Saturday, 28 March 2015

Information is Power

I want to start this off by recording my thanks to colleagues and friends for sending me information and documents, especially over the last 24 hours. It's only by sharing information that this blog is able to be of any use, and especially at difficult times like right now. 

There were just short of 8,000 hits recorded yesterday and that not only demonstrates the level of concern out there, it says to me there's an urgent need for information because in reality that's the essential element for any kind of action, political or otherwise. I don't just mean information about the grubby plans our new privateer owners have either - I mean the many SFO's in CRCs and NPS that are being covered up right now as a direct result of this TR omnishambles. We always said whistleblowing would be an element in all this mess, well, with the election now in full swing, may I suggest the time has come?

These comments from yesterday particularly struck me:-

From Sodexo's website:

"Our employees personify our values and are our greatest asset"...They're obviously making an exception in our case.

******
I'm in Cumbria and Lancs and I know my heads for the chop as I'm cheap to get rid of. I've cried since I got home today after the 'blow after blow' emails that kept coming through. It's like they punched us down yesterday and then continued to kick us in the head as we lay on the floor today... Thank you to everyone for your solidarity and outrage on behalf of us. I feel more together-ness than I have ever felt through this entire messy and ugly process.

******
"Jim surely you can help sort a strike"

Of course he can - whilst rolling a fag using just one hand and eating 3 shredded wheat. Jim is though, doing more than the bods who collect a salary for doing naff all whilst Rome burns.

******
Here's an email from Cumbria and Lancashire CRC referred to yesterday:-

Dear Colleague

Firstly apologies for sending this information on a Friday afternoon, but I wanted to share the information relating to potential redundancy with you as soon as possible.

Many of you have raised questions about this and I give below the responses we have received to those questions.

In respect of the question relating to local redundancy agreements, I understand there is a further meeting between Sodexo and the MOJ which will take place shortly. We have provided Sodexo with information and further legal questions for them to consider in their meeting.

Regards,
Penny

Workforce Planning Information from Sodexo

Will be there be redundancies?
Yes.

When will we know many posts you will have in your new structures?
Having completed our due diligence, we are now in a position to share our ‘end state’ numbers with you. We have asked your CEO and senior management teams to start communicating these numbers with you over the coming weeks.

When will you start to formally consult with us?
Senior managers will be looking to commence formal redundancy consultation with your recognised representatives over the coming weeks.

Will you be offering the current enhanced voluntary redundancy (EVR) terms?
No. The National Agreement sets out that the enhanced scheme that was made available to those who were employed on 31st May 2014, only continued until 31st March 2015. The opportunity to apply under this scheme is no longer available. Whilst we will be following local processes for redundancies, there is no obligation on providers to offer any enhanced terms after that date.

We had planned on the basis that the majority of exits would be on compulsory terms, seven months after contract commencement, i.e. 1st September 2015, as per the National Agreement. If operationally possible and staff wish to exit early through a compromise, we are currently looking at whether we can offer an exit package on slightly enhanced terms.

We have made changes to our local Redundancy Agreements, what is the impact of this?
We are aware that, Cumbria & Lancashire, Northumbria and Essex CRCs have made changes to their redundancy policies based on their interpretation of the national agreements. We are currently in discussion with NOMS as to the implications of these local changes.

Will the resources allocated to CRCs for the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy scheme be solely used for that purpose?
We will ensure that where redundancies become necessary, we utilise all available funds and strive to maximise the benefit for as many employees affected as possible.


******
I know many people have been asking where Napo is in all this? In addition to the now typically lack-lustre offering from the General Secretary's blog, the following appeared on the website yesterday:- 

Sodexo publish their new service delivery model – hundreds of jobs at risk

Sodexo has just published its new operating model – out for a very short consultation period over Easter. This model is expected to be imposed across all its CRCs. Details so far published suggest that up to one third of posts will disappear by the Autumn. The model is comprehensive and has clearly been some time in preparation. There will be a reduction in not only staff numbers but also offices and desks. Call centres and reporting kiosks are proposed. ‘Low’ risk cases will be allocated responsible officers in call centres, rather than someone that the service user will actually meet. A voice on the end of the phone – not sure yet which country it will be in. New IT systems and risk assessment tools are proposed. As with the NPS, staff will be treated to HR support provided by a remote service centre. Consequent upon this, the jobs axe appears to fall most heavily upon corporate support staff but all grades, front-line as well as back-office are affected. A whole raft of draft HR policies have also been published for consultation and negotiation.

What is not apparent at first glance is any assessment of workload measurement for staff. Is the job manageable under this new model? Napo will be assessing the new service delivery model and responding to it.

******
I think we need to see this 'new operating model' as soon as possible and start discussing it openly, whether 'commercially sensitive' or not. We've got to share more information, because we all know information is power. 

Finally, I'm going to sign this blog post off with an anonymous piece that came in last night. Please keep contributing guys. Please carry on looking out for each other and please think before penning any ugly recriminations:-

'Where were you?'

Reading the blog yesterday astounded me in lots of ways. The avalanche of voices to 'strike', the echoes of grief as the realisation that job cuts were approaching and the hatred towards different levels of staff currently in post is disappointing.

I am a Union member, a Manager and have supported staff across the public and private divide. I have been on strike and have been saddened by the apathy of staff who found it amusing that I was on the picket line with other members in the cold, rain and sunshine. I have been the butt of rude and hurtful remarks by some staff who knowing I was on the picket line gave them licence to behave badly.

Christmas 2013 was my time of feeling angry with Chris Grayling, my Chief Executive at the time and the Unions; the lack of information and uncertainty, the realisation the battle was not going to be won, yet I kept campaigning, blogging, canvassing and supporting all levels of staff. I have never taken the view 'I am all right Jack..' I still campaign including going on the street canvassing 'Let's kick Cameron and Grayling into touch' you'll hear me say and yet that doesn't take away the sheer sadness around potential job losses of friends, colleagues and members who will be affected by the sheer numbers of redundant post TR will bring.

Russell Webster's blog talks of staffing numbers for CRCs Q3 14/15 as 8290.83 showing a reduction of CRC staff as 2% which is equivalent to 150FTE. With yesterday's announcement of job losses at 30+% in one CRC, with up to 20 other contract package areas about to make similar announcements, it doesn't take a lot to work out the impact of potential Job losses in CRCs in the imminent future.

Critically this is to be expected from the business models the MoJ have supported to make the necessary cuts across probation areas. As an NPS staff member I am well aware there will be redundant posts in NPS, it's happening now, under the surface hoping staff do not notice but the axe is reaching NPS soon, remember TR was build on forecasted cuts across both CRC and NPS, it will just take a bit more time to happen, the Prisons were first to be hit and a quick glance at NOMS Business Plan for 2014/15 gives a clear indication of what's coming next.

It is a cop out to start blaming everyone for the current situation, despite being a Union member I too have been critical of both Ian Lawrence and the Press Officer at NAPO for silence at our most critical times however my only question to those that have just woken up to this travesty, I ask you, 'When the Unions were campaigning to support a strike, where were you?'

75 comments:

  1. This is a very good point.......I was ridiculed when I went on strike and by some Napo members who had 'personal reasons' as to why they wouldn't strike.....this is exactly what we were fighting for,it's such a shame that we only understand the value of solidarity when trouble comes to our door

    ReplyDelete
  2. Does Lancs/Cumbria have any figures as to how many agency staff they are currently employing? Surely they should go to accommodate POs from. The CRC who were all shafted by the previous CEO who painted a rosy picture as to the role of the POs in the CRC.......still at least CEOs can sleep easy in their beds with their 3 year protected payment deal.......we're clearly not all in it together and never were despite their weasel words.....hopefully the equally shafted ACEs will now spill the beans on dodgy practices.....

    ReplyDelete
  3. I did strike and I was talked about and sneered in my office, I was asked by my manager when the time came to strike if I was striking, I said I was not telling him the point of the strike was to cause disruption. I was told that would be held against me. Was I worried no as I was standing my ground.
    Now this manager said to me yesterday we should strike. I laughed and walked away, not at the word of a strike, but him and his attitude.
    I am a simple person like simple things in life, I know life is short and things do have a way of working themselves out. But I woke this morning with panic in my mind, with all the questions of where do I go from here, I will lose the house, I do not have any savings at all to carry me on.
    Life is a roller coaster and to all I can say that things will work themselves out, maybe for the better for a lot of us.
    If I end up getting redundant I will be walking out of the office straight to the home address of the CEO of Sodexo and asking them how they came to their decision for my redundancy (if I can get past the locked gates)
    Thanks Jim for this site and all the information being shared by all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Where were you? Lets not forget all the people that were hell bent on making à fast buck and rubbing our noses in it by revelling in how much they were earning. They were also complicit in aiding TR. Even now there are those that think they are safe and will be unscathed by the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree, my line manager is walking around chest out thinking he is safe, but going by the numbers in cumbria he has not got a cat in hell chance of staying. Mind nor have I, but at least I don't think I am staying. We should strike

      Delete
  5. Where was I? On strike every time it was called for. Because it is a rare beast brought out in exceptional circumstances. Because it represents solidarity with colleagues at all paygrades. Because, however pointless or archaic it might appear, it is a powerful gesture - hence the high level of ill feeling towards those who made their excuses, who pulled faces & waved payslips through the window, who sneered & pointed fingers.

    Anon 8:26 - do not celebrate too early about ACE grades getting their 'come-uppance', most have deferred EVR in the bank and were only waiting (on ACE salary) to see what fate awaited their CRC. Like the CEOs who have baled out, or at about to - they all have platinum-lined parachutes (hand stitched with golden thread) to rely on when they jump.

    When I am pushed, I have to hope the housing market allows me to sell before the mortgage company run out of patience.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Question.......as someone who is more than likely soon to be discarded...but not until September (according to my union rep) what is my level of motivation likely to be in the next six months?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same level as mine zeeerrrroooooooooooo

      Delete
  7. Napo oh Napo, were for art thou?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're asking that I have to wonder where you are. I don't know much about unions, just paid my sub's and hoped someonbe else would do what needed to be done. That was until TR came around and I criticised NAPO for not doing enough. It was time to make a decision - leave NAPO as I had little faith in them or become more active in my branch with a view to making things better. I chose the latter not because of my faith in NAPO leadership but because I believed -and still do believe - that letting the Unions fail plays right into the hands of Grayling and the private companies. There is nothing they would want more. But we can't do it alone, we have vacancies in our branch we can't fill. If you feel you have anything left to give, regardless of how small, please contact your branch today and ask what you can do to help. For example, there is info NAPO are asking for from members, if there was one person in each office as liaison officer info sharing would be much improved. So instead of saying NAPO where are you please consider telling NAPO "I'm here - what part can I play?".

      Delete
    2. Please dont take the piss. Examples and more example, that all they want. What about what we want, ACTION

      Delete
  8. In light of the Sodexo announcement, Napo wonders about the implications for workload measurement – a false prophet that has been making promises for over a decade. Sodexo does not give two hoots about workloads and if this where Napo hopes to engage then it's another blind alley – like the framework agreement, like the probation institute and like the expectations that were raised by EVR, though in fairness Napo did caution that it would go to corporate staff – and didn't some do well?

    Basically, all the framework agreement achieved was seven months employment for everyone. And now all employees are seeing the power of Sodexo – to take away livelihoods. The unions have to decide whether they organise to resist compulsory redundancies. Agreements don't work between unequal parties. Only power can talk to power. No-one is safe. Loyalty by useful idiots counts for nothing: faces that fit today can be out of favour tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  9. For the first time in a long time, I have just had to say no to my son. Redundancies are on at work I said. Then reality hit me and I have just broke down. I hate this government, I hate sodexo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anony 09:36 Please share my snotty tissue and accept my virtual hug. I'm with you. I'm so scared about losing my house. My child needs things that I can't commit to and things have already been very tight with the pay freeze and rising cost of living. Maybe we should set up a commune of cast off probation employees?

      Delete
    2. A response to the post by Anony at 09:51.

      Maybe indeed BUT, there is employment outside of a probation CRC or the NPS as many have found out before.

      To sustain employment working in probation in almost any position it is inevitable, that a person as MANY very transferable (if not appreciated) skills.

      There are other jobs in public service as well and not every job for a Social Work employer like a Local Authority requires a pre entry social work qualification.

      Summer is a coming and seasonal work will be on offer in the Tourist trade - tourists (for example) come to all parts of the UK - sometimes temporary work in an unlikely trade can lead to other things as long as one is alert to opportunities.

      It is over 40 years ago, when I pitched up in Liverpool with a few weeks to wait before my probation training course started and I had a mortgage to pay, so I signed on as unemployed (I had paid my National Insurance for 8 years & was entitled to Unemployment Benefit as it was then called).

      There was a long queue at the Unemployment "Signing On" Office in Maghull, and a requirement to sign on at the Employment Exchange and pursue any vacancies. I found one for a rubbish porter at the 'House of Fraser' Department store in Central Liverpool - then called (I kid you not) "Binns" and they took me on and the pay was just a bit higher than the unemployment benefit. Within a week of going round the many departments emptying the rubbish bins etc.., someone on the management floor started chatting me up about other possible opportunities - I was surprised and angry because in Liverpool at the time many equally able folk were being laid off by all sorts of industries as the traditional docks were in the final stage of decline.

      The fact really is, as I guess most folk know, the best chance of getting a decent job, is to already have a job, any job. My philosophy, as a social worker then on, if you want work, take what ever is legally on offer as long as it pays more than unemployment benefits.

      My ancient recollections are little comfort to folk with worrying financial overheads, I do realise, but I have been there also, and again took the first job that came - which was driving a van delivering exhausts and tyres to Tyre & Exhaust fitters for one day, and then a small lorry to Northamptonshire, delivering fittings to furniture manufactures - that was for three days, which after a month of on off work, paid the mortgage until I got a locum social work job in 1988.

      Delete
  10. VIA TWITTER: -

    " Ian Lawrence ‏@IlawrenceL

    Napo and Unison demand that CRC owners stick to National Agreements on voluntary departure schemes. These run for the life of the contract! "

    https://twitter.com/IlawrenceL/status/580680861391151104

    Such break in contracts could justify legal and/or industrial action by Trades Unions, so if you are NOT a current member JOIN today to benefit from the protections membership provides when Industrial Action - taken with in the law - provides.

    I maybe wrong, please someone correct me - Industrial Action can only be legally taken after a secret ballot and against one's own employer. So whilst employees of different CRCs and the NPS might take coordinated Industrial Action, they cannot (legally) take Industrial Action in support of workers of a different Employer to themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is my understanding that Sodexo are not our employers. We are still employees of the CRC and Sodexo are just managing our contract?

      Delete
    2. Hey! look! A squirrel.

      This seems to be the most accurate precis of the Ian Lawrence/NAPO strategy.

      Delete
  11. this government and sodexo dint care about you breaking down, but you owe it to your son to stay strong.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Having always worked in private sector this is nothing new to me, having had more redundancies then I can count on both hands that is the new world of Admin, machines are taking over. I really feel for everyone in probation who have spent a lifetime in one company as it's tough out there. I found a position that I loved and thought this is it I have finally found a Company that values it employee's. My only advice is go to the wire, don't jump unless you have something to go to, or you are in a position that it suits you to do that. ITS hard out there and a lot of my colleagues don't have the qualifications to compete in the world of endless CV sending and interviews. Stay strong and good luck to all.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Where was I ? On the picket line every time, writing to MPs, Lords, Bishops, Local Councillors, seeing my own MP, delivering leaflets door to door, writing to everyone to sign the petition ( remember that?) and more.....Placed under investigation for my union activities, undermined by non union colleagues and trying desperately to get everyone to see what was coming and indeed, has arrived. Now I am knackered and burn out but need to find some fight.
    For god's sake NAPO wake up and act ! There is much to be done rather than complying with this crap use the techniques they used on you, delay obfuscate and defer. Then get every single f*****g case to an ET. Revisit JR now there is a new basis. Get Unison on board, get the TUC on board JUST ACT LIKE A UNION.
    A PO

    ReplyDelete
  14. The news of the Sodexo shafting came in just as another Northumbria CRC director celebrated his departure on EVR. Theres an emergency meeting of managers on Monday now the cats out of the bag, where the HR director, who is also getting EVR, will doubtless tell them how to spin this to keep people hoping until the axe finally falls. They should hang their heads in shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emergency meeting, shame we already know. Yes I have been disgusted with head of HR getting her bit and running. Well I have no effort left in me now. So I will work until they tell me I am going but I doubt I will be working to the same effort as before.

      Delete
    2. Totally!! and would you believe they actually had the nerve to ask for donations to a leaving collection!!! I hope the HR head isn't going to do the same...she might want to tip them the wink that she doesn't need one!! Well I for one am going to wind down my efforts...cant use threats and bullying tactics anymore as we now know the truth, we are already shafted so time to take the same attitude as Northumbria CRC SMT and Sodexo...sod the 'service users' lets milk it while we can...take a break from the stress folks, look after yourselves and sod the job!! Good luck with your re offending rates now...September is still a long way off, couldn't give a hoot about your targets now guys.

      Delete
  15. Off topic, but maybe worth noting.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-32048117

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Sussex hospitals trust's £15m contract for cleaning, portering and catering services has been cancelled. The five-year contract with firm Sodexo will end in July by "mutual agreement".

      Brighton and Sussex University NHS Trust outsourced services to the firm at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath in 2013. About 600 staff will be affected. Permanent contractors have been told they will be transferred to the trust.

      Sodexo said there will be no change to their terms and conditions, after the contract ends on 31 July. Those on casual contracts will have their employment "clarified" by the trust, Sodexo's operations director, Caroline Laver, said in a letter to staff.

      Ms Laver wrote: "We confirm your contract of employment including your rate of pay, contracted weekly hours and terms and conditions of employment are protected and will transfer to the trust. "We would like to assure you this change has been mutually agreed and is not a termination under our agreement by either party."

      Matthew Kershaw, chief executive of the trust, said it would be looking at the lessons to be learned from the outsourcing process.
      He said: "There have been inconsistencies with standards such as difficulties with maintaining cleaning standards. "It hasn't always worked as well as we wanted it to."

      Gary Palmer, from the GMS union, said: "There's obviously been a naivety with the costing of this contract, whether that was the trust in the first place trying to reduce the cost so much, or Sodexo's belief that they could come in and deliver it so cheaply.
      "Clearly, either one, or both, have got this totally wrong."

      Delete
  16. Just to add my support to you all as former colleagues. As a NAPO rep it was obvious to me from the beginning that the fall out from all of this was not going to be pretty:encouraging some colleagues to pull the ladder up thinking they were OK whilst other have been thrown to the wolves. As the only middle manager in my former Trust who took industrial action I was generally seen as a fully paid up member of the awkward squad and decided to trade in my CQSW and move to another job. I knew I would be seen as an easy target when the inevitable redundancies popped up and I had no intention of ending my career in that way.It is interesting to reflect that most of the active NAPO members ended up being shafted into the CRC,myself included.Remember the best predictor of future behaqviour is what has happened in the past- EVR was only ever going to be trousered by a few -when I read the proposals for EVR I mentally made a note of those I predicted would profit. I am confident I will have guesed right
    To colleagues in the CRCs do read these blogs- in between the understandable rage there is some sound advice.If you have allowed your union membership to lapse it now may be too late to sign up but if you are in either UNISON or NAPO get rep help asap,It makes senior management stick to the rules even if your rep feels out of their depth (don't bank on help from NAPO HQ)-take as much control over the process as you can but don't cut your nmose off as some are suggesting - going out through competancy proceedings is not nice and could affect your chances of getting another job. Think for yourself and your own needs and those of your family-the organisation you worked for and took pride in has been butchered and the crows are picking over the corpse.Whatever Grayling and co think you all have skills that other organisations will want to have -nil desperandum colleagues

    Anon ex SPO No 2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " If you have allowed your union membership to lapse it now may be too late to sign up "

      I do not believe it is - as far as I understand one gets the protections available under the law immediately on joining or rejoining.

      I think there maybe a three month wait for individual representation but redundancy negotiations for all employees of an employer would presumably not be covered by such a wait.

      As ever, any awards won for members collectively will also apply to non members, as with pay awards & much else in years gone by.

      The application process can be started today here: -

      https://www.napo.org.uk/join-napo-now

      Delete
    2. I agree - join NAPO as local reps are invaluable and have day to day working relationships with HR and other key management bods. I'd also agree don't cut ur nose off - keep your pride and dignity, i'd also, with regards colleagues, be a bit selective who I reveal my true thoughts to, try not to get involved in large lunchtime moaning sessions as things can (and have) been reported back to management by snitches.

      Delete
    3. Joining Napo now just prolongs the current general security's tenure. If you was to summarise his time in post, how would you describe it? Local Napo are the heroes!

      Delete
    4. I was in a meeting a few years ago all managers and staff of the department where there. We disagreed with what the management wanted us to start doing in work. We looked and asked the union rep in the meeting, who by the way was backing the managers all the way. Her reply was, if you do not do what they want you know where the door is.
      So my experience with the Unions is crap. Why pay money to a union to protect you and your working rights for them do dismiss you in meetings.
      I would not P**** on them if they were on fire.

      Delete
    5. The key is in the word 'union'

      Not one doing for another but all sharing and all responsible for what is done and the decisions that are made - if unions behave in ways I do not like it is because more folk of a different opinion to me have caused it to be that way, so if I have had my say and done my bit - I must accept it or leave - but if I have not rallied support for my views or even voted - what right have I that my opinion should prevail?

      Don't doubt that Unions have won many benefits for working people.

      Equal pay for women - fixed hours - paid holidays and so much else

      Delete
  17. Will the resources allocated to CRCs for the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy scheme be solely used for that purpose? We will ensure that where redundancies become necessary, we utilise all available funds and strive to maximise the benefit for as many employees affected as possible.

    It seems to me that the EVR pot is going to be used to cover ALL redundancies and not specifically for the purpose it was allocated for, meaning that Sodexo is using government money to cover the costs of its own obligations.
    THATS THEFT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I posted earlier about the unions revisiting JR, and the point you make Anon 11:36 might be one of the reasons.....

      Delete
    2. The funding was only specifically for EVR for a finite period, after that point the remainder was signed over to crc's for 'modernisation' or something.

      Delete
    3. no, remains ring fenced for redundancy

      Delete
    4. MoJ have stated clearly: "As part of the National Agreement on Staff Transfer, agreed with the Trade Unions in January 2014, the Ministry of Justice has agreed to fund an enhanced Voluntary Redundancy Scheme for the period to 31 March 2015. The Scheme has been targeted at corporate services and senior grades as this is where we anticipate a potential oversupply in the number of staff.

      The VR scheme is a very good deal for staff and whilst there may be those in untargeted roles who are looking to leave, there continues to be a business need for these roles and the scheme can only be used for where there is a potential oversupply of roles – specifically corporate services and senior grades."

      NAPO: "TR Briefing for Branches – update on BR 134/2014

      "16. Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy – The balance of monies from the ring-fenced fund for this purpose is being handed to the CRCs as a Mobilisation Fund – supposedly for use in ’rationalising’ workforces i.e. redundancies. This should be under the EVR scheme. We understand that whilst the last day of service has to be no later than 31 March 2016, there may be some extension of the deadline for agreement, which is currently 31st March this year. We await confirmation on this point."

      From the AGREED national agreement (unions & MoJ): "Voluntary Redundancies arising as a direct consequence of the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme

      This agreement includes an enhanced national redundancy scheme to apply during the transition period. The period covered by the agreement, attached at Appendix C, is up to and including 30 September 2015."

      Appendix C never seems to have been issued for consultation. Unison describe it thus: "APPENDIX C: VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY SCHEME
      This appendix is expected to set out the enhanced redundancy scheme which the Ministry of Justice will fund for staff who find themselves in posts which are ‘surplus to requirements’ following the transfer of staff to either the NPS or CRCs in April 2013.
      At the time of going out to consultation, the Ministry of Justice has not been able to finalise the voluntary redundancy scheme. This frustrates the claim of the Justice Secretary that he is giving staff 28 days in which to comment on the draft national agreement.
      On the basis of the negotiations to date, this is UNISON’s best guess at some of the features of the voluntary redundancy scheme, but these could change as a result of Ministry of Justice decisions:
      • The decision to award voluntary redundancy will rest entirely with the employing Trust. There will be no right for staff to claim voluntary redundancy.
      • The proposals are likely to be an improvement on the statutory redundancy scheme in the following ways:

      o Employee’s actual weekly pay used for calculation, not statutory maximum
      o One weeks pay for each year of service between the ages of 18 and 23
      o Two weeks pay for each year of service between the ages of 23 and 41
      o Three weeks pay for each year of service after the age of 41
      o Redundancy compensation paid for up to 66 weeks

      • Staff with less than two years service are unlikely to be eligible for the scheme.
      • Staff over the age of 55 will be able to take immediate payment of their pension (not enhanced), as well as their redundancy payment.
      • If a Trust has a more generous voluntary redundancy scheme than the eventual national agreement, then the local scheme will apply"

      Delete
    5. final draft of NNC Appendic C from probation association website:


      Appendix C

      TRANSFORMING REHABILITATION: ENHANCED VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY SCHEME


      1. This Appendix sets out the voluntary redundancy scheme which will apply to employees in a category where there is a potential oversupply post transfer. This is likely to apply primarily to Senior Management and Corporate Support staff posts. The provisions apply in all cases of voluntary redundancy arising as a direct consequence of the TR Programme and will remain in operation until 31 March 2015, last day of service agreed to be no later than 30 September 2015.

      2. The decision in respect of individual applications on whether to award voluntary redundancy is at the employer’s absolute discretion and will include consideration of, amongst other things, the exigencies of the service, organisational issues and business needs. Whilst the decision as to which applications for voluntary redundancy should be agreed and at what date this will take effect will rest with the employing body, in the period up to the date of transfer, it is expected that, in reaching a decision, the Trust will liaise closely with MoJ/NOMS in terms of future service delivery arrangements.

      Time Limited Roles to Support Transition

      3. A variety of time-limited roles and working arrangements may be agreed to support transition, for example to complete work connected with the dissolution of Trusts. Where possible, these roles will be undertaken by staff currently undertaking the work who are content, once those roles have been completed post-transition, to accept voluntary redundancy in line with the National Agreement.

      Calculation of Redundancy Payments for Staff

      4. Qualifying Service – For the purposes of establishing entitlement to, and the calculation of, a redundancy payment, continuous service will include service with any public authority to which The Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc) (Modification) Order 1999 applies.

      5. Redundancy Pay – Redundancy payments will be based on the employee’s actual weekly pay and not the statutory maximum.

      Voluntary Redundancy for those under age 55

      6. Redundancy compensation will be paid, subject to a maximum of 67.5 weeks’ pay and reckonable service of 15 complete years, as follows:

      Four and a half weeks’ pay for each year of completed service

      7. Any statutory redundancy payment is included in the compensation payable.

      8. A ready reckoner is set out at Annex A to this Appendix.

      Voluntary Redundancy for those aged 55 or over

      • Redundancy payment will be paid, subject to a maximum of 67.5 weeks’ pay, in accordance with Paragraph 6 above

      • Immediate payment of standard retirement pension and a standard retirement grant (i.e. pension lump sum).

      9. Where existing local arrangements are more favourable in individual cases, they will supersede the provisions of this scheme.

      Delete
  18. Please, please join a union NOW

    ReplyDelete
  19. Waste of money, look at all of us now, jobless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unions are not a cure all for lots of complex reasons but almost every benefit you have, from leave, pensions, pay, sick pay, holiday pay, any allowances, redundancy pay (whatever amounts are involved) etc etc was hard won by the union members that preceded you. You should not be concerned about what membership brings you as an individual but what it brings US as a workforce. The benefits are not something you buy for a market rate, they are something you CONTRIBUTE to as a member of a collective. Like the NHS, we all benefit. Like state education. We all benefit. If you think you cannot afford it, think about your next sickness absence without pay or your next car journey at 7p a mile.

      Delete
    2. I tried to explain exactly those points to younger colleagues at the time of the strike over 2 half days. I must admit that the half hearted gesture which left us still going into work on both days, pretty much underlined their retorts that 'unions have had their day'. It will take another generation before the lessons of the past hit home. We have a government that is intent on removing all employees rights whilst feathering their own nests. Unions have a lot to answer for. They have badly let their members down and need to start the fight back by getting Labour to stop giving safe seats to people who come from whole families that have never had a job outside of politics. On a practical note, if you are lucky enough to keep your job, a small donation to your local food bank would help those not so fortunate.

      Delete
    3. Agreed. And while we are at it. We are not ALL jobless. 4/10 is bed but it is still far from ALL of us (my post is at VERY high risk but not everyone will lose their job)

      Delete
    4. I am also in the 4/10 pool, but our CRC is challenging that decision as unworkable.

      Delete
    5. What is the 4/10 pool and how do you know you are in it (or out) ?

      Delete
    6. I think the 4/10 pool is a nifty description, thought up by one of our blog mates to illustrate that 4/10 are going to go. Everyone in a CRC is in it, even the CEO (notwithstanding their 3 year contract cushion). You've just got to hope that you're in the 6/10 who are too not too expensive to keep.

      Delete
    7. The 4/10 pool is in my case the front line reception staff, 4 are being kept and 6 are for redundancy. We were told which pool we were in at our briefing.

      Delete
    8. Yes, some grades /roles are more at risk than others but no-one is untouchable. We will know when we know.

      Delete
  20. In Ian Lawrence we trust

    ReplyDelete
  21. With a third of CRC's staff going and on top of that a well organised strike, how soon before contracts would be handed back? If they know they cannot make money they will be gone before you can say..........

    If there was an election in Spain today the new left wing Podermos party would win, I say this to make the point that when things are bad change quickens. And I want to fight the bastards.

    papa

    ReplyDelete
  22. Seems we could do with Papa (passion) and netnipper (clear thinker) inside napo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, i would vote for that them.

      Delete
  23. I cannot understand why in October 2014 around 280 trainees were taken on by the NPS, along with more in February and more have been selected to begin on May 1st. What I do not understand is why this would happen if there are going to be so many cuts? I realise this thread is discussing CRC redundancies and I am being trained in the NPS. I just feel the numbers they are training is huge. I'm confused and becoming depressed. Have I made a huge mistake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it will be a waste - lots of things you are learning can underpin either continued employment in probation or other fields of a similar nature. The only possible fly in the ointment is are you doing all of this training with no hope of a job at the end? My reply to that would be there are never any guarantees regardless of what is going on at the moment. I know my Trust had a surplus of qualified trainees who all had to go through an interview for any jobs and the ones that didn't get through were allocated PSO posts. I know of a qualified TPO who is an excellent PSO but failed the PO interview 3 times despite having qualified. I'd say keep on going but it's very hard to stay positive when everything's so bleak and I know how hard it is doing the studying so its just something that either you're best quitting sooner rather than later so you don't invest too much time into it or just keep plodding on in the hope you get kept on.

      Delete
    2. You haven't made huge mistake. Whatever happens you will have gained a professional, transferable qualification and some really good work experience. What you might need to get your head round is that Probation is not necessarily a job for life anymore. It will be uncertain but you will be employable even if it's with a different employer. Stick at it, support your colleagues and good luck with your training.

      Delete
    3. There is a reason why they took on tpo. We dont know what is was at the time. But i think that when they bin all the high salaried staff you are there on the lower salary.

      Delete
    4. I'm really unhappy with the drain on current probation officer staff, whose job it has become to train the trainees. Seems every case I now get is to be co-worked with a tpo! Another batch coming in May, how the hell will we cope?

      Delete
    5. Our local branch have given clear instructions regarding TPO's. We are not to train them. If they want us to do this then we need to be compensated by building this into our workload.

      Delete
    6. " I cannot understand why in October 2014 around 280 trainees were taken on by the NPS "

      Partly because there is a lack of, so called "joined up thinking in Government Policy which is, it now seems, not always well informed by the Civil Service - I can spontaneously give three pieces of evidence in relation to probation practice and legislation over the last seven or eight years, but won't as they do not directly relate to probation training.


      There was a time when ALL pre entry probation training ceased around 1995 when Michael Howard was Home Secretary and it did not restart until about 1998 - there was a time lag because those in training - then two years were allowed to complete. There was not a complete end to newly qualified probation officers starting either, as Probation Services, as they then were could continue to recruit from people who did pre entry social work training and so obtained what I think then was the Diploma in Social Work (DIPSW) - there were always some who began training expecting to go into social work but ultimately took a probation job or vice versa.

      In any type of occupation, there is always a turnover of staff as retirees always need replacing, so it is very bad policy to ever completely end all training, even in times of oversupply. If a gap is to be avoided in years to come, there needs to always be a 'pool' of fresh recruits to replace retirees.

      In times past, the Home Office and Probation employers got their figures wrong - I recall it happened in 1977 - two years after I qualified when there was a surfeit of qualified trainees but no vacancies, one who had been a student at an office I then worked became a psa (probation service ancillary) - but not very long after became a senior and then assistant chief officer, so a lack of immediate vacancies is not necessarily the end of a successful probation career.

      Obviously now is a time of particular uncertainty, which is partly why, when possible, that it is probably better for prospective probation officers to train as social workers and so give themselves more possibilities at any-time in their future, to be able to continue to work with offenders.

      Throughout my career, 1975 - 2003, I mostly worked in probation, but after a falling out with Essex Probation in 1988, and a month or so of alternative work - I walked straight into a locum senior social work job (mainly with offenders - [back then probation also was not exclusively with offenders in the pre CAFCASS days]) - my dual CQSW qualification made that possible - which sadly since 1998 the pre entry probation qualification does not now make possible - despite the Social Work qualification still being accepted by Probation Employers.

      Not that the Government now thinks it is necessary for any specific pre-entry training to be needed at all by any CRC workers: maybe Grayling, Selous and Hughes have eventually fulfilled Michael Howard's intended policy - to move probation work still further away from social work?

      Delete
  24. Im not sure what “continued employment” or “fields of a similar nature” exist out there. If there was do you not think I would jump ship and go. Furthermore probation is no longer a profession so you won’t be gaining anything. I’m not sure how it is transferable qualification? Transferable to what exactly? And finally, get some “good work experience” you got to be joking what experience spending five minutes with an offender.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I was placed in an office that I used to work in before I became a TPO in October. They welcomed me with open arms. Think that was partly because the office is buckling under the pressure and just doesn't have enough PO's. One of the PO's said to me that they were relieved I was previously employed by the service as they didn't have the time to teach me 'the basics'. I really had to hit the ground running. I'm unsure what the new trainee we are having join our office in May will experience. People just don't have the time to train them. Still, I owe everything to the PO's in my office. They are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In response to TPO at 17.27

      Things, perhaps, seem to have gone wrong with the arrangements for supervision of probation trainees in recent years. It will be different in different geographical areas.

      When I trained in Liverpool from 1973 - student supervisors as they were then called were identified by their individual willingness and recognised by their employers and where possible had their work allocations adjusted to take account of the demands of student supervision - including the fact that they needed to have appropriate clients allocated for supervision by the student they supervised.

      This did not always work well and so gradually expectations were made of specific expertise for those who did the student supervision and at some point in the 1980s it was not possible for a probation officer to 'do student supervision' without some specialist training - so that some of us - including me avoided the formal role - it now seems to have gone back to just another part of the work of any probation officer.

      At one time there was Union activity around such things, I do not know what Napo, Unison & GMBs current policies are but it is open to any member (of Napo [including TPOs in membership] at any rate) to instigate policy reviews and changes if others are minded to give support.

      Possibly it is an area of probation practice where 'role boundaries' have slipped - I am obviously out of touch - others may - or may not - wish to comment and correct my dodgy memory regarding this area of professional policy.

      Delete
  26. I spent a lot of time with the offenders in my previous role anonymous. Now I feel they are in and out whilst I (and I hate to say this) clock watch thinking Ive got an ISP to do, I really need to make that referral etc. I was speaking to a colleague the other day about feeling trapped.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your honesty is appreciated. I always say to TPO's if you want to do the job do it for the right reasons. That means using our position to advocate on behalf of those most in need and opposing/voicing those structures and systems that keep people locked in a cycle of offending and self abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Does anyone have and would like to share the above mentioned MOJ business plan...or share where to locate it please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's the MOJ business plan
      http://mentalfloss.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_640x430/public/toilet_flushing_5.jpg

      Delete
    2. It seems SWM CRC last week met with Common Purpose who run leadership courses and help managers 'lead change'. So far, not sure change in probation could be facilitated any worse!

      Delete
    3. Common Purpose waste of space, did their very expensive course, found it inept and unrealistic. About as much use as a chocolate teapot.

      Delete
    4. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/217281/moj-2012-business-plan.pdf

      Delete
  29. Prisons at breaking point
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/28/prison-unrest-fears-growing-crisis-rioting-hostages-strangeways

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have to say that I am disappointed in my local branch of NAPO. The majority of NAPO reps in my branch are safe in the NPS and have not had a branch update in nearly 2-3 months

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you step forward to be a rep to help balance the branch? I'm the rep in my office. Im nps but try to support crc staff. I face a wall of apathy and inaction. Not a single crc member attended the work place meeting. Not sure what else I can do.

      Delete
    2. Im also not sure it is accurate to state nps are safe, just moving at different speeds.

      Delete
  31. Please bear a thought for our service users whom face employment displacement everyday and with their barriers its must a lot harder for them than most of us. Good luck to you with whatever you decide to do going forward.

    ReplyDelete