Saturday, 25 April 2015

Redundancy Debate

Every now and then the blog generates quite a spirited debate between certain individuals. Given the seriousness of the redundancy issue, I thought it worthy of putting these exchanges together and republishing:-

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.

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 a 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!


"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 it's not a question of preventing staff dismissals, it's 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. What's that all about then? Good luck!

There may be job losses, but Ian Lawrence 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.

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.


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 Ian Lawrence's 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.

Thank you, you now appear to be getting there. The MOC 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 Sodexo 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 Sodexo 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!

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. 

Thank you. 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 their 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 view. 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.

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 redundancies, 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?

“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 placed 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?

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 and 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 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.

"We intend to fight to ensure that Sodexo complies with the national agreement, and that EVR is the only route that is available for people to exit a CRC on redundancy grounds. Any other approach would leave our members at a disadvantage, and will be seen as unfair and unjust."

The only other approach is compulsory redundancies. Why did the unions agree to wording in the framework agreement that specifically addressed compulsion? It states, in Key Principles, para 5, bullet point 2:

'No compulsory redundancy in either the NPS or CRCs for a period of seven months post share sale.'
I cannot think of any reason for this clause other than one of the parties to the agreement had something in mind. Now the unions want EVR to be the only exit from a CRC on redundancy grounds, in other words they want all redundancies to be voluntary because EVR only applies to voluntary redundancies. Given that this is their position it is weakened somewhat by their earlier agreement to compulsory redundancies, seven months post share sale.

"Subject to any amendments to such terms being negotiated with the relevant employee representatives and in accordance with applicable employment law" This is the next hurdle a variation of contract notice being planned no doubt! The answer to your question is obvious re read all your replies the answer is there!

The real issue is there is no cost to Voluntary Redundancies, whereas legal challenges in relation to Compulsory Redundancies have to be funded by the unions. Napo will be fighting for its financial life and risk ruin if many claims are lodged, and requiring representation. That's why they will 'agree away' so that members will be shafted by not being able to lodge any challenge at an Employment Tribunal. It's basically the same policy as Napo implemented with TR and the sifting/shafting.

On what basis could someone challenge a compulsory redundancy? As long as the employer follows a fair procedure in accordance with employment law – which is not difficult, then I don't see any grounds upon which Napo would be funding a plethora of claims for unfair dismissal. The tribunal system is not clogged up with claims about redundancy and that's because in the UK it's a fairly straightforward matter for employers to do it. Why Napo 'agrees away' is a topic for debate, but it isn't to avoid the costs of funding employment tribunal claims.

Employers fair? Sodexo Fair? Tories Fair? Employment law fair? TR Fair? You're naïve. If things were fair we would not be in the crisis we all face. You write a lot but now your understanding of the situation is worrying. Unfair redundancy claims may well be on the decline because jobs are with the use of Zero hours and shifting weak employment laws. Oh yes, introduced by this government in the last 5 years. How long before the temporary staff get slung out in favour of the same? Zero hours zero rights that's fair?

You must try to understand the difference between 'fair' in law and 'fair' in life.

Thank you for this life education. Your statement of the obvious is amazing. However patronising, this is the end of a reasonable exchange of views. The readers understand you appear to be advocating it is fair for us all to face redundancies so long as a process is in place. Encouraging a position whereby members should expect to be got rid off within the current context as long as EVR paid a dividend. Somehow Napo should not have to spend all its reserves, and take timely adequate actions in challenging and preventing our demise. When I read you again in the future, it will be sceptically.

I really do hope you read me sceptically, as that's a sign of an intelligent mind. However to distinguish between what is fair in law and in life generally is not to state the 'obvious' otherwise why would you rabbit on about what's fair in your earlier post? You missed the point – that is what is obvious. Which seems odd given that you claim to have your finger on the pulse.

The law is narrow and its findings may not seem fair and just – merely an interpretation of existing law. To the enquiring mind the legislation on trade union activities should make this perfectly apparent. I am more than happy to see the end of these unproductive exchanges.

You're having a laugh! You introduced the heady romance of life having a fair process so all should be happy. Take ownership. We all know there are many examples in life and law which are just not fair you re-state the obvious.

Rabbit has been your domain, still going on. At no point do I claim to have a finger on the pulse as you put it. You venture too far. Pettiness can have the last word so please repost as I expect you'll have a overwhelming need to be. Your generalised view of the law in TU matters is narrow. Many will realise the law has many quirks and cases are unique to individuals. Outcomes are often varied and changes case law over time. I am feeling less sceptical about you now and perhaps a bit sorry for your dogmatic naivety. Even a little comical!

You promised to end these exchanges and like a bad penny you have come back with another little rant. However, good to see that you now contextualise the meaning of 'fairness' in the law.

Haha comical as I said! I never promised anything, it is petty. Now I promise to stop here as we have a better insight to you. Mind your ego, it reads fragile.

'We have a better insight' ??? I do hope that was only a syntax error and not symptomatic of having more than one mind!


  1. My own concern relates to the existing Staff Reduction policies. To screen for those to be made redundant, they generally talk of appraisals, sickness absence (non-disability related), previous disciplinaries etc. These policies are designed for small numbers of job losses. My fear is that in order to reach the required numbers, it will be another case of names in a hat.

  2. Names in a hat would be unlawful as it would breach employment law relating to how a fair redundancy process should operate.

    1. Wot, like the TR shafting!!!!

    2. Exactly a total shafting . Losing your terms and conditions after a set period to either organisation is another way to weaken us all so we stayed put after that threat. This in itself implied all staff were settled then the long wait to bed in and over time that's the accepted outcome. Subsequently no challenges from many except the appeals but did anyone make a claim to ET?

      I hope it will not be as crude as that rubbish complicated and flawed Napo agreed process but lets make sure they do not agree anything else to our detriment.

  3. They will have some battles on their hands using sickness - my own recent sickness is entirely work related and that is acknowledged by my GP and even Occupational Health. That particular selection criterion will open a whole can of worms, not to say ETs.....

  4. Just on work related sickness, this is from ACAS: If you're using absence as a selection criterion, avoid taking into account pregnancy and disability-related absences, or absence resulting from injury at work, as this could also be deemed discriminatory.

    1. On what basis could someone challenge a compulsory redundancy? As long as the employer follows a fair procedure in accordance with employment law – which is not difficult,

      Employers will use more than one criteria any one of them only has to be reasonable ! The reason may well be coincidental with other issues affecting selected staff. I would not pin too much hope on wider grounds. Yet to be argued if indeed established as the real selection reason.

  5. Is the Probation Institute preparing for the Biometrics?

    1. Of course not but probation folk might be well advised to take an interest in any group looking at the use biometric reporting in probation in the UK. Biometric kiosks are already used extensively In the U.S.. This looks like a timely attempt to take a good look at different aspects of Electronic Monitoring No doubt including biometric kiosks by bringing together a mix of academics researchers and practitioners. How about encouraging others to read the press release rather than indulging in factually innacurate speculations.

    2. A PO that knows!26 April 2015 at 03:20

      More rubbish from the Probation Institute. Anything the PI is involved in is a rubber-stamp of pro-Tory privatisation strategies. It's nothing more than a Tory think tank.

      Look at the names involved in this so called 'working group' which is swarming with electronic monitoring services. Pro-privatisation and ready to jump to the tune of Chris Grayling and make a fast buck in the process.

      Savas Hadjipavlou – Chief Executive, Probation Institute. Also ex head of the Probation Chiefs Association which did nothing to oppose probation Privatisation.

      David Bebb – Head of Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan, Wales CRC. Did nothing to oppose probation Privatisation.

      Neil Moloney – Chief Executive, BENCH CRC (run by Sodexo). Did nothing to oppose probation privatisation and has made no statement against proposed Sodexo redundancies.

      Tessa Webb – Independent Criminal Justice Consultant. Also ex Chief Officer of BENCH CRC. Did nothing to oppose probation privatisation and claimed a huge retirement payout.

    3. The Probation Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its first Policy and Practice Group, which will be looking at the use of Electronic Monitoring and related technologies in probation and broader community justice services.

      The Group’s terms of reference are:

      “To examine the policy, practice and emerging evidence on various forms of Electronic Monitoring and other relevant technologies, consider the actual or potential impacts for probation and community justice, drawing attention to the ethics, benefits and potential pitfalls, and to establish Probation Institute guidelines to support the practice of its members and more widely in the criminal justice sector.

      The Working group should complete its work within twelve months”

      The Group’s members are leading academics, criminal justice policy makers, stakeholders and practitioners:

      David Bebb – Head of Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan, Wales CRC

      Trevor Beckford – Solicitor &Legal Enforcement Advisor, Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS)

      Jo Easton – Head of Policy & Research, Magistrates Association

      Savas Hadjipavlou – Chief Executive, Probation Institute

      David Hearn – Darzi Fellow, Oxleas NHS Trust

      Andy Homer – Operations Support Manager, Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS)

      Anthea Hucklesby – Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Leeds

      Mike Nellis – Emeritus Professor of Criminal and Community Justice, University of Strathclyde

      Neil Moloney – Chief Executive, BENCH CRC

      David Raho – Probation Officer, London CRC (Seconded to NAPO)

      Tessa Webb – Independent Criminal Justice Consultant

      Such technologies add to the available options at all stages of the criminal justice process, presenting challenges to the traditional ways in which defendants and offenders are supervised in the community. The working group will examine the evidence relating to the use of Electronic Monitoring, drawing on appropriate expertise, including from overseas.

      As part of its field work the Group will be arranging a number of stakeholder events, involving service users, practitioners and others with relevant experience.

      The Group will aim to complete its work within twelve months and to publish a report setting out the evidence, arguments and conclusions, along with Institute guidelines on policy and practice in this important area.

      Savas Hadjipavlou, Chief Executive of the Probation Institute, said:

      “The role of Electronic Monitoring and other similar technologies is expected to grow in the delivery of probation and community justice services. It is essential to understand how to make best use of them. The Institute is therefore giving this high priority, helping to ensure that practitioners have well-formed and evidence based guidance.”

    4. Supporters of probation privatisation that will say probation kiosks are the way forward. Typical from the so called probation institute.

    5. I don't see how that group can be seen as independent or unbiased, given that it includes 2 employees of electronic monitoring services, chief exec of a sodexho owned (pro electronic monitoring) crc and a senior leader from a working links (comissioned a pro EM research from policy exchange) owned Wales crc.

      Not sure it's a good thing NAPO are starting to distance from the PI when this kind of thing is in the offing.

    6. They need to take into account use of electronic monitoring with people with various Personality Disorders and other mental health issues.

    7. Anon at 01:39

      Responds to me by saying: -

      " Of course not but probation folk might be well advised to take an interest in any group looking at the use biometric reporting in probation in the UK. Biometric kiosks are already used extensively In the U.S.. This looks like a timely attempt to take a good look at different aspects of Electronic Monitoring No doubt including biometric kiosks by bringing together a mix of academics researchers and practitioners. How about encouraging others to read the press release rather than indulging in factually inaccurate speculations."

      I brought the issue to this blog - my speculation inevitably is inaccurate BUT I do not claim it to be more than speculation"

      I have also spread the news of the EM consultation to the Napo Forum - If consultation is sought why not begin by promoting discussion in social media that is read by probation folk - inviting thoughts on whether something like PI have established might be necessary and what it might seek to achieve and who might best take part?

      As it happens I do think it can give added benefit after human one to one assessment but should only be used with either the client's agreement or by court order after the client has had opportunity to object.

      I also believe AUTOMATIC parole - early release from prison on licence should be ended and only take place after application by the prisoner. I think the Home Detention Curfew should similarly be available only when asked for by prisoner and after careful assessment by a trained and experienced CJS practitioner who has visited the home and discussed implications with main adult residents living there.(I acknowledge I do not know current HDC process whether it is initiated by an offer to the prisoner or an invitation to apply - I consider the latter is the best way)

      Similarly IF biometrics can definitely be reliable - I think it might be used with a client's agreement where it is ONLY necessary to know that a client is personally actively cooperating with a reporting regime, as long as other work has been completed or paused - such as during the holiday of the supervising officer.

      Some of that is spontaneous thoughts - some long considered opinion - the cork that needs to being refashioned is the one that says a probation is ONLY ever an alternative to a sentence and only ever imposed with a defendant's informed consent - It then would be what it should have remained, namely a, a contract between a court and a convict.

      Similarly, community service orders (Community Payback or Unpaid Work){I do not know its current term - I am that out of touch - but I understand & long ago first thought through the principles having been involved in one of the first 6 pilot schemes - Knowsley Petty Sessions Division in about 1975}

    8. CORRECTION - at 10:49 instead of - " the cork that needs to being refashioned is the one that says a probation "

      I should have written -

      " the cork that needs to being refashioned and replaced is the one that says a probation ORDER" !!

      Sorry for making in hard to follow - living with dyspraxia and dyslexia is frustrating and inevitably the consequences of one's inaccuracies are inflicted upon others - one of the reasons I live quite reclusively nowadays.

  6. Anon 17.40 here. I rest my case. All these criterion will fail to identify anywhere near the numbers required. The likely option will be payroll numbers in a hat. No objective process I have seen will sort 100+ staff from the relevant CRC workforces.

    1. Except for the queue outside HR's door of all those wanting to go.

    2. In Williams -v- Compair Maxam Ltd the EAT stated that the employer should “seek to establish criteria for selection which so far as possible do not depend solely upon the opinion of the person making the selection but can be objectively checked against such things as attendance record, efficiency at the job, experience or length of service.” In reality it can often be difficult for unions to challenge even quite subjective criteria.

      Applying the criteria

      Having decided on the pool of employees and the selection criteria, employers then have to apply the criteria fairly, although tribunals are often reluctant to overturn the employer’s decision in the absence of persuasive evidence that the process was flawed.

      In particular, tribunals will not examine in detail the way in which the employer applied the criteria. In Eaton Ltd -v- King, the Scottish EAT stated that it was sufficient for the employer to have set up a good system for selection and to have administered it fairly. It also confirmed that the tribunal did not require the managers who conducted the assessment to give evidence at the tribunal hearing.

      Nor can employees just disagree with their score under a particular criterion. Tribunals will not re-score employees for the simple reason that their supervisors and managers are better placed to do this. Tribunals will therefore only “look behind the scores” if the employee can establish evidence of bias, manipulation or some other fundamental flaw that rendered the entire selection unfair.

    3. Thank you great post that deals with any nonsense about arguing fair practice and process that some on here want us to believe.

    4. The post @08.46 is from the Thompson's website – Thompson's who represent Napo amongst other trade unions. This extract does epitomise how what is judged to be fair in narrow legal terms can equally be seen as blatantly unfair in moral terms. But there is nothing revelatory here, as legislation, especially in the UK, unlike mainland Europe, over the past thirty years, has steadily reduced social protections for workers as part and parcel of the neo-liberal approach and it's why UK redundancy laws have been described as a soft touch.

      The unions have made clear their opposition to compulsory redundancies. And it's why any job losses should be via voluntary redundancy on EVR terms. In engaging in discussions with the employers the unions are not under any illusions that these practices and processes are 'fair and balanced' a la Fox News, but they have to reasonably explore all the options, and if the employer will not be reasonable then industrial action remains an option – with hopefully more solidarity underpinning it than in times past.

    5. The services are split CRC does not mention the word probation as its core. We are being air brushed out nicely.

      Multiple employers in different locations , with what will most certainly become a difference of opinions. What exactly a centralised dispute looks like in terms of redundancies to call strike does not look anywhere likely for NPS.

      It has been posted already but it is difficult to see what issues impacts at the same time on NPS staff and CRC. One side stripped of a professional identity. The pathways of work is parting ways.

      How could Napo legally see a national collective ballot for strike as an outcome remains to be seen.

      There are too many staff comfy in NPS. Why not, good luck to them. They probably care but will be powerless to help those out in the cold in a CRC. They are left facing a nice procedure all subjective a mass of staff to get rid of and likely no challenge to face. Contracts bidders must be laughing themselves to sleep !

    6. Have CRC and NPS been offered the same pay deal? If pay offer is rejected, we could all be striking together over that anyway?

    7. Comfy in NPS, you jest surely my friend, it's only a matter of time. Your blog shows deep thought and care about the situation but clearly wasted - it's a new dawn and the Service we knew and loved has gone, private enterprise has no loyalty or sentiment is only interested in £££. Our good people need to b brave wherever they can and search new horizons to restore troubled minds. Nobody is comfy and only the naive feel safe, it couldn't be any worse working anywhere in the new Probation Service. Redundancy would be a release for me I feel complicit in its destruction

    8. I wholly agree with every word you say apologies . Comfy I meant for the time being. I do not believe the NPS employers will attack staff on mass because they were so able to be selective of the skilled staff they moved across and those with specialised skills VLOs and suchlike. The inequalities of the selection process coupled to the random selector when it all failed. In post based on a date. I think that will help NPS staff fend off attacks ok not comfy the work is relentless and secular now.
      In the changing climate who can be certain of anything. Except I am sure many share your sentiment. No way should we or you feel complicit we have all been done to.
      Hope with me that we see the Tories neutered in a few weeks and the Lib Dems castrated. It is a long road back but one day the social values our old world service and better days for our clients may well come back on that pendulum.

      I too feel as sorry for us all both sides split from friend we are divided by false interest. I had not though the pa

    9. y as a unification for collective agencies action I wonder how that might work. Cynically I see the NPS offering more than those governed by privateers. Now, my experience tells me those offered a good deal will most likely vote to accept it and the rest of us will have to accept the outcome. The divide will be getting bigger. The unions will need to think through the developing divisions that are big tank traps for unity.

  7. Francis Maude will get his reward (the spirit of Julian Cope?):

    "The government has eased the path for outsourcing with a series of changes. In 2010 Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude scrapped a contractual requirement for private companies taking over public sector staff to hire new employees on the same terms. Mr Maude said the move would “give employers freedom to provide terms for staff which are motivating and affordable”."

    So I can look forward to being made redundant, only to have someone else taken on at half the cost, with none of the experience or qualifications. Hmmm, a bit like HMP Northumberland, perhaps? And the Tory shitheads think this is how to make the country work. I think not, dear reader. But Francis, having stepped away from the Commons, will undoubtedly be ennobled and allowed to fiddle about from the Lords.

  8. Everyone is talking as if these job cuts are a development post share sale. Each bidder put in a full plan of the cuts they wished to make with the bid. There was a pot of redundancy money for each CPA. Some spent it all in the first round some kept it for after share sale. Michael Spurrs email is disingenuous as the real issue is that the MOJ knew the extent of the cuts but there was insufficient money in the pots for everyone to get EVR. The issue between Sodexo and MOJ is that MOJ are now saying its for Sodexo to underwrite these cuts.

    1. Durham Tees Valley have people starting training this week. Unsure what it consists of as there is no one in my office who has been selected. I'm sure it will all work out though and the Prison officers will make them feel really welcome.

    2. is that for TTG?

  9. Jim - with TTG commencing this Friday can we have a blog or discussion as to the readiness of each CRC in delivering this service?

  10. I had a conversation with the department that organises Through the gate in a Northern prison and was informed that despite them being one of the designated prisons they have no-one in post and no, training planned at this time-perhaps Mr Grayling could suggest why this would be?

    1. i'm in a CRC office and we've not activities for RAR set up - its just supervision as usual.

  11. I hear that a northern prison had a big issue with TTG and conflict between Sodexo based CRC and another CRC both of which cover that prisons base... because info is commercially sensitive they are watching each other carefully but have requested separate offices in that same this is likely to be replicated in other areas too, isn't that interesting?

  12. A bit of light relief.

    My (Probation Officer) wife says 'e need some canes for the garden'.

    Me 'I have a load of canes in my office at work'

    Wife 'what have you got canes for in work'.

    Me 'we used them for placards when we were last on strike'


    Wife best hold onto them then'.

  13. Re Jim 05:46
    "The Probation Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its first Policy and Practice Group, which will be looking at the use of Electronic Monitoring and related technologies in probation and broader community justice services."
    So the main priority for the first Policy and Practice Group will be the use of technological disposals?
    With everything going on post TR, the lack of clear process, the failure of effective communication, lack of interventions to deliver ORA, lack of training, scramble to cobble together something that can be called TTG, case management reaching critical mass in some areas with custody case management being placed outside of responsible managing areas...I could go on but I'm sure you get the picture.
    Anyhow, if anything further were needed to convince me of the utter futility of the Probation Institute, that the first topic this group has prioritised over all other is technologies....well frankly that does it!!!
    It stinks to me...has the appearance of trying to legitimise further technologies rather than electronic monitoring, a Trojan Horse if you will.
    I have no faith in the Probation Institute and I will never ever join.

    1. It does feel a bit like 'don't mention the war', doesn't it?

    2. Noms have a section whose existence is to find and develop evidenced based practice, and for years it has been saying the two main issues that contribute to offending and reoffending, employment and attitude, and just look at how those findings are completely ignored? Hope this government full of rich pretend people are out on their arses next week, at least it'll put a smile back on my moosh!

  14. Unable to get on Delius all day.....seems like even the system realises how fucked up things are at the moment......yet when the pressure starts to build re missed targets managers will not want to anyone in the same position make sure that when the system decides to return make sure that you enter a detailed explanation re the delay......