!

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  5. deadline? is there an agreement sale will not go ahead until issues are addressed? Was legal advice that JR should not go ahead? Could not go ahead?

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  6. I think that you will find that the fat " " has just sung. Oh well

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  7. How is this going to stop share sale and signing of contracts

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    1. Its not all napo have in there hand is a letter of assurances that grayling will do something at some point. You can guess how his promises will turn out

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  8. Is this it then? I have been supportive of Napo ever since being part of the mutiny at conference and doing my best to force them into a position where they had to go for JR. I thought they deserved a chance and, while late, they had eventually done the right thing. I even encouraged people to join Napo in my guest blog. I now just feel utterly defeated and numb.

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    1. What EXACTLY did you expect the JR to achieve?

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    2. The JR process can only be about the way a policy is implemented if the policy is otherwise legitimate as TR is because parliament has allowed it & Napo legal advice was the same - as far as I understand it.

      It seems to me that TR can be stopped in a number of ways and individuals have to decide to what extent they are prepared to personally act.

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  9. It doesn,t Napo have just got some nice assurances and meetings with people who will be laughing them out of the building and jobs have been sold down the river

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  10. The Game is up it would appear time to resign from NAPO

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  11. So JR is over....
    my view is that the decision in Court was necessary to ensure Grayling had this formally recorded against him, this feels like a withdrawal and I do not understand why.
    We were told by NAPO that due to matters being sub judice the Testgate results must remain confidential...well I would like them shared with me pronto now legal matters are concluded. Then when I am fully informed I will make my decision whether to remain in NAPO.
    a PO and NAPO activist

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    1. Fully intend to resign first. So far NAPO have bullshitted all the way. Not hanging on any longer to a union with no bottle.

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    2. NOW is not the time to resign from Napo for two reasons.

      1. Workers continue (more than ever) to need the individual protection available that Unions, particularly Napo can only provide if members act collaboratively and pool resources including pay for legal representation and expenses & costs of Napo employees and officials representing members.

      2. Napo membership enables workers within probation to act collectively. I have no doubt this withdrawal is based on legal advise after MOJ have found they can make commitments that enable them to continue & so likely to satisfy the Judge hearing the JR. It now needs collective membership to keep the MOJ and CRCs up to those commitments.

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    3. Some info here https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/transforming-rehabilitation/transforming-rehabilitation-progress-on-test-gate-4-actions-and-test-gate-5-report.pdf

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  12. oh I forgot to say also, what happened to the International Labour Organsiation representations made some time ago by NAPO?

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    1. These reps were initiated by Unison and Napo supported them.As far as I can recall from Branch NEC report, we are still awaiting decision.

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  13. I will reserve judgement until I hear what has been agreed. Anything short of suspension of share sale is going to result in my resignation. It cannot be made safe because the split iis unsafe.

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  14. Ho Ho Ho merry Christmas Mr Grayling.
    My faith in Trade Unionism has finally been utterly destroyed. Along with the Probation Service. RIP.

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  15. Grayling is now in a position to say to the world that to ensure his (idiotic) reforms prioritise public safety he has consulted with NAPO and as a consequence he is implementing even more stringent safeguards!

    Ifeel very bitter at this news.

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  16. I dont know what any of you were expecting but the Jr was never about stopping TR or the split or share sale. It was only ever about some very specific and narrow points regarding safety.
    It was never ever going to amount to anything.

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    1. How convenient to come out with a load of shiet like that. sounds like u ar in f'ing denial.

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  17. Exactly anon 16:00 did you really think that you would win this fight. The campaign ! has been naive at best. Its typical to think that this kind of arguement can win. Now the saddest thing is that the chance to influence and shape what could never be stopped has passed. It was always going to be this way.

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  18. @15:47 MoJ released the Testgate reports on their website last week

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  19. Seriously, though. As a CRC with only 36/250 staff in NAPO, I can see this news reducing the numbers further and rendering the union powerless. I cannot see this as any kind of victory, however hard Chivalry Road tries to spin it. That bit about supporting staff who want to sue for negligence is pitiful, given the issues detailed over the last six months.

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  20. I have just read the above.

    "Napo has finally forced Grayling to recognise the serious safety risks in the re-organised probation service, and provide details of the steps he will take to address Napo’s long-standing concerns before Community Rehabilitation Companies are sold into private ownership... Grayling has now recognised the risks and set out publicly what he says he is going to do to solve these problems. We will hold him to these promises."

    It reminded me of another time, another place:

    "This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine... I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

    Thanks, NAPO. Now, Gen Sec & others, please go & cash in your enhanced packages, leave the building & find yourselves work with MoJ or NOMS or any of the other paymasters you've opened the door for.

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  21. We should have held MoJ to account through the JR. They have been on the back foot over a number of issues but NAPO have let them off the hook. Shame really but at least we can rest easy in the knowledge that we achieved a hollow promise and a piss off from Chris. Well done NAPO I suspect NOMS can't believe their luck.

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    1. Careful Max, you could getting "sacked in the morning" to the tune that rings out on the terraces!

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    2. Goodness do you really think so? Stop raising my hopes Gail.

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  22. Deflated and frustrated- feels like a sell out and no doubt napo's legal costs will be covered-it's the least mr grayling can do for being let off the hook! Merry Christmas everyone, I feel 2015 is going to be painful!

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  23. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/08/union-drops-court-challenge-probation-privatisation?CMP=twt_gu

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    1. The probation union, Napo, has ended its high court challenge to prevent the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, from privatising 70% of probation work, saying he recognised there were serious public safety risks involved.

      The decision, taken two days before the case was due to begin, removes one of the last remaining hurdles to the privatisation of the supervision of 200,000 low- to medium-risk offenders a year, a process that is due to take place early next year.

      On Friday Grayling formally notified successful bidders that they had been awarded contracts to run the 21 new community rehabilitation companies. Two partnerships led by private companies have won the majority of the contracts.

      Last week the union claimed that an unprecedented increase in the workloads of probation staff as result of preparations for privatising had been a material factor in two recent murders by offenders.

      Ian Lawrence, Napo’s general secretary, said the union had decided to conclude its judicial review after forcing the justice secretary to acknowledge serious safety risks and to spell out how he intends to address its concerns.

      “Napo had no choice but to take out a legal challenge in order to force the justice secretary to disclose evidence of his testing processes. We have now seen that evidence and it is clear that our members’ testimonies have been taken into account and that the justice ministry are taking our concerns seriously. However, we will be holding the justice secretary to account to ensure that he implements the safety measures before the private providers take ownership,” Lawrence said.

      It is understood that a commitment to a significant recruitment drive to ease staffing and workload pressures and assurances on access by staff in the new community rehabilitation companies to offender records in the remaining national probation service contributed to the decision not to go any further with the legal challenge.

      The union is to ask the justice secretary to pay its legal fees.

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    2. And another thought. Surely the MoJ can only instigate and make a commitment to a recruitment across the whole sector (NPS and CRC) whilst the CRC remains in public hands? Once we have been sold off, it will be the new owners that determine the staffing levels, surely? I feel sure no private company will be wanting to take on extra staff they havent budgetted for.
      Deb

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    3. I'm assuming the recruitment drive will be NPS only. As you say, I don't see how the private sector companies can be ordered to train new staff.

      What a complete betrayal.

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    4. They can't.
      Well, not without a re-draft of the contracts and a shit load of additional money. Without the first there is nothing stopping them from just pocketing the second!

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  24. If this is it - I am so disheartened! Many of us have fought tooth and nail in this campaign but there are also many who haven't. Makes me wonder whether we should all have taken decisive and strong action a long time ago? No bloody token day on strike but a proper fight to bring our plight into the public eye might have worked? We can't forget that our union is us, if our union has failed we have to bear some responsibility.

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  25. I sat and listened to Ian Lawrence rally the few of us in Northumbria and DTV who could be bothered to get off our arses and attend a branch meeting last Thursday. I came away with the feeling in my water that even he didn't believe the rubbish he was spouting. Mendacious lying bastard - you can't tell me he didn't know what was going to happen. I can assure you there will be one less attendee at the next Branch meeting and £20 of my hard earned money that won't be winging its way down to London.

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  26. How can Ian Lawrence unilaterally announce, with no genuine disclosure of the reasons, or discussion with members, that a legal process has been abandoned after all the fight and commitment shown by his members? I am utterly stupefied and disgusted. It is the members that have been abandoned and we need to know why.

    For instance, can Lawrence tell members what he personally expects to be the benefit to members, and what he will get out of this? Can he for instance, reassure us that will not, for instance, take a job with NOMS, or any future role that might make us feel that we have been sold down the river? Surely members can collectively demand that he never benefits from this decision in the future, and is above suspicion.

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    1. Probably because that is the way the constitution is structured with him as (I think the term is chief negotiator) However it is very unlikely if he has decided on his own, as the statement is published on behalf of: -

      " Ian Lawrence (General Secretary) and the Napo Officer Group " and as I understand it, the officers are responsible for decisions in between NEC meetings, though those actions are subject (where feasible) to NEC ratification. I say where feasible - without looking up the constitution, because some decisions, such as instructing solicitors have immediate and permanent effect.

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    2. I think its Ian and Yvonne Patterson Co Chair who have represented Napo

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  27. You really didn't do well addressing your grievance thinking did you?

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    1. Sorry my above comment is for anonymous at 17.45.

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  28. Oh you think so?
    Well there are many ways to resist this crap and if needs be underground we go....

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  29. Please excuse my unprofessional language, but on this particularly difficult day we've attracted the unpleasant attentions of a tosser and I'm not prepared to have the blog taken over by any arse - so comment moderation is very likely to be imposed whilst I go out shortly. I'll be burning the midnight oil later and will publish anything worthwhile asap.

    Stay tuned as I seek out any further information and I'll post just as soon as I can.

    Jim

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  30. This is all that you deserve, Union Dinosaurs stuck in the past, a weak
    unprofessional workforce = weak unprofessional union.

    Keep doing your job, keep receiving payment.

    What's the problem?

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    1. Sad, very sad, but it's the price one pays for open access blogs. I'm fairly sure this is the self same person who bombarded us with increasingly gratuitous shite several months ago. Needless to say they did not take up the offer of a guest blog in which to explain their thoughts and problems with probation, despite saying they would.

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  31. Resigning from Napo is cutting off your nose to spite your face. You would have to be made of stone not to understand the anger and disappointment, but resigning only further weakens workers' protections.

    The hope was a delay in the share sale and once in the long grass of the impending election, a new commissioning model that did not involve private sector predations. The JR application was, in my view, always clutching at straws and it was a sop to a restless minority of voices who demanded that Napo do something. The real failure lies with the membership in lacking motivation and solidarity to resist TR in numbers. I believe that union solidarity has been withering on the vine for years. Part of the responsibility must lie with a pragmatic leadership that failed to inspire and the rest lies with an apathetic membership whose demographics have become increasing conservative and cautious and who are disinterested in the efficacy of industrial action and cannot see the writing on the wall.

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    1. The ONLY failure lies with the leadership. Along with the rest of their lies they would have you believe that it was the membership who were at fault but as I've said before, if they'd shown any kind of commitment to action, if they'd agitated, informed and built for action things could have been very different. But no - our leadership have actively avoided meaningful action, and have deliberately frustrated any efforts to make a real stand against the decimation of our service. It serves their purpose to blame the members, but they know as well as we do that no call for real action was ever made, no plan was ever tested - the membership was never properly consulted because plainly the people pretending to lead us didn't want to risk real action being taken. We all know that the action on Judicial review was ultimately only taken when the self serving aresholes heading this union became afraid for their own position - and whadayaknow: it turns out all of their assurances , their promises, their undertaking to our our AGM all stand for nothing. Just lies. They've abandoned the supposed Judicial Review efforts on the flimsiest of pretexts. After a sham of a campaign against TR we now see it was a sham of a Judicial Review action as well. Imagine - the courts have granted us a judicial review and WE have decided not to bother! It was due to be heard in two days! But because the boss has now promised to be a little more considerate we've dropped the challenge?!? No one is that naive, and no is that incompetent, so the only logical conclusion is that the union leaders are acting quite deliberately - to end the campaign, to facilitate the introduction of TR, and seemingly to destroy the union as a serious concern from this point forwards. We've been sold out. the members' only fault was to trust people who have deliberately led them up the garden path.

      Simon Garden

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    2. AND as I have said before Napo policy and the manner of its implementation is fully in the hands of all the full members collectively who all are entitled to propose policy and determine by majority what policies are adopted.

      Thereafter individual Napo members have their elected representatives to oversee the policy on a regular basis via the national executive committee and even after that the elected officers and even the elected general secretary.

      That some members choose not to be active in using the constitution, is not the fault of those who take the lead in overseeing the union's affairs. Right now the Officers and NEC members need strong support to get the best for members that is possible after this acknowledgement by the Secretary of State that " (he) has now recognised the risks and set out publicly what he says he is going to do to solve these problems. "

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    3. Your analysis is spot on Netnipper. I've never been a great fan of putting faith in leaders and this is an unfortunate weakness of probation folk who seem to think the solution . There have been some truly great Napo people working tirelessly since day one doing whatever they can and going the extra mile. These are the Napo faithful who actually do the bulk of the work The fact is that most branches struggle to get a good showing of members at their branch meetings that should be packed to the rafters. There are an annoyingly growing band of people who have taken to sneering at Napo's efforts and those of its hardest working activists but when it comes to rolling up their sleeves getting stuck in to the day to day work that needs doing like representing members or getting actively involved in the campaign they are nowhere to be seen. Some of the retired members of Napo frankly put some of the younger members to shame. There is however a very unhelpful belief that you just pay your subs and low and behold everything gets done because they think that is the way things work. There are also those who think they have scored a point for the righteous by calling people names and ventilating their feelings against the best efforts of others. Apocalyptic pronouncements and appeals to populist sentiment calling for the resignation of Napo's paid officials or even resigning from the union will not make any difference other than to potentially weaken Napo who are engaged in important negotiations to save jobs and hold on to hard fought for terms and conditions by national officials and experienced local reps. If this work does not receive the solid support from the membership it needs right now then important ground will be lost and all probation staff will suffer as a result when planned cuts - that have largely been put on hold for political reasons - will start to bite hard. There are already signs that harsher treatment of some vulnerable staff groups is becoming a daily reality and union reps are finding it increasingly harder to get satisfactory outcomes.

      Those who have left permanent jobs to become temps are simply going to make it easier for employers to shrink the workforce when forced to do so by enforced budget cuts as employment law offers few protections. Beware!! Plans are already being drawn up by NOMS estimating how many NPS staff will need to be shed, how many offices will need to close, who are essential staff , and who can be let go. Redundancy will no doubt be at the standard rate with no money in the pot for generous enhancements.

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  32. Well that was worth the bother!!

    Really shocked we didn't at least get the day in court.

    It finishes as it all started, all a bit lukewarm and directionless.

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  33. Lawrence you Quisling ! This was about taking a stand. It's not for you to pre-empt the outcome, back down and tell us that's all we're going to get. In Manchester it was all we had left before the encroaching purple void you collaborator.IT WAS ABOUT TAKING A STAND! whatever the outcome. My resignation from NAPO is now inevitable. Bastards !

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    1. "encroaching purple void you collaborator" - dont forget some of those branch exec members who are in for the little favours from managers whilst the rest of us suffer and get fucked up.

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  34. I can't believe what I have just read. We are going to lose members left, right and centre we should have had our day in Court!

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  35. I'm so deflated and angry we should have had our day in Court. How can Napo believe anything that lying bastard says if it's not in writing then we are fucked!

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  36. Never underestimate the great British fall back position of incompetance-CRCs will rush headlong into trying to turn a profit and in doing so sacrifice things such as good practice and will shed good quality staff because (All together now) Others can do it cheaper....

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  37. what a joke - courts are in a mess; NPS in my area are over staffed, CRC understaffed, staff cant move between the two, cant see each others cases and apparently the Through The Gate will soon be trotting through our doors. We should've had our day in court and I'd like to know what exactly caused NAPO to throw the towel in cos that's what they've done.

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  38. Was this run past the NEC? Will the legal advice be published for all to see? Have we given up the one chance to delay this till post- election? If there are no satisfactory answers, the GenSec has to go, no ifs, no buts, just fuck off

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    1. "the GenSec has to go, no ifs, no buts, just fuck off" - so elegantly put...you have my vote

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  39. I am enraged by the latest bulletin from NAPO. Why are we back to snippets of info and 'if you want to know more speak to your Link Officer'? How can we monitor the 'promises' made by CG if we dont even know what they are?
    Picking up the thread in papa's guest blog, and if the Union is its members (as Netnipper has just reminded us), then maybe now is the time for a wholesale clearout of the top table - a vote of no confidence in the whole lot of them from General Secretary down, and we start again with a fresh lot of committed faces.....just a thought
    Deb

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  40. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We are pleased Napo have backed down before they could waste even more time and money.

    "These reforms have been and continue to be carefully managed with a focus on the safety of both the public and our employees.

    "They are essential if we want to bring down the stubbornly high reoffending rates."

    Exactly! The union have backed down. How patronising though. It's like, "at last napo have picked up all the toys and put them back in the pram....fancy napo spending all that money when the gov know best...silly napo" This comment makes NAPO look weak and shows the contempt the MOJ have for the union. It's naive to think grayling will stick to any promise made. we all knew JR wasn't going to stop privatisation but it would have made him legally accountable...exact nature of improvements and timescales etc.

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    1. Don't let the MOJ spin put you off - Grayling is firstly a Public Relations practitioner and he has a whole team of spinners in his employ.

      What he is doing with statements like that is like the opposition supporters booing a goalkeeper as he prepares to defend a penalty; if he takes his eye off the ball the penalty taker is more likely to score. So please do not react to it.

      In this case the 'penalty taker' still has to hit the target and judging by what I am still reading about the design of TR - it will fail - but because the split has already happened many will be unnecessarily hurt or worse, so it should continue to be resisted.

      It seems that maybe the resistance needs a withdrawal of all cooperation, which in itself has personal consequences, but I guess folk need to think what is best for themselves individually and collectively for the nation, in the short and long run - the answers will vary person by person.

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    2. "These reforms have been and continue to be carefully managed with a focus on the safety of both the public and our employees.

      A pregnant WalesCRC probation officer was hit in the stomach and had her top ripped by a female offender in a building not fit for purpose, She is now on the sick. The building is still being used just as it was. NPS do not use the building.
      How is that 'being carefully managed with a focus on safety'?

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  41. Good post Netnipper and very true. This is not the time to leave a union - do you know what workers rights are like in the private sector? Be very careful colleagues....

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  42. Napo – the probation officers’ union and professional organisation – has finally forced the Justice Secretary to recognise the serious safety risks in the re-organised probation service, and provide details of the steps he will take to address Napo’s long-standing concerns before Community Rehabilitation Companies are sold into private ownership.

    As a result, Napo has today concluded its legal action and is satisfied it has achieved everything it was possible to secure through its court case. It will ask the High Court to order the Justice Secretary to pay the legal fees it has been forced to incur to make him face up to the safety issues in the system.

    Since July, Napo has presented the Justice Secretary with compelling evidence that the re-organised probation service created unacceptable risks to the safety of the public and staff. But the Justice Secretary has refused to meet personally with union officials, and has therefore refused to tell them if he even understood the problems he has created by fragmenting the probation service. After months of trying to make the Justice Secretary co-operate and respond to the safety issues, Napo brought the matter to court.

    Napo told him that the new system created, amongst other dangers:

    An unprecedented and dangerous increase in the workloads of probation staff which directly affected their ability to manage offenders properly and created a serious risk to the public.
    Significant risk to staff members who, after access to ICT records was restricted, had to meet dangerous offenders with no information about their crimes or the risks they posed.
    Dangerous delays in the allocation of offenders to appropriate supervising probation officers.
    In the court proceedings, Napo demanded:

    (1) Disclosure of the Justice Secretary’s evidence and test results on the safety of the system;
    (2) That the Justice Secretary should take account of Napo’s evidence and representations about the risks he had created;
    (3) Recognition that the system was currently not operating safely and that a number of steps had to be taken before it is safe to transfer it to the private sector.

    On 26 November 2014, the High Court ordered him to hand over the safety evidence and Napo made detailed representations to the Secretary of State on the outstanding safety concerns on 1 December. Documents handed over by him on the afternoon of 4 December show that he has recognised and is addressing all of the safety concerns raised by Napo.

    Napo remains committed to ensuring its members and the public are protected, as far as possible, from dangerous offenders. It will closely monitor the Justice Secretary’s implementation of the amendments he says will make the system safer and will hold him to his promises. Napo will also bring private law proceedings for any of its members injured as a result of the Justice Secretary’s misguided ‘reforms’.

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    1. Forgive my bad language Jim, but this is a complete and utter fucking crock of shit. Whilst I often read comments, I rarely if ever add my own, however, this lasts EPIC FUCKING OWN GOAL by NAPO has left me so incensed that I just had to get it off my chest.

      Grayling is a utterly mendacious and lying bastard and if anyone thinks for one minute that his concessions will be little more than a complete whitewash then they are mistaken. He just does not give a fuck. At all. We, the clients and the taxpayers are little more that pawns and/or collateral damage in his twisted scheme to fuck over the 'little people'. This will all end in tears, NAPO as a Union is now completely dead in the water (which BTW is just what Grayling wanted) and our one chance of making a real difference has just been blown. I guarantee that, by the end of January, Grayling will be able to 'demonstrate' that eh has complied with everything requested and we can all go and fuck off.

      Again, apologies for the swearing but I am absolutely livid.

      On another note, there was a comment previously about recruiting more PO/PSO's. If these additional wages/financial impact was not in the original proposal when the CPA were sold off, then I feel that one the privateers take over then any additional (and by that I mean you or I, rather than last in first out) will be sacked. Makes sense to the private companies but does little to support any notion of job security.

      On a final note, my NAPO subscription will be cancelled by 2015.

      Delete
  43. Why trust CG with all the evidence of how little he is to be trusted? The govt has been losing to challenges by JR left right and centre. We needed the protection of a Judge's ruling. This is cowardly, particularly at a time when democratic rights are being dangerously eroded. CG has used the 'soft' option of probation upon which to happen his claws - it will be the NHS, police and education next in line for wholesale destruction. We will have nothing left of value.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Well. A few colleagues and I saw the email this afternoon and I didn't think it was possible for heads to drop any lower. I think some of the membership have had unrealistic expectations of what JR would achieve - it was never a magic wand to undo all the damage - and I have generally been supportive of Napo's approach in legal terms, but this just felt like a defeat.

    I would like to echo Simon's comments above that "the point of judicial review action is that the fucking court was supposed to issue a ruling and according directions" (including the swearing, because I feel like I need it right now ok). I can't see why we wouldn't go forward and get that legal backing, and would like to see more detailed explanation of the legal position ASAP - not to mention of these promises that have been made. As some have already said, I can't see how CG can address all of Napo's safety concerns without rolling back the split and stopping share sale! The split is the cause of the risks to public, staff and service user safety that formed the basis of the JR as far as I can tell, and there's only so much that can be done within that fundamentally flawed environment.

    For me, we needed our day in court and the legal backing the JR would have given us had it proved successful - as it seems likely to have done given the indications about the evidence in this press release?! And as a bonus there's what yet another JR defeat might have meant for Grayling himself, though the man seems to be Teflon coated.

    I've had (another) bad day and this news was the cherry on top. I shan't be making any rash decisions in this state of mind and without hearing more from the union in the days to come. It would take a lot for me to quit - trade unionism is ingrained in me, and it's not just about this campaign, it's about basic and vital workplace protection and support. Napo (and Edridge) have helped me through some difficult times, and I wouldn't have the more informal support network of other members across England and Wales without it, that's been so important over the past year especially.

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    Replies
    1. " I can't see why we wouldn't go forward and get that legal backing, "

      I presume because Grayling's lawyers have advised him the minimum concessions/agreements he needs to make, to probably satisfy the Judge and in return Napo's lawyers have advised the Union that he has done enough - this is not the time to think in terms of having lost - Napo has made small gains - now the MOJ need to comply with the commitments they have made.

      The split remains in place, obviously, but sadly was not the subject [for legal reasons] of the Judicial Review, and I think Napo was out of time to seek a JR about how the split was implemented.

      Delete
  45. stunned! Feel sick. I saw the press release headed 'NAPO Judicial Review concludes..' and ended in saying that on 4 Dec Grayling handed over documents which show how he is recognising and addressing all those safety issues highlighted by NAPO, and I thought 'this sounds wrong, surely it means to say 'which appear to show...' as the way it is written, all mealy mouthed, it looks as if NAPO has backed down.'

    And then I opened the Blog, and I felt sick. Surely they could at least have gone for the sell-off being put on hold UNTIL all the measures were addressed. CG will spend months appearing to sort out the risks. What a kick in the stomach. And to make matters worse, Jim states that NAPO made the decision 2 days ago, but not a hint to its members, who have worked so hard to support the union in gathering the evidence. So many people have risked their jobs by giving evidence and their name to the JR. How must they be feeling?

    Although I am retired, and not subject to the sh...t which staff have been desperately trying to cope with in a bid to continue to do their best, against all the odds, I loved the job, and the opportunity to help turn lives around, and I have done my little bit to keep that going -writing to CG, (just last week,) and previously my MP, and have spoken with him, and the media, and contacted NAPO and been a go-between for colleagues, who have emailed me unsafe chaotic situations, which I have sent on to the blog and to NAPO on their behalf, and taken time out from working with a charity which I support, who needed me more. And for what purpose?

    I feel bitter, and sorry for all of you out there, who have been given false hope, and I have sympathy for the campaign staff, not at the least Tania, who presumably, did all the gathering of info with no say on the decision making processes. I feel sorry for Jim, who has done a wonderful job in supporting staff and giving them a safe space to spill their pent up rage, and I feel empathy for Joanna, too who sacrificed so much, and almost single handedly got NAPO to go ahead with the JR. NAPO, you have so let her and every member down. I was planning to sign up for membership again, but now....

    And there is no chance now to let parliament, and the public, know how much CG lied, and lied, and lied, and the public will go on believing it was all Probation's fault cos we wouldn't supervise the under 12 mothers. It will remain the soppy Service, about which no one has a clue. Will someone PLEASE tell them that the Service OFFERRED to take on this group, but were told 'no, we will not be proceeding with that, not with you lot anyway, we want to make a few quid out of this, not spend it.'

    And its gut wrenching to know that CG is not the nutter we all believed - he has bided his time, acted out his cunning plan, and manoeuvred NAPO into a corner - bet he is a master at chess, and also bet he is knocking back the champagne tonight, along with his 2 henchmen. Nice one!!

    Neville Chamberlain lives! Watch war break out now...I wouldn't blame you. My thoughts are with you all.

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  46. "A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We are pleased Napo have backed down before they could waste even more time and money."

    This statement just demonstrates the utter utter contempt that the MoJ has for NAPO. If we consider this anything less than a negative result then we are as foolish as our Union.

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    Replies
    1. Utter contempt for justice, not just for Napo.

      But I expect that from the MoJ, so my anger towards them is tempered. Napo, on the other hand... Ian Lawrence: my resignation email will be with you in the morning.

      Delete
  47. And we still have the same Chief Inspector of Probation. This issue has gone very quite. How can he still be on his job. Has CG won again ?

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  48. I have to say I did not see this coming. From Grayling yes, I believe Grayling is capable of the most dastardly of tactics deception and out and out lies (and let's not forget Grayling is just one individual who will come and go - the entire Tory Government is culpable here with their destruction of the welfare state and wholesale selling off the public sector). HOWEVER what the hell is going on at Chivalry Road? How can NAPO Central withdraw 2 days before we go to Court? We need to know what has happened, what was agreed and we need more detail. Contact your local rep! wtf - get real we need information - not left wondering what is going on and where we go from here. Grayling and MoJ rubbing their hands with glee and laughing all the way to share sale now What are we going to do about this???????

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  49. The strong feelings are understandable. My information is that Grayling provided a written response on 04/12/14 indicating that he was showing 'good faith' in dealing with the concerns raised in NAPO's letter. The legal advice given to NAPO at this point was that they had achieved as much as they could because the Judge would find against them should it go to Court.

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  50. Further to my blog above 19:54 - I did precisely as Ian Lawrence suggested and I contacted my local union rep for more information - bless my poor rep - she just read about it on social media and has no idea what the hell is going on. I do not like what I am assuming - we need to know not assume - NOT GOOD ENOUGH - AN ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES FROM OUR UNION - Shame on you.

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  51. dont blame napo in my office no one could be arsed going on strike ,they might start reflecting when they start losing pay but there mostly automones who wouldnt get worked up by that the probation workforce is alas full of robots now ...

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  52. I have just read another comment from Ian L, from a link on his twitter site, heading 'it was good up north', before going on to express regret for the initial response from members about the withdrawal of the JR, but they had no choice, due to complex issues including case law which he will try to explain later. At the moment they have info which they cannot reveal.

    He said NAPO has not given up the fight and are still working to a unified service.
    .....................................
    Is this a case of double bluff or am I just clutching......?

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  53. The ONLY failure lies with the leadership. Along with the rest of their lies they would have you believe that it was the membership who were at fault but as I've said before, if they'd shown any kind of commitment to action, if they'd agitated, informed and built for action things could have been very different. But no - our leadership have actively avoided meaningful action, and have deliberately frustrated any efforts to make a real stand against the decimation of our service. It serves their purpose to blame the members, but they know as well as we do that no call for real action was ever made, no plan was ever tested - the membership was never properly consulted because plainly the people pretending to lead us didn't want to risk real action being taken. We all know that the action on Judicial review was ultimately only taken when the self serving aresholes heading this union became afraid for their own position - and whadayaknow: it turns out all of their assurances , their promises, their undertaking to our our AGM all stand for nothing. Just lies. They've abandoned the supposed Judicial Review efforts on the flimsiest of pretexts. After a sham of a campaign against TR we now see it was a sham of a Judicial Review action as well. Imagine - the courts have granted us a judicial review and WE have decided not to bother! It was due to be heard in two days! But because the boss has now promised to be a little more considerate we've dropped the challenge?!? No one is that naive, and no is that incompetent, so the only logical conclusion is that the union leaders are acting quite deliberately - to end the campaign, to facilitate the introduction of TR, and seemingly to destroy the union as a serious concern from this point forwards. We've been sold out. the members' only fault was to trust people who have deliberately led them up the garden path.

    Simon Garden

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    Replies
    1. I'm clutching, but I think there is another side to this, I've read Ian's latest comment on the NAPO site, and on a comment on the previous blog this afternoon, it was noted that NAPO were advised by the Judge, on technicalities, that if NAPO went ahead, it would lose.

      Delete
    2. Sorry SG but the ballot Napo held regarding industrial action was consulting members. Every single bloody member should have come out when Napo called the strike. If they had we might not be in this position!

      Delete
    3. Meaningful action was never proposed. The union leadership pretend the membership didn't have the stomach for a fight when the truth is the leaders never built for a fight - they never worked for it, never tried to build unity or promote a collective sense of purpose in action. It better suited them to say 'oh the members will never go for it' when they know full well they never tried to properly engage the membership or to encourage them to recognise and act on their own strength. They made the odd gesture but in reality they adopted a defeated position from the outset - which should hardly be a surprise when pay negotiations in recent years have been a matter of their encouraging us to take what pittance we might be offered on the basis of the 'economic situation' - that is to say, doing the bosses' work for them. When our leaders had given up before they started there's little wonder that a firmer push for action wasn't forthcoming from the members. The people they were dependent upon to lead the fight didn't want to fight and encouraged them to believe it couldn't work - and then blamed them!

      Simon Garden

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    4. You are in cloud cukooland Simon. There was never any fight in probation the strike action showed that.

      Delete
  54. Hold Grayling to account...... how exactly? "Ask" for costs to be paid? Should've gone ahead and obtained an order for costs once - inevitably -successful. Unless payment of costs has been part of a cosy arrangement of bribes in return for pulling the plug. Bet there's a nice little job somewhere in there too.

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  55. Can we challenge the decision not to go to JR we need the review. Does anyone know the unions rules on this?

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  56. Massively disappointed, but JR was never the answer, the campaign in parliament was never the answer. ..........industrial action was......many bottled it, napo couldn't sustain it across the country, Unison bottled it, and to think otherwise is naive. Yes napo shot itself in the foot and elsewhere prior to the worst of JR, but that is not the fault of the current incombants. Leave napo join what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well not UNISON, obviously, because they have hardly stood shoulder to shoulder with us throughout our campaign (and it may have tipped things more in our favour if they had), but there are a couple of options out there that might be worth a look. I may give up on NAPO but I'm still 100% committed to trade unionism.
      Deb

      Delete
    2. Join PCS and be active in building strong branches

      Delete
  57. I went on strike twice, picketed in the rain, lost pay twice, gave a statement when others looked the other way, demonstrated in Epsom..... goodbye the service that I first learned about at the age of 15 while studying 'O' Level RE- Christianity in Practice-The Simon Community started by Anton Wallach Clifford, a former probation officer. While not of faith, his story was inspirational and set me on my path to join the service seven years later. Depressing to think of what has since happened and all for the worst. In my first office we used to visit all under 12 months sentenced prisoners, then they were gone as a consequence of legislative change! Probation workers were always willing to work with this client group. The rest is history......

    ReplyDelete
  58. The comment from the Ministry of Justice toady is loathsome - you've been forced into admitting that the operation you're running is dangerous to public safety, and all you come up with is this gloating?

    Despicable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They didn't so really 'come up with' it - our leaders gave it them.

      Delete
  59. I feel totally let down and demoralised. The review should have gone ahead even if only to put it in the public domain. If the tories are re-elected who or what is he going to destroy next. We owed it to ourselves, our service users and the public to fight this. I would also like to know who accepted the different terms and conditions between nps and crc. As far as I'm concerned they should have privatised the bloody lot. There might have been a few more staff willing to fight. All those in the nps think they are safe, all they've done Is dug their own graves.

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  60. http://www.russellwebster.com/police-commissioners-and-the-voluntary-sector/

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  61. In DTV today an email asking for EOI for vetting to work with Through the Gate. The general response in my office was to tell them to f*** off, be as stubborn as possible and wait until we are actually directed to do something. It will be interesting to see who in DTV embraces the changes and is willing to be the first to try to climb the new CRC ladder. I bet that makes them very popular with anyone anti-TR in their office. Which will be most of their colleagues.

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  62. 20.56 insulting re"all those in nps" not so. Loads in nps on picket line etc. Pejorative and derogatory statements are unhelpful. An nps picket.....

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  63. Anonymous 8 December 2014 at 19:18 wrote

    "I agree anon 17.42. Nothing short of a large scale front line walk out will stop them now. I reckon it'd be one or two weeks of strike action before the MOJ would agree to stop the signing of contracts".

    I'm up for a couple of weeks strike, if not longer. I have no significant savings and striking without pay will be a absolute killer for me and my family but what the hell. Maybe we could tell Grayling that we're not coming back to work unless he repays us any monies we have lost during strike action, with a caveat that the longer we are out the more he has to pay!!!!!!!!!!! I think we could accomplish a lot in two weeks. For a start, think of all the PSR's that need doing. Allocations, Paroms, Child Protections, HDC's...the whole place will grind to an absolute halt.

    I think someone once described Probation as the grease that ran the wheels of justice. You may not notice us, but without us things will grind to a halt. Lets have a strike, ALL OF US. This is our Rosa Parks moment. We can stand firm or forever be resigned to domination by those who think they are better than us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a spare penny. But, I am willing to beg (not steal) or borrow if it meant that this charade stopped now! If it takes one week or two, it would collapse around his feet!!

      Delete
    2. You'd need a union to do that. We know now that there isn't one.

      Delete
    3. I'm skint and ready lets do it. Unions have not helped so we need to take collective action, like I said earlier on the blog, they need us more than we need them. LETS GO FOR IT.

      Delete
    4. completely agree - I have no savings and would struggle financially but if it had a chance of achieving our objective I would join the strike. Unfortunately, there are too many who wouldn't!

      Delete
    5. LETS GO FOR IT, WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOOSE.

      As I said earlier they need us more than we need them. Fuck the unions bunch of spineless arseholes. Who gave them the right to withdraw the TR without consulting their members, we are the union so why weren't we asked. Also if the judge saw fit for us to proceed then we had a case. We should have been allowed our day in court. I am so mad I could cry. As allocated to CRC I have been well and truly been shafted.

      Delete
    6. People crossed picket lines for just 2 days and that was before they thought they were safe in the nps, there is absolutely no chance now.

      Delete
  64. This has made me even more determined to fight this spud-headed sociopath and his pathetic glove puppets.

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  65. I too am totally devastated by this news! I have fought so hard against TR, done all that has been asked campaign wise. It feels so wrong that Napo have decided not to pursue JR, an email with half a story isn't very helpful either.We all know that Grayling is a bloody liar so why believe a word now? I don't care if we would have lost, we should have fought all the way. I just feel our colleagues in CRC have been sent like lambs to the slaughter, with newly qualified PO's being trained up within a year and CRC PO's stuck there! Well I plan to leave. This feels like the end of probation as I know it.Long term I can't manage the high workload in NPS without it having an impact on my health. I don't want to work for crappy working links either! Thanks to Grayling and the rest of you tory twats for ruining a career I worked so hard for, a career I loved.

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  66. @ 20:46 It is disgusting.

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  67. Thank u very much NAPO for living little protection to staff in CRCs. Bunch of fuckwits

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  68. Who benefits if the Union folds? Am I correct in assuming staff and members equally share the assets? In which case has I.L. deliberately followed a course of action designed to reduce the membership, dare I suggest it might be for his own benefit. He certainly achieved a massive reduction in membership this afternoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there has been some pretty stupid comments on here today but this one takes the fucking buscuit! Jeez!

      Delete
  69. They've had 6 months to sort out the chaos so what will change now. The decision should at least have gone back to thé membership.

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  70. So Grayling is paying Napo's Court costs, how much will that be?............30 pieces of silver I reckon!
    You sold us out Ian Lawrence, it's time for you to go... what goes around comes around!

    H.

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    Replies
    1. That would be funny if it wasn't so accurate! O_o

      Simon Garden

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    2. I don't want Grayling to pay for our lost fight. were the fuck is our principles NAPO

      Delete
  71. MoJ said we "backed down" and that is true, we have been well and truly trodden into the dirt , the MoJ know that , NAPO know that !
    Where was the brinkmanship , taking it to the 11th hour , squeezing the better deal out of the MoJ ? Showing the poker face to extract the promise of reform, the promise of costs , the promise of job protection - Why do we need 500 more people when so many will lose their jobs??? utter joke , employ more to take the roles of well qualified and resourceful staff - no wonder we "backed down" - we took the kicking and continued to get back up for more - we will not be able to hold the providers to account they will piss themselves laughing for the position we take - I said earlier we bottled it and comments here reinforce that view.

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  72. Call a strike now this will sort the wheat out from the chaff. If we can't persuade our colleagues, fuck em. Its time to get radical, you'll be serving frys in McDonalds so might as well give it a go

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  73. I am speechless. Bastards all of them. We should have kept to JR and have our day in Court.

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  74. anon 21:42 so true - the human staff cost of all this debarcle is heartbreaking, the longserving staff who've been in the fortunate position to leave have done so and this final twist in the tale will push a few more over the edge, they just do not have to hang around to deal with this shit.

    maybe, just maybe this latest turn of events will anger enough people to call a strike - it would be better represented now the reality is tangible - unlike last time.

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  75. has anyone else seen the latest comment from Ian L on the napo.org.uk site - which I referred to above, at 2018? I accessed it from Ian's Twitter (I site, - the latest tweet 4 hrs ago saying 'GS blog on ...(and then the napo link)- which I clicked on to.

    It is on the usual blue NAPO screen, headed 'it is great to get up North', about his recent visit to Nle, but if you open MORE, there are about 9 paras, attempting to explain what today's JR withdrawal was about.

    He said they have not given up the fight but are tied by law into going into further detail but are hoping to get legal permission to give us some more info..

    He states that they are working towards having a more unified service, with responsible partnerships, and operating very much like the Service we are familiar with.

    Read it, it's interesting, raising more questions, than answers. But it would appear that there is a valid reason for this horrendous decision.

    Did they have no choice? It has been said that they were warned if they went ahead they would lose 'cos of the Court being satisfied .that CG was addressing the issues which were the mainstay of NAPO's challenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How on earth can a union be constrained from telling its members something that it is supposedly doing on their behalf, which is to their advantage?. I think I know what it is - they've bought us a bike.

      Delete
  76. It is ridiculous to talk of leaving Napo. Defeatism all round. Collective bargaining on pay will become zilch and there will be no thorn in the side of those in power. Did the suffragettes give up the struggle after defeats, did the ANC in South Africa, did the civil rights movement in the USA ......etc?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pay negotiations pfttt !!! Napo have colluded in discriminatory pay talks for at least the past 5 years !! Where's our pay rise this year ??

      Delete
  77. One more vote here for strike action.

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    Replies
    1. Having given it some thought, whilst it's going to hurt my bank balance I'd be up for s prolonged period of strike action. God onows I could do with a break from the incessant amount of PSRs that I've been writing lately. I think a prolonged, and by that I mean weeks, is going to be necessary to demonstrate the depth of our feelings and the impact of what things will llok like without a NPS or CRCs. Lets hit the fuckers hard :)

      Delete
  78. Very true Anon 22:39. We have to keep going and a full all out strike might be the way ahead. So let's get a feel for whether staff are up for it?

    ReplyDelete
  79. Meaningful action was never proposed. The union leadership pretend the membership didn't have the stomach for a fight when the truth is the leaders never built for a fight - they never worked for it, never tried to build unity or promote a collective sense of purpose in action. It better suited them to say 'oh the members will never go for it' when they know full well they never tried to properly engage the membership or to encourage them to recognise and act on their own strength. They made the odd gesture but in reality they adopted a defeated position from the outset - which should hardly be a surprise when pay negotiations in recent years have been a matter of their encouraging us to take what pittance we might be offered on the basis of the 'economic situation' - that is to say, doing the bosses' work for them. When our leaders had given up before they started there's little wonder that a firmer push for action wasn't forthcoming from the members. The people they were dependent upon to lead the fight didn't want to fight and encouraged them to believe it couldn't work - and then blamed them!

    Simon Garden

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  80. I'm leaving NAPO. I'm disgusted.

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  81. Not a chance in hell of a full out strike.When will people realise we are dealing here with Thatchers bastard offspring. She broke the back of the working man and woman years ago. The Tories are doing what the tories have always done, privatise everything and fuck em all! If I go on strike for 2 weeks I lose my home probably. If I lose my job I lose my home. I will take my chances alone and clearly shows why I stopped paying subs years ago. The unions are a joke and I am sad to say this.




    ReplyDelete
  82. Probation Officer8 December 2014 at 23:51

    Bad result but I'm not surprised at all and the words piss-up and brewery come to mind. Napo has it's place and (some) reps do good work (and not the ones that join up to defend their own poor performance and obnoxious attitudes either), but it's no big hitter. Did anyone really believe that IL and his inefficient team at Napo HQ could really take on a Tory government (and it's attack dog) and win?

    As you can tell I didn't expect Napo to win JR and I don't think Napo did either. I suspect Napo's JR effort (instigated under duress from members) was merely an attempt to slow TR and to please members. As Grayling has supposedly given assurances Napo has pulled out, probably to save on legal costs and who knows what riches may have been promised to IL & Co behind closed doors by Grayling and his friends at Sodexo.

    The assurances given by Grayling cannot mean much given his track record. I think even a weak Napo should have at least proceeded to the JR hearing even if just to force Grayling to give his assurances in Court, and to raise public and media awareness and support for probation and saving public services. In any case, CRC's will now be sold off without any opposition whatsoever and any "assurances" by Grayling or Napo mean nothing post-sale.

    Napo and CRC/NPS directors are now one and the same, the puppets of Grayling. Both sets of snakes knew TR couldn't be beaten and so instead helped to make TR happen and by their inaction supported the probation sell-off. Napo was slow to oppose TR in the first place and it's rate of opposition throughout has been abysmal. I don't necessarily think this failure is Napo's fault, but IL needs to take some responsibility for deluding members and giving false hope.

    The Save Probation fight/campaign is now well and truly over. I feel sorry for probation staff, whether NPS or CRC. Especially those that thought it's was going to turn out differently because it seemed like Napo had put its arse in gear. I had already realised it was a no-win a while back and just got on with being a PO as 'needs must' and all that. We're all in the same boat, and worryingly none of us know what the future holds for probation and our careers. My advice to colleagues is make it work for you where possible, and if that's not possible whether in the NPS, CRC or temping, then it's time to start making plans if you can.

    Good luck, God bless.

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    Replies
    1. " The Save Probation fight/campaign is now well and truly over. "

      I disagree and also disagree Napo 'lost' the JR.

      The Secretary of State has admitted what the Government Department he heads was doing was not safe and he has committed to make changes - some being the employment of more staff - that will cost more - though whether it or the other changes - we cannot yet have revealed - costs the CRCs profits we do not know.

      The CRCs are still signing up for major reputational damage.

      TR will eventually fail one way or another - the only question is can its start be delayed beyond the General Election and/or can it be stopped before more real damage - on top of the suicides, murders + sex assault on one practitioner increase in number or not?

      The MOJ is led by a very experienced exponent of the dark arts of propaganda and employs a whole squad of propagandists on top - it is obvious they are going to make statements aiming at belittling Napo and aiming to divide probation staff.

      It is despicable that in the UK we should have a Government that so undermines its own employees but that is a consequence of our system of governance and the votes of the electorate.

      Delete
  83. Colleagues, comrades, friends, what a dreadful evening it's been. I'm back in at the control panel with wine and nibbles, trying to make sense of it all and wondering what the hell to say.

    For the first time ever, I had to ask my long-suffering blog widow to steer the ship whilst I went out and left her with the task of publishing the comment stream. She has retired to bed and left me to ponder.

    I'd like to publicly record how wonderful she is and has been throughout this campaign. Behind every great blog there has to be a great 'other' and I know just how very lucky I am in that regard.

    Good night all. Lets see how it all looks in the morning.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jim and "long suffering" silent partner!

      Delete
    2. Perhaps a new "Consultant Editor" position awaits in the multinational , "On Probation Blog" organisation. Well done , keep up the good work , both of you.

      Delete
  84. You know its all a pile of poo when your Gen Sec uses the word "robust" in his spin/blog to members

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  85. The most dangerous part of TR is moving an offender when they are at their riskiest. I did a witness statement for JR and the legal team commented on my evidence in this area saying it was strong, and important point to make. How are MOJ going to make this safe? They can't unless they bring the two sides back together. We should have continued to fight on this point alone.

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  86. There is a lot of silliness being said and a few more reasonable responses to the news. I am told that certain senior NOMS officials find this blog amusing and like nothing better than to quote from it during meetings with Napo officials. The outpouring of unreasoned anger directed against Ian Lawrence and the national officials for acting responsibly in relation to getting the best outcome that was realistically possible in the circumstances is apalling and unjustified. There were undoubtedly good reasons to discontinue the JR not least the prospect of losing. Grayling caved in and basically gave Napo what they were requesting. Abandoning TR was not what the JR was about even though a lot of Napo members thought it was. There are too many robots working flat out to make it work for it to be stopped now. Many of those who are angry have done precious little other than complain.

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    1. "I am told that certain senior NOMS officials find this blog amusing and like nothing better than to quote from it during meetings with Napo officials."

      If Napo officials had spent less time fighting Jim Brown and colluding with NOMS on the Probation Institute, and more time listening to members and actually fighting TR - or at least communicating properly so that we understood what they were doing, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.

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  87. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence! Outsmarted by Mr Grayling, who we clearly underestimated! So if we all resign from Napo, then we give ascent to the split and privatisation of probation! Whatever mishandling we might believe happened at the top table, we members are the Union! The capitulation began in the work place long ago with so called 'members' failing to turn out to local branch meetings, national rallies and industrial action. Individuals who ducked behind the skirts of 'membership' whilst making critical jibes at those of us who tried our best to represent staff from an ever weakening position. Very few have stood up to be counted! This has been my observation. No one has come to me to ask 'where next', not that I've been given any meaningful information yet from the branch or from Chivalry Road, but many are candidly sneering at their own union's apparent lack of spine, when in fact the have themselves lacked the courage of their own convictions to make a stand in their own workplace. You can lead a horse to water... I salute my hard working branch executive officers and the ordinary members who attend meetings regularly, express views, vote, and put their money where their mouth is with action. The rest of you can either get a grip or respectfully remove yourselves from the bilges...

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