Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Latest From Napo 57

Latest blog from Ian Lawrence, Napo General Secretary:-

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.

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.

57 comments:

  1. " but if some losses are unavoidable " Well there you are ! He should be saying we will fight any proposed compulsory job losses ! Sold out already and I guess the statement will read its not a question of preventing staff dismissals its just making sure we get the extra pieces of silver in their pockets before the sackings cull begins.

    Loss of status career job and security whats that all about then. Good luck !

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    1. Agreed 21:31. I am appalled by the statement. Throughout all of my TU Reps training the message being hammered home was that the ultimate role of the union is to prevent job losses. Therefore, in my opinion phrases like 'unavoidable job losses' should NEVER be uttered by a Trade Union Rep involved in redundancy negotiation processes. It signals collusion in the process and plays right into the employers hands. Someone (later) in this thread poses the question - who do we think we are - the NUM? Well, at this point I wish we were - NAPO presents as just a toothless lion by comparison...
      Deb

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  2. Everyone knows it is the hard working local reps who advise members if they are facing issues including redundancy not the G.S or the weak symbolic Joint Chairs or in fact anyone on the top table. People need their union for support and guidance when they are feeling at their most vulnerable so let's recognise and thank the people who do the hard work everyday

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  3. It will be those with union association that will be first through the door.
    No room for opposition in private enterprise.
    NAPO need to realise that apart from its membership concerns, it's in a fight for its own existance.

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  4. Let's all give up our union membership - then what ...

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  5. "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."

    1. Who have you briefed? There are no MPs until Parliament is reassembled. Until then, who gives a fig?

    2. You never secured media coverage when numerous opportunities were handed to you on a plate.

    3. I would expect my subs to fund you knocking loudly on those doors REGRDLESS of the colour of administration, not just if there's a change of colour.

    4. This is my professional career, 30 years of my life. Its already been diluted into probation-lite, its now being reformulated into a 'just-add-water' version. No depth of flavour, no nuance, no character; just a bland, one-size-fits-all product wrapped in a shiny box. "See ya down MaccyP's, yeah?"

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  6. Ian Lawrence is a fucking snake. 'If some losses are unavoidable' . As ever it's capitulation all the way while expecting us to be dumb enough to swallow the same old empty bullshit posturing. Why haven't we sacked him? Fuck you Lawrence.

    Simon Garden

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    1. I feel your pain and frustration!

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  7. It's all or nothing with you guys, isn't it? Well I for one am happy for this development and thank the national officers. Ref. contact w mps. We have contacted all prospective parliamentary candidates on the issue and received considerable support for many. What do you guys think this os? The NUM?

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    1. with very few notable exceptions, no mp stood up for us before, when TR could have ben stopped. Briefing prospective candidates & getting their lame words of support ain't going to stop Sod-U-Co getting rid of staff.

      Isn't there something called employment law which protects employees from being exploited? Where's the legal advice about contracts that have been signed? How can our union on one day talk about staff protection being "enshrined" in the national agreement, then the next day be sharing skinny lattes with Sod-U-Co and releasing statements to the effect that "some losses are unavoidable" ?

      What do I think this is? I thought I was paying into a trade union & professional association who were committed to protecting my interests as a professionally qualified Probation Officer, not financing my own professional funeral. I thought I was contributing to the not insubstantial salaries of trade union activists, not apologists for bullies - whether ministerial or global enterprise.

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    2. A company can terminate all employers contracts and immediately re-employ them on different terms. If employers don't like the new terms and don't sign they will have deemed to have resigned. The Unions can do nothing about it. Employment law isn't worth the paper it's written on. It happened to Probation Partnership workers. Some had their salary cut by 5k per year.

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  8. Yesterday someone mentioned that 3 NEC Reps holding the joint chairs to account were suspended. How can members find out more about this?

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    1. By asking your Branch NEC rep! Some reps were suspended temporarily for sharing confidential NEC correspondence regarding Napo staff to people who were not NEC reps and some who were not Napo members (probably in error when sending emails on to large number of people). NEC reps have as part of their role, responsibility on behalf of members to act as employers of Napo HQ staff which means they are privy to confidential info on occasion.

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    2. Ask the 3 that were suspended the truth not more of this subdefuge. The reasonably wanted to share with nec reps a qa position of the chairsbon ledgergate payoff. The chairs in fear of their obvious failures responded by suspensions. Dont believe anything but those victimised by their union

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  9. There may be job losses, but IL emphasises that they be on the EVR terms. There is no green light here for compulsory redundancies. And, on job losses, there have been hundreds over the past four or five years in the form of voluntary redundancies and there has never been a shortage of takers, though there have been many who were disappointed not to get VR. So those who bemoan job losses need a bit of historical perspective in their thinking. A respite is a good thing.

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    1. Netnipper I don't read it as this at all. I read it as no redundancies for now (not even enhanced) then compulsory redundancies in September. Given that most people want to leave if they get enhanced, this is just a way of stringing staff along until compulsory redundancies can be made.

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    2. 2122 yesterday you do not seem to understand Napo has to oppose compulsory redundancies.please try and about the victims of the situation. Its about workers rights no one is protected by claiming a professional status if they want rid they will make up their reasoning. Act like workers. In a trade union and we have a better chance in solidarity not divided a rank which has y one over years pso and admin do all sorts of experienced work. Division is failure.

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    3. I have just read 21:22 again. I think its complicated.whatever it is clear to me at least that netnipper might be colour blind in his analogy. Lets us use the red light please on compulsory dismissals.

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    4. Green light for EVR, Red light for compulsory redundancies. But we are on amber at the moment. I agree that the Napo leadership should not, under any circumstances, condone compulsory redundancies. But it is important to note that the Management of Change protocol which was agreed between the unions and the former trusts, allowed for compulsory redundancies as a last resort. The line I would take is that post-transfer there is unlikely to be any grounds for justifying compulsory redundancies and I doubt that Sodexo will have compelling arguments to the contrary.

      Sodexo wanted to get the process going on compulsory redundancies, but they have pulled back – for now admittedly, and maybe it's only a tactical retreat but it's still a retreat, which is not the Sodexo way. Sodexo continues to defy an employment tribunal which found that they victimised and unfairly dismissed Petrit Mihaj for his RMT trade union activities. No one, I would hope, can be under any illusions about Sodexo's contempt and disregard for trade unionists, because they know the weaker the union the stronger they are. If anyone in the union membership does not fear the intentions of the likes of Sodexo and their ilk, then they are sleepwalking into an abyss they have themselves dug.

      It should not be construed from IL comments that the Napo leadership, when accepting there be be job losses, is implicitly giving the nod to compulsory redundancies, especially as IL goes on to emphasise that any voluntary redundancy must be on EVR terms.

      Ultimately it may come down to a battle of wills. And the union leadership should be seeking to ensure that the membership understand what is at stake in the event of Sodexo seeking to force through redundancies. There has been a lack of solidarity in the past on the TR omnishambles, but this time around if there is a need for industrial action, then hopefully there will be a collective will to fight and I believe a united membership could win. We are in a phoney war at the moment but during this period we must get ready to fight the real one is it comes to pass.



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    5. Thank you Nipper, you now appear to be getting there. The M.O.C. was meant for small numbers in isolated and duplicated roles coming to difficulty in mergers. Drawing on this as an indicator for legitimising compulsory dismissal makes me wonder who’s side are you really on ?
      The Sodem-xo plan is set to maximise a profit from the vacancies. This management role deletion allows them to profit the salaries. Some will fund their machines and increase public risk. These cuts are against hundreds of our workers. The nonsense you make over the management of change does not agree any redundancies on a compulsory level are acceptable. That would diminish any members ET claim for unfair dismissal. Now you really need to understand this point !

      Nevertheless, you may have thought through the wider implications and I hope members lead properly at the next NEC. They have to ensure the current toothless officers do not allow for any agreed position on compulsory sackings. Having seen the interference from the Chairs and officers at the last AGM whereby members calls for Judicial review spiralled into a bland forced statement by the General Secretary one can only wonder?

      Napo has to ensure member’s legal protections are maximised. You can see SODEM-XO claiming the sackings were borne from agreements reached. It is foolish not to realise a joint statement on this subject illustrates a consultation process and at the earliest.
      Napo officers need to understand they are not playing a game this is people’s lives and careers they may well be affected in role too. They need to toughen up. NEC need to make sure they have the confidence to do the NEC bidding. Sadly previous behaviour may well be a predictor !!

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    6. Anon@16:16: I am glad I am getting there...but are you? The MOC was not about dealing with mergers and duplicated roles – it was about dealing with cuts and restructuring within Trusts. It existed long before TR was on the agenda. Pre-TR hundreds had already departed probation via local voluntary redundancies over a four-five period.

      To talk about diminishing claims for constructive dismissal is wishful thinking. If the legal consultation process is followed on compulsory redundancies there is no legal remedy – that's employment law as it stands. To borrow from you: 'You really need to understand this point.' There is much myth around constructive dismissal claims. They are the hardest to win and just feeling shafted by your employer counts for nowt in law.

      To claim that a joint statement is somehow tantamount to engaging in consultation on redundancies is naïve. And to relate this to the JR débâcle is mixing up your apples and oranges.

      Where we agree is in opposition to compulsory redundancies. But for this to have any traction, the overwhelming majority of the workforce will have to share this conviction.





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    7. Thank you Nipper clearly you are not where you could be but we do agree some things. MOC was for merging trusts not far back and never agrees a position on compulsory. It was not written for the mass exodus in numbers planned. I never mentioned constructive dismissals and realise thier employers have not made it impossible for staff to do their jobs. We all recognise this is a red herring issue.

      Your analogy works in that both apples and Oranges are fruit. The point needs to be spelled out ! Napo got into full TR talks and were part of the deeper discussions foolishly in many peoples views. The failures at JR was because too much was lost by delay on timings they had already been aware and involved so could hardly get a legal and worthwhile challenge on having been part of it. They hid around any story that avoided the facts and many writers on this blog including yourself made some critical observations.

      Repeating the same disastrous recipe of getting involved with Sodexo and issuing joint statements on compulsory dismissal will have the same effect on individual claims at ET when a member of a union has had their terms negotiated. Now why would a union want to make that mistake is what you need to ask ? There !! the obvious is out, and despite these few exchanges you still don't have the insight for this one Pal.

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    8. Why WOULD a union want to make that mistake?

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    9. Anon 19:37

      True, you referred to unfair dismissals. But this route is also blocked if a proper consultation is followed.

      On the MOC, it was not just about restructures following mergers as it was used in areas where there were no mergers, but there were restructures in light of the formation of LDUs. The MOC protocol did not envisage high numbers of redundacies, but whether it's one or a hundred it is probably fit for purpose and what you overlook perhaps is that the protocol offers more protections than the statutory redundancy process.

      We agree on the framework agreement. I always believed Napo were too quick to negotiate and, yes, it did open the door to compulsory redundancies and Napo. I have already written:

      When negotiating the framework agreement, I wonder if the union side asked the MoJ why they wanted a sunset clause of a mere seven months when the unions foresaw no compulsory redundancies? It seems to me that any reasonable person would think that there was a clear intention to plan for redundancies. There was no sleight of hand by the MoJ – reading their intentions required no clairvoyance. And yet Napo, unable to grasp this nettle, grasped at straws of hoping it would not come to pass – and it has. September is early this year!

      Why did Napo sign the framework agreement believing there would be no proposals for compulsory redundancies? Whatever, it was a major misjudgement and you have to wonder if they were up to the job. If this has caught the union leaderships on the hop, they have only their myopic selves to blame. I hope they don't ask us to write to our MP's on this one. They need to build and organise, quickly, for industrial action.'

      To an extent Napo have painted themselves into a corner on this one and it's anyone's guess what was in the mind of the union negotiators. But that's yesterday's news...

      The unions are talking to Sodexo. But, for you, this is all part of history repeating itself that will leave you disappointed. But you don't set out what the unions should do. There was no joint statement of any substance. We now know there has been a halt – that's all. But you are inscrutable on what the unions should do next. If you don't want the unions negotiating, what does your oracle tell you they should do next?





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    10. “True, you referred to unfair dismissals. But this route is also blocked if a proper consultation is followed.”
      Now it is spelled out and you get this point so will the readers. Nothing is actually blocked but the chances of successful claims and the proportion will be severely limited making action pointless.
      Come on stop arguing the merits of the MOC we understand its value then it has no real teeth now. Your point “it is probably fit for purpose” . The leadership of Napo for its members I hope would not be as confident or Cavalier to rely on a Protocol. The legal status will be scrutinised by the new employers .
      We agree it was not designed for this onslaught in terms of numbers or mass reorganisation. Indeed the work basis has changed with the NPS split. 70% outsourcing or more and you will understand now at least the protocol will be sceptically regarded. Agreed at a time when the current implications were not known, do we need to strain this aspect further?
      Your comments on the sunset clause of a mere 7 months have been noted in the blog. It was said ET claims have time limits. 3 months to make claims 6 Months under extended circumstances and 7 places claims completely out of time. The longest they could give it then ! I take the cynical view that is why the period was agreed as neither side would have to fund claims nor defend any. Now are you getting there Nipper ?
      In the main I agree with the rest of your critique. The timing through Christmas and the rush to get EVR agreed. This cash bonanza for the few may well have been a carrot to entice and confuse.
      Hindsight, perhaps , but I was one of the many, who was clear that NAPO should not have agreed anything. No member should constantly swallow the line from napo claiming to be negotiating the difficulties as members expect and you require us to do, accountable to the NEC. The NEC fits your descriptor of Myopic if not then blind !
      I doubt any industrial action can be brought about now the split has divided the workforce. A united dispute from which aspect ? All staff facing redundancy certainly but this will not have resonance with those happy with their new titles and those who feel safe having assisted the split.
      From the situation so far I am as are many disappointed does not go anywhere near my feelings. Watching the Probation Service get shredded assisted by the career hungry and naive. Just a hundred years of wisdom tossed !
      This blog provides for all to comment anonymously. This makes us all inscrutable and the same applies to you. We might progress our views and understanding more easily in conversation but for we have only this medium, to encourage readers to take a position.
      In relation to an Oracle I do not think we need one to have predicted the mess we have all experienced. Whatever happens next it is up to those in authority to change the way things are being done. I think they will follow what now, sadly, is a very limited route given where we have arrived.

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  10. I know polititions don't actually had a cluabut tgevreal world, working people or those seeking to work; who thinks TR was about the election? That would assume the electorate knows the first thing about probation! No the general public will not be persuaded to ITE forthetories as a direct result of the introduction of TR. It's about individuals seeking todismantalthe public sector, for profit as a significant shift in power to a small group of people who don't give a shit about the rest of us! People like Ian Duncan Smith, Michael Gove, George Osbourn just having a wee game of oneupmanship aongst themselves! The country is going to hell in a handcart

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  11. Have a clue about! Sorry, my hudl keyboard doesn't always do what it's told

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  12. Prediction Probation From Harry Fletcher

    http://www.napo2.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=997#p3766

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  13. Email announcement to BeNCH CRC staff this morning: -

    "Following discussions with Sodexo colleagues yesterday, I have agreed to pause our current redundancy consultations. This is pending further clarification, refinement and consideration of staffing numbers and associated budgets during May.

    At this moment in time I cannot give an exact date as to when the consultations will commence. I appreciate this may add to uncertainty for staff at risk but it does mean that when the consultations are commenced again there will be greater clarity about staff numbers and the process."

    No mention of Sodexo's meeting with the Unions on Monday or their forthcoming meeting with the MoJ.

    Has any staff within the other Sodexo CRCs received something similar?

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    1. Who are they trying to kid? They don't have 'colleagues' in Sodexo – they have bosses They don't 'discuss' – they follow orders. It was agreed on Monday between unions and Sodexo to pause. The CEOs are merely ciphers with no volition of their own.

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    2. but this is the consequence of the unions getting into bed with sodexo; sodexo play them like a mandolin, then issue scripted instructions to local CRC management, effectively regional puppets of the Sodexo imperial commanders. This is why your view of "its okay" is being challenged.

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  14. Yes Essex received a similar email today, but making it clear that this had been an agreement between all parties after union talks. Essex hasn't started consultation yet over potential redundancies. Its still very much mushroom management at this stage

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    1. Politics is shifting there are spaces opening up that have been blue or red for a hundred years. We and the union need to hold our collective nerve because the car is crashing and victims will emerge. When Sodexo or another of the primes gets called in front of the beak with victims on the front page and on the TV; we need them to say is was better when it was real probation. Time can only be good to us.

      papa

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  15. Same email in Cumbria and Lancs CRC - in fact the intial paragraph is exactly the same as above. (Looks like a pre-planned approach) The email also points out that this only applies to Corporate Services staff at the moment as they have started with formal consultations since the 2nd April.

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    1. Very similar email in Northumbria also

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  16. Bloody Nick Clegg just heard him promise a 'proper' pay rise next year for public sector workers, presumably that will be the six that are left nationally by then!
    He DISGUSTS me

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    1. He will lose his seat he ought to think about the consequences of Lying to all the students they wont forget the debts they have built up great start in a working life. Lets hope Cleggs puppet duties end in May.

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  17. Thanks to Chris Grayling, collaborators across all Trusts, Sodexo and the weasels managing the CRC, and what seems to be meltdown by the unions... there will be several more CRC months of misery, ill health, long-term sickness, uncertainty, stressful work environments. - whilst enduring the crowing from an insensitive core of NPS staff with their new cars in the car park, loud conversations about holiday plans & voting Lib Dem "to get the pay increase for public sector workers".

    Can't fucking wait. Thanks a bunch. The torture never stops.

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    1. There are some nauseating nps staff in our office doing the same thing. They haven't worked for probation for 2 mins. Administration especially rubbing their colleagues noses in it. I don't know how I am still going into work!

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    2. I am so so sorry.... I am NPS and will do anything I can to see us reunited in the public sector. I have heard an NPS colleague 'crowing' as you put it and it disgusted me, she reported me to management when I protested. BUT the vast majority of my colleagues are not crowing, we know we are not safe and the axe will fall on NPS in the next round of cuts post election.
      I just wish we could all stand together.

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    3. We can and I have hope we will this time.

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    4. how can courts have so many report writers and yet the quality of them be so poor? Brief outline of offence: stole 5 packs of bacon. No more the time and date of the offence etc. Oasys used to be one of the easiest parts of the job as it mainly contained of transferring info from PSR to oasys but not anymore. Every line I read of an FDR raises questions as they are making statements but not expanding on the reason for said statement. I hate oasys it's a millstone round my neck.

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    5. my personal favourite NPS gem: "oasys completed less than 6 months ago so no requirement to undertake rosh or oasys at psr stage."

      Lost so deeep in the grass

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    6. The IT is such a massive part of the problem. It's so overly complicated that we can't even do the most basic assessment in less than half a day. How the new contractors can even think about building an interface to bridge two ridiculous systems that won't stand still for five minutes is beyond me.

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  18. It's a joke ..the crc chiefs don't even have the balls to write an e mail in their own words. It's utterly pathetic that these people, most of whom have already lined their own pockets, are still trying to sell us the myth that they are in control! If they had opened their greedy eyes or had any degree of care/loyalty to their staff,they would have stood firm years ago but no..they chose to sell us down the river and that will never change. I am also sick of those criticising ian Lawrence. It's not him who's weak. It us.

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  19. He is responsible for everything since his election he gets paid a lot more than you and I. At his level he wont take responsibility for anything. He has the skill of repeating himself all over the place with nothing new. It is a shame he inherited much more of a basket of problems than he could deal with. Ledger issues and 2 shop display model only joint chairs. One who fell off the perch with a publicised Court appearance although cleared had to go just in time. The other turned out to be a disguised collapsible prop neither with adequate experience or knowledge for the tasks in hand. The prop resigns amist a number of his own scandals blames everone else but does not tell us the truth or the extent of the issues underlying his resignation. He had applied for ACE CRC mind so with that judgement Workers were already defeated. Sadly they are to blame we only had to vote for them and seal this fate. They need to be sorry Napo members made the wrong choices.

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  20. The wrong choices Napo members made was not to strike. 20% of my Trusts Napo members took action, the rest bottled it. No-one to blame but themselves.

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    1. We had local tv news come to us on the second day of strike last time. 5 of us bothered to be there, of those one was a retired member and another was a sympathetic members wife (unison member from another profession).

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    2. Yes fair point !

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  21. Today the Daily Mirror printed a biggish article headed 'Criminal Failings' by Tom Petifor, their Crime Reporter.

    More than 600 police officers have signed a damning open letter to Cameron, despite them being warned about taking an active part in politics. The Mirror printed several excerpts of the letter - in crisis, numbers are falling, experienced officers leaving in droves, workloads unbearable, and the Force in the community is on the brink of extinction.

    It claims 'cuts will further engender public safety but that all political parties are in denial.' (where have we heard all this before?), and the recent retired president of the Association of Chief Police Officers stated that 'the notion that you can take money and numbers out of policing without increasing the risk exponentially is flawed'.

    The letter is written by ex-Met Det Chief Insp Peter Kirkham, and signatures are all anonymous - not quite sure how that works, unless everyone has put their own comment on, signed anon, as in this blog.

    What a pity we didn't have senior officers to fight the privatisation, instead of falling over themselves to shake the devil's hand. But I was wondering if it is worth trying to do similar - I get loads of very worthy petitions on email - Change,org etc, and was wondering if probation staff could set up an on-line open letter, asking people to sign it. I'm not holding out hope that the Mirror would do anything - I sent them a copy of my letter to Grayling, and even emailed the Edtor as well as Newsdesk, but it got nowhere. And disappointingly, I wrote to the local Green Party as well as nationally, with no reply either.

    But isn't it worth one last big effort, while the Labour papers are looking for new angles to get at the Tories? Or am I being idealogically impractical??

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    1. I think anything we can do to show our concerns over this change IS worth it, even if some consider it ideological. Similarly, I emailed Sadiq Khan directly, but no response. I have no idea how to set such a thing up, there must be some technical wizards adding to this blog.

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    2. As a fledgling I made some twittery noises, but then along came a predator and my twittering is no more. Fucker wanted to take me to McD's in Colchester for a Happy Meal. I'm a 50+ year old man. I didn't offer any kind of profile or picture - presumably spread-betting is one way paedophiles can get a result?

      Warn your parents/grandparents of the dangers.

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    3. Obviously a MOJ ploy - probably Lord Janner deployed by Chris Grayling. Must have been terrifying for you, Ian.

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    4. How did you know it was me?

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  22. Heres the harry fletcher bit:

    "Predictions made at least 15 months ago about the likely impact of the privatisation of the Probation service in England and Wales is becoming a reality. In February 2015 the supervision of low and medium risk offenders, around 100,000 individuals were sold off in lots to the private sector. This included work with domestic violence perpetrators.

    In the press and media Harry Fletcher now Director of the Digital-Trust forecast the end of positive interventions for offenders and there replacement by a huge increase in electronic tagging, staff reductions and the introduction of reporting centres and check in biometric machines instead of 1 to1 supervision. More court reports are now done on the day including Domestic Violence perpetrators. Caseloads for many in the sector are 100 and rising making individual supervision near impossible in any event

    Many new providers have already said that they will be shedding staff from September 2015, maybe by as much as 25 to 30%.The main tagging companies are preparing for a significant expansion of the market and report centres where offenders will sign in are very much on the agenda. Some providers have already gone back to the Ministry for extra cash to pay for enhanced redundancies which they say were not in the contract price. Others are requesting what is oddly called true-up cash from the MOJ as they have ended up with more staff than they had bid for. Another has hired Deloitte to deliver an efficiency savings report. In an another area a provider is advertising for staff to supervise prisoners given 12 months custody or less on release. The salary band is £18,000 to £21,000. Current staff are on a grade £22,500 to £28,000.

    The state retains responsibility for supervising high risk offenders but the number of new court orders deemed high risk and therefore suitable for the National Probation Service is often less than 15% of the total.

    Although in the short term the NPS did take on a 100 or so extra staff to deal with writing court reports, the impact of further cuts of up to20% across the public sector post-election and fewer cases seem inevitably to lead to less supervisors. Using the agreed workload measure many NPS probation Officers are working at 130 to160% of capacity. So would need to work up from 10 to 20 hours extra per week to complete their work. Staff across the divide are under pressure to take case back to court to be revoked for good progress but have no spare time to do the paperwork.

    A service that won Excellence awards just 3 years ago is now demoralised and in deep trouble. But more tags and reporting machines mean that the new owners can both cut costs and keep the Government happy and make competitive profit margins for shareholders."

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  23. I left napo some time ago over an issue of principle that caused a serious loss of faith in my trade union! However, I think napo need to get out there and drum up support, convince me to rejoin! I am conscious any useful future action would need a huge turnout in favour of strike and Mr grayling having planned to change the way sub's are collected, knows a significant number of people won't be bothered to go to bank to set up a standing order, that has always been the nature of napo membership, pay subs just in case they need legal representation, and get a payrise, but no thought given to union activity, any notion of strike, so membership is likely to diminish further as some can't be added to arrange their sub's to be paid from their bank accounts!

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  24. I'm committed to remaining with NAPO. They have been an excellent professional union, negotiating wisely on our behalf and promoting many positive initiates in the Criminal Justice Sector. Better together I say. I'll pay my subs and more if asked. The only way to assert our value and rights as probation professionals is to stay united and work with other unions in common cause.

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