Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Wise Move?

This on the Napo website:-

Joint statement between Sodexo and the Probation Trade Unions

Today Sodexo and the Probation Trade Unions had a full and frank discussion covering a number of key issues including the consultation process around proposed job cuts. Sodexo will consult with their Executive and CRC Chief Executives and it is hoped that a further joint statement can be issued tomorrow.

This on the blog:-

Napo should not be involved in a joint statement regarding redundancies. Just maintain proper opposition. It just shows me that if Napo get involved in influencing a reduction process but still agree to some cuts and (like) staff sifting, they won't be able to object in the future and elsewhere. Napo got involved in the TR consultation which is why they failed to take proper JR process. Getting wrong grounds was a gift to TR - running in challenge too late another gift. The MoJ consultants team knew we could win but were astounded how foolish Napo were, naive and did nothing appropriately at the right time. This news is just the same for Napo. Here they go again, seeking to appear at the table but don't know what do.


  1. I don't understand what NAPO is doing, there is the Management of Change protocol ( think that is the correct name but someone else may know?) which involves the Joint Secretaries why hasn't this been invoked?

  2. I think NAPO are keen to wind the union up and doing everything in there power to cock things up

  3. I think we should hold fire until we see the joint statement. I agree that these can be invidious, but it will depend on the content. It may even endorse the use of the management of change protocol, which, of course, allows for compulsory redundancies only after all other options have been truly exhausted. And EVR is a critical issue. We cannot say resist all redundancies, not least as it's likely many will want to go if the EVR part of the exit package is attractive. So, a joint statement in itself is neither here or there. It's the content that counts.

    1. Thank you Netnipper:calm voice of reason!

    2. Both wrong No to joint statement !

    3. I really don't see the problem with a joint statement, as unions and employers issue these all the time and it was not uncommon for former Trusts and branches to issue them locally. They are usually indicative of an agreement reached. The one being discussed here is only a 'holding' statement. It is the next statement that will be significant and I hope it is timely, as all Sodexo need do is 'consult' with their underlings in the CRCs, as it's Sodexo that calls the shots.

    4. netnipper you really dont see the problem.

    5. I would suggest that a joint statement from employer and union may be appropriate if it concerns another stakeholder such as the commissioners (the MoJ).

    6. A joint statement isn't a damn Munich Agreement. Those who reject one as a matter of principle should really spell out why, as I don't see the fundamental objection. Surely, all that Napo is seeking to do is uphold the framework agreement, which like it or loathe it, is part of the furniture.

    7. Right lets be blunt wake up ! No union can agree to redundancies on any ground. It may well be a process of employment law but in our industry it has always been an avoidable process as redeployment retraining and development in many areas has been a way of staff movement and re engagement.

      Naively you might a joint statement saying anything will actually change the what has to all unions fundamental position OF NO TOLERANCE TO ANY COMPULSORY MEASURE that leads to a dismissal. We are not interested in voluntary terminations as these are generally agreed matters with the individual and the employer.
      Any agreed compulsory process or staff reduction in number will both betray our members jobs and most certainly render any unfair dismissal claims at an ET unlikely to succeed. Now if you don't get the rest of the implication from this you really don't get it !!

  4. Does anybody know exactly what the NNC enhanced redundancy scheme provides, as part of protection of our terms and condidtions. NAPO refer to it but have not published. This appears to be what NAPO are arguing for but suspect it is very poor compared with the scheme for corporate services staff, that ended on the 31st March.

    1. NNC terms/white book can be found both on Napo website and Probation Association website. Sorry cant give links as struggle to copy and paste on phone.

    2. The EVR scheme is EXACTLT the same one that the corporate services staff you refer to went on previously. That's the point. Some who previously applied for it and were refused because they were still meeded are now livid that they may be made redundant with a lesser package. It's nothing short of evil.

    3. I could not find it on the Napo site, but this link should take you to the PA site and as Anon@10.47 says, it's exactly the same


    4. Just to clarify this link: On the PA site, click on Document Archives 2014 and then you will see Appendix B, Enhanced VA Scheme

    5. For Netnipper you put NNC into search box on Napo website and will get directed to link. It used to take you to a copy of the white book but now the link takes you to PA page! The search button is useful resource.

    6. That was helpful Anon at 21:23

      If one follows the link below and looks down the left hand side - NNC - is listed , but clicking takes one to the PA website - (I wonder how much longer that will last?)


  5. Well said, Jim - precisely what I thought last night, Napo negotiators are not telling the world enough as it goes along and by just producing a bland statement - there presumably is some sort of agreement not to comment further, suggests they are in a process of making concessions that imply that the split was in part acceptable.

    However, I hold the full members of Napo responsible for not using their constitution to control the way their officers and employees work.

    Napo centrally, still do not understand or use social media advantageously, by commentating on some developments as they happen and so to gain greater active support. That is the way the child sex abuse campaigners are working and folk like those at the Howard League led by Frances Crook, some former MPs as well. Even Russell Webster works like that, although as he continues, like the London CRC to block me on Twitter I wonder what his real motives are and in whose employ he is in.

    1. Of course it is a Joint statement, involving the three probation Unions, so criticism is equally due to GMB and Unison and their members, who presumably also can use their constitutions to get more information and a different strategy from their elected representatives and employees

    2. Andrew you are right but HOW do we control Napo officers and employees? Many of us don't know how the constitution works. Where can we learn this because it's about time the membership took back control.

    3. Start by reading your own copy - meet with one other person who cares and then propose a motion that asks what you want at your next Branch Meeting - or use it to contact others and call an extra Branch Meeting or EVEN (it has been done before) an EXTRA general meeting.


      Hopefully someone who knows the layout of the GMB & Unison websites will post links to their constitutions.

      Napo have other helpful documents about conduct of business at Branch and National Level - best that folk search out what they need for themselves.

      Some maybe found from the AGM webpage: -


    4. http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/news/98242/mp-intervenes-over-probation-staff-cuts.aspx

    5. Andrew your wrong 3 brave nec reps tried to hold the errant joint chairs to account but were suspended . They were blotted out of events colluded with by the rest of their weak nec colleagues. They had drama and asit in yet the nec allowedmthe worst. No chance of getting membership in control

    6. Opposition is inevitable - but ultimately the totality of the membership 'owns' Napo.

      As for suspensions/dismissals I think there is a right of appeal ultimately to a general meeting - BUT - folk need to first have a sense of being responsible for the union(s) rather than as the Thatcher generation, may feel - customers - it is unlikely to change overnight but can happen.

    7. Thank you Andrew and thank you 10:48. We really need those who have tried to strand up to Napo HQ in the past to get together and left us know what has been going on. Members are going to find it difficult to stand up to the general secretary and othets if we don't know what we're up against. Personally, I have heard and experienced enough to know I don't trust Napo HQ but we need to build up a picture of where it is going wrong so we can decide what action is to be taken.

    8. Anon 12:04 Indeed, but I have zero faith in members being able to use existing structures and procedures. The problems are endemic and structural and despite everything that has gone on over the last few years, there has not been the slightest sign that a bit of soul-searching and internal re-organisation is necessary. Given this, I can see no alternative but a campaign to unseat the General Secretary.

    9. I'm with you. Members will need evidence of how things have been mishandled. Anyone willing to speak out will give us a starting point.

  6. Whatever issues NAPO discuss at the table with Sedoxo, EVR should not be one of them.
    That issue should be at the MoJ table if anywhere. Thats where the agreement was reached, and agreed prior to Sedoxo being given the contract.

  7. " At the start of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week, Sodexo has released its 2015 Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report. "


    (Meanwhile also It is probably worthwhile keeping an eye on the other CRC owners and partners and contractors AND the NPS - who will probably start their redundancies soon after new MOJ ministers are in place and they start to apply their share of the 'cuts' the current Government has budgeted for - it is likely to be grim for some)

  8. Having read the march against sodexo email, i can't see napo & sodexo playing nicely together. Nor do I see any joint statement.

    Just what the flying fuck is going on? My health (Physical, emotional, mental) can't take much more of this bullshit. What are union negotiators doing? Tickling trout or fighting for their members' best interests?

    1. Dear Colleague

      May-Day Protest against Sodexo

      Napo has been approached by one of our sister union the RMT to support their protest on 1 May against the unlawful sacking of a trade union representative by Sodexo. As you will be aware Napo is now in dispute with this same company over its plans to make hundreds of redundancies in its CRCs and we encourage as many members as possible to support this protest.

      At a time when our members in Sodexo owned companies are under attack and our ability to organise is being undermined through the withdrawal of check-off, it is right and proper that we show solidarity with our sister unions and with reps everywhere facing victimisation. This is particularly important on May Day, when the labour and trade union movement traditionally commemorate our collective struggles. Members are asked to assemble outside Sodexo HQ on Southampton Row at 11.00 am.

      Napo will be addressing the assembled rally and it would be great to see you there with banners and placards.

      Let us know if you are coming – contact your branch/section or email Ranjit Singh rsingh@napo.org.uk .

      Chas Berry, National Vice Chair

    2. Thanks Jim - that now makes sense. As someone has said before, "context is everything".

  9. Sadiq Khan

    You might not know it, but our probation service keeps us safe, yet the Tories have recklessly privatised this important service. Labour was opposed to this and voted against this in Parliament. Supervision of dangerous and violent offenders has been handed over to private companies with no track record in this area. Labour believes decisions on the supervision of dangerous offenders should be determined by public safety, rather than profit. So insecure were Ministers that they tied up contacts for a decade, with clauses written in to them that guarantee millions of pounds of lost profits to the companies if a future Government should cancel them. Labour will re-examine these contracts. We will work with dedicated and experienced probation staff to make sure public safety is the number one priority, and private companies are subjected to proper transparency and scrutiny.

    I spoke to a close friend and standing MP of Mr Khans at a party on Saturday night and relayed the current chaos and the need to inform Mr Khan, Labour will need to be on top form to see these private companies do not run rings around the new Government with the contracts!

  10. " Job cuts paused as Sodexo and MoJ argue the toss over EVR "

    Napo General Secretaries Blog Post: -


    1. So they're putting job cuts on hold... until when? Until September when they can use compulsory redundancy? Until they have trained tier 2&3 providers to do TTG? Until after the election so we're not causing a fuss? It suits Sodexo/ Nacro's timeline to delay.

    2. Job cuts paused as Sodexo and MoJ argue the toss over EVR
      Yesterdays meeting between Sodexo bosses and the probation unions which was diplomatically described in the joint statement that followed as a 'full and frank' discussion, paved the way for an announcement that will be issued formally tomorrow morning by CRC Chiefs. This confirms our expectation that Sodexo have signalled a pause to the job cuts programme pending further considerations and their upcoming meeting with the MoJ contractor.

      We made our position clear this week that the magnitude of the 600 job reductions are nothing short of madness and have posited some awkward questions that will need to be confirmed by someone about whether these plans were part of Sodexo's contract bid. If they were, then why would anyone who gave a jot about service provision and public safety sign them off as acceptable? And if they have been decided upon subsequently, why have the contractors not approached the Secretary of State for dispensation to make them?

      Leaving aside the terms of the staff protections and the entitlements to Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy (and the size of the payouts to former Trust Chiefs which attracted some interest from the Sunday Times last weekend), the notion that within the Sodexo contract package area there were 600 pre-TR jobs that were effectively an unnecessary drain on the taxpayer is nothing short of outrageous. We heard much yesterday about the so called 'steady state' (of staffing) that Sodexo are seeking to achieve as information confirms our fears that the ICT platform to link up with N-Delius is not going to be ready until some time next year and that the desperate attempts to create a 'work around' are reckoned by the specialists who know about these things to be unreliable to say the least. Add to the mix the uncertainties around estate provision for creating new service locations and the backtracking we saw yesterday about exactly when biometric kiosks are actually going to be introduced and it all points to the disaster that we have long been predicting.

      Given that these were key issues in our pre-TR campaign, one might reasonably expect that Sodexo would have exercised their due diligence a bit more diligently before their clumsy and morale sapping announcements with some quite appalling examples of communications that are either misleading or inaccurate and one which has caused us to register a dispute to the joint Secretary at last weeks NNC meeting.

      That Data Room again

      Not for the first time (and certainly not the last I am sure) we heard a great deal yesterday about the efficacy and content of the information made available to bidders before the contracts were signed in the pre-election haste that we all know was the real driver for TR.

      So the blame game that we predicted has started; and the discussions between Sodexo and other bidders about the terms payable for EVR, and how they are going to bridge the gap between expected service provision and the failure of some of them to sign up the requisite second tier providers as 'Through The Gate' responsibilities loom large on the 1st May' ought to be very interesting.

      As you would expect we have fully briefed politicians about these developments, and while it is difficult to secure as much media coverage as we would like during an election campaign that is focused on anything but law and justice, be sure that in the event of a different colour administration being returned, we will be knocking on doors very loudly.

    3. What next?

      The announcement by Sodexo certainly does not represent a victory, but we have been able to convince them of the need to signal a welcome respite in advance of the talks referred to above. Napo's position is that we do not believe the proposed job cuts are necessary or safe, but if some losses are unavoidable they must be on the terms agreed within the national agreements and replicated within the service level contracts. It is morally indefensible to offer staff lesser terms for leaving than those that their colleagues received in tranches 1 and 2 of the early departure schemes.

      More news as soon as it becomes available"

      GS Blog ends.

  11. Internet trawl reveals this story dated today:

    By Staff Reporter

    Last updated at 12:17, Tuesday, 21 April 2015
    Probation officers could be replaced by cash-machine-style kiosks which allows criminals to check-in with a fingerprint.

    Sodexo, UK’s largest operator of privatised probation services, is also looking at introducing call centres for low and medium-risk offenders to ring into call centres across south Cumbria as well as the “biometric reporting”.

    Criminals eligible to use the system would be those convicted of offences such as burglary, robbery, domestic violence and some sexual offences.

    Probation officers union Napo said the system would be open to abuse and could put the public at risk.

    If it goes ahead the cost-cutting plans would involve large-scale redundancies with 35 per cent of roles in probation being slashed in Cumbria.

    The union is strongly opposed to the cuts and has now warned if the voluntary redundancy agreements reached with ministers last year are not honoured in full, their members would be looking to ballot for strike action.

    The machines, which use fingerprint recognition technology to check identities, allow an offender to report in, to give and receive information, and to request a face-to-face meeting with a probation officer. Offenders are to be allowed to report into probation using the kiosks as a reward for good compliance with the early stages of their supervision order or release licence.

    Ian Lawrence, Napo general secretary, said: “We are angry and disappointed about this news. Probation staff have been through hell over the last 18 months dealing with Grayling’s so-called reforms and now many of them are facing redundancy and job insecurity. When we met with Sodexo earlier this year they told us there would be no reductions in workforce. The use of call centres and machines instead of highly skilled staff is downright dangerous and will put the public at risk.”

    A Sodexo Justice Services spokesperson said: “We are in the process of sharing our future plans with employees across the six areas that we operate. Given that we will be formally consulting on these plans, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

    “We are looking at the possibility of introducing biometric systems in the future but details have not yet been confirmed.”

  12. http://www.pbpp.pa.gov/Information/Documents/Research/OSR3.pdf

    It might be of interest to read the basis of Sodexo's evidence for using kiosks.
    This link provides a paper from NY Probation Dept which is widely believed to be the initiator of kiosk reporting.
    Colleagues will be interested to read the results and the defined limits of success and where there is focus on certain offender types.
    There is also further research in Dallas that suggests raising the risk of kiosk reporters can have an adverse risk on reoffending.
    Like many things in this country a little evidence is used to change a significant aspect of public service delivery.