Saturday, 27 June 2015


Dear Jim,

Hope you are well - it is now 10 months since I left the Probation Service for the world of Adult Social Care - it is all very busy and I am still on a massively steep learning curve with loads of new legislation to learn. There is life in this old dog yet. Anyway, please find below a non-too reassuring email from GMPF. Having gone from one LGPS scheme to another without a gap, I have been anxious that my pension statements do not show an apparent space for the time I was employed by dear Xxxxxxxx CRC, because the role of administering the pensions was transferred to GMPF - it would seem that that will be at least the case because they seem to be still struggling with the number of early leavers.

That I left 10 months ago and the fact that my leaving Xxxxxxx CRC has not been processed yet has to be cause for concern. Sodexo's intentions are going to put them in a tail spin. You may want to share this info with your readers with the additional warning that before anyone thinks of leaving their Probation employer on either side of the divide, they ensure they have copies of all the transfers experienced as the Probation Services morphed into Trusts and then NPS/CRC. On a standard Pension statement it looks as if someone has been swapping employers, so any terms and conditions related to length of service that can be transferred will be lost, unless you can prove you did not move, it was just your employer who changed legal status. For that you need those transferring letters. For once I was glad of my squirrel tendencies.


Dear Mx Xxxxxxxx

Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) – Transfer

I can confirm that we received your leaving form from your employer, Xxxxxx CRC, but unfortunately, due to a large volume of these, it’s still waiting to be processed by our Early Leavers Team. As you have stated that you are interested in transferring your pension benefits from us to your new employer, Xxxxxxx Council, to avoid any further delays, I have asked our Early Levers Team to process the leaver as soon as possible.

Once this has been processed you will be awarded deferred benefits, which means that your benefits will be kept ‘on hold’ with this Fund until either you reach retirement or until you transfer them to another pension provider. Once your benefits are deferred, our Transfers Team have confirmed that they will send written confirmation of your membership details to Xxxxxxxxx Council and will also write to you to confirm that this has been done.

They have also advised that once Xxxxxxxxx Council receive the details of your membership from us, they should contact you directly about combining your benefits.

You may wish to discuss this matter further with Xxxxxxxxxx Council.

If you have any further queries, please contact us again.


Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx - Pensions Officer
Pensions Office - Helpline
Greater Manchester Pension Fund


To: Branch Chairs, Secretaries & Treasurers

Dear Colleague,

Branch funding arrangements and assisting membership participation in Napo

At the November NEC last year, a decision was taken as a result of a large deficit forecast for the 2015 budget to reduce the Branch grant from 6% to 3% for 2015 to assist with deficit reduction.

This followed a decision taken by the NEC in February 2014 which required that Branches must return 50% of any surplus funds held in the branch account on the 31 December into the Napo Organising Fund by the 1st May of the following year. This was accepted as an amendment to the operation of the fund and the rules of the fund were updated accordingly in the Annual Report for 2014. The terms of this formula can be found in that report in section 4 of the Napo Organising Fund (page 57). Essentially, this sets out the arrangement where Branches must return their surplus before making an application to draw their new Branch and AGM grant.

Whilst it is acknowledged that this has not been a universally popular decision, Napo continues to face a number of challenges to the way it organises and finances its activities as a result of the fall in income from subscriptions which has largely been caused by members leaving the Probation or Family Court Service. It is hoped to restore the Branch grant to its former level ideally in 2016 or as soon as the Napo consolidates its financial position. Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee and Napo Finance Sub-Committee are constantly keeping the situation under review.

Contingency arrangements

If any branch are experiencing financial difficulties they may, on presentation of a business case and a copy of the branch accounts, make a claim for additional funding in support of their activities. This would be in keeping with the purpose of the contingency funding arrangements which includes supporting activities designed to encourage attendance by Branch members at Napo’s AGM. This is in keeping with the previous decisions of Conference and NEC Meetings to facilitate a more equitable method of supporting members to fully participate in their union.

Enquires from Branches about the contents of this circular can be directed to Keith Stokeld National Treasurer who will be pleased to try and assist you.

Yours sincerely

The Napo Officers’ Group



22 June 2015


Dear colleague, 

PAY AWARD 2014/15 

I am writing to inform you that the Employers have presented the following as the full and final offer to conclude the 2014/15 pay award. This resulted from negotiations in December at the NNC between Probation Trade Unions and the employers’ side, representing NPS and the CRCs: 

A non-consolidated and non-pensionable lump sum payment will be made to eligible staff as set out in the table below. 

NPS Band/Non consolidated and non pensionable payment 

Band 1 £300.00 
Band 2 £300.00 
Band 3 £300.00 
Band 4 £330.00 
Band 5 £345.00 
Band 6 £385.00 
Band A £415.00 
Band B £470.00 
Band C £510.00 
Band D £590.00

Staff eligible will be those on the maximum of their pay band range on 31 March 2014 and in post on 31 March 2015 Payment will be pro rata to an individual’s contracted hours. NPS will be implementing this in June. 

I would be grateful if you could arrange for this payment to be made to eligible staff at the earliest opportunity. I very much appreciate your co-operation in supporting the request for you to make this payment to staff in respect of the pay award for 2014/15 under the national agreement.

Ian Poree Director, 
Rehabilitation Services - Commissioning & Contract Management


  1. We (NAPO) need Tom Rendon back. Someone leading from the front and someone who would batter the doors down at Whitehall. I know he wasn't everyone's cup of tea but he got the job done and unified the union

    1. Putting on one side views on Tom Rendon's skills in role as Chair: he's no longer in Napo and we have no vacancies/due elections for Chair in any event!

    2. We can get him back. When are elections? Is IL running?

    3. To 12:36 please see post at 12:32 !!!!!

    4. I read this and started to laugh out loud it is brilliant comedy. Then worried I thought there may be a small tinge of desire for such a possibility. I had understood he has changed his name pack his bags and left probation and napo obviously but remains on the PI under a new name is this correct anyone in the know? In which case he is not able to run for any role. Thank goodness.

    5. They used to call him Rendon 501 as he was like a steam train powering his way through the NEC and Whitehall. Rendon is not with the PI. I hear he is back on NAPOS books. Let's hope so as we could do with his leadership, focus and drive at this moment in time.

    6. Haha OK perhaps he will be back as an ACE and before he is a manager. There is nothing wrong with blind ambition as long as you aren't completely blind. I suspect he would have been better placed as a shop window dummy. Just as effective wanted all the looks lacked any real substance. It is not all his fault though, he was put there by members and we have to figure why ? All said, what I want to know is why was there no NEC inquiry under the circumstances of his departure ? It was dramatic hinted of real scandalous behaviour from the GS and incredibly what made the officers of the top table allow it to happen and then appear to cover over the cracks. I think that team still need bringing to account please.

  2. Years ago, these folk helped me when several years after changing LGPS employers, I realised my then current details were missing a record of contributions that should have been made but were not by my previous employer,

    There is a little video: -

    Or you can go to their website: -

    They negotiated for me so that my unpaid contributions were eventually made over an extended period by instalments at the amount I wanted to pay whereas the employer wanted to catch me up with a one off deduction - that was in about 1991 or 92 when my money was very tight, I was ultimately sorry I did not contact them earlier. The person they got to help me was a retired local government salaries department bod who my then employer & past employer, who made the mistake, would not listen to me or talk nicely to each other!

    However, I suspect they are VERY busy now.

  3. \Well I suppose it's better than nothing ..oh how they have manipulated us masses.. the people controlling this spend more on a meal..

  4. I have had dealings with GMPF and to say they are useless just doesn't convey the anger and frustration their seemingly knowledge-free helpline staff provoke. Another example, like the Courts translation service (or any outsourcing you care to name) of a company running along the lines of: Let's bid for it, pretend we can do it, and then see how it goes if we get it, tee hee!. Well your customers aren't laughing, you useless cunts. This is our money and we don't want to be told "I'm not sure what's happening with you, I'm only helpline, sorry". I'm getting this every time I call and the stress is indescribable.

    1. Sorry about your pension problems and I hope they are resolved soon. You don't say whether you are retired or still working?

      I still remember my fear when I moved from a council job, to NHS and then over to Probation in the 1990's and it took an unbelievable 2.5 years to sort out my revised pension entitlement.

      Inexplicably slow and no different today, it seems. I suspect pension funds only employ enough staff to handle problems facing their pensioners. Those still in work must wait and wait.

      It's no excuse, but transferring records from thousands of probation staff in many different funds on one date must have been horrendous. Especially with no common IT systems to help, because who in their right mind would ever have thought to plan for a lunatic government converting dozens of probation services into trusts, then abolishing them and dumping the their pension administration onto a single local authority fund?

      I appreciate your frustration and anger and I also need to add two extra points -

      GMPF staff are, I think, just regular payroll/pension staff seconded from Tameside MBC. Not Sodexo clones and certainly not "useless cunts" in my limited experience.

      I have no personal or professional connection with anyone involved. I am long retired and have phoned them only once. The helpline staff did their job and transferred me to someone who dealt with retired fund members' problems. She quickly and clearly explained that my problem was due to an error by DWP, not by GMPF or my former employer's pension fund. She even gave me her contact details so that I could pass them directly to DWP to help resolve the matter. Far from useless.

    2. I agree with anonymous 16.15. I recently left the NPS and have been trying to transfer my pension. All the problems stem from the fact that Shared Services have so far not replied to GMPF letters and calls to confirm I no longer work for NPS. I would be interested in knowing if others have experienced the same problem and maybe pension transfers and Shared Services problems could be the focus of a special blog.

      The staff at GMPF have been efficient and helpful, responding on 2 occasions in less than 5 working days to letters I had sent, the replies were personalised to me and were not a standard text. They have also spoken to me by phone.

      Referring to other professionals as 'useless c***ts' is very demeaning to the skills and experience of other staff and if you still work at probation is language unbecoming of a practitioner.

    3. agree. language unbecoming of any human.

    4. I also have found GMPS at Tameside to be excellent. I too consider such language deplorable.

    5. Read what is underlying 1316s comments please " the stress is indescribable" give it some though recognise the pressure described and financial worries. Once you reflect, this poster has not gone and attacked anyone. They are just expressing a view in a language and swearing in a way we all recognise. Get of the saddles and come down to ground level the high handed moralising for an obviously angry poster is no way treat anyone This is why we have all been shafted too snooty by far . I am not swearing but many will think a few choice words might apply here. I wont indulge the uppity crowd. 2114 grow up who do you think you are ? Spoilt your original post when you joined the snooty brigade.

  5. So if you were shafted into the CRC or left before March 2015 you get nowt then?

  6. Staff in CRC at top of band will get this "increase" too. Don't understand why ref to "in post March 2015" could do with querying. It amounts to very little after tax. I'm at max band 4 and after something called "excess fares tax"(?) I'm £204 better off and the State reclaims £126!

  7. OMG does this mean the napo branches wont have any money in their grants. I guess it wont matter really as the branches wont have any members soon left to spend the cut. Well done napo really breaking the piggy bank.

  8. I am writing to inform you that the following are presented as the full & final agreement of the Taking the Piss Award.

    Band Bidders £Untold Millions
    Band Ex-CEOs. £270,000
    Band Benny Hill (ex GS) £125,000
    Band Lawrence £70,000
    Band probation staff £Fuck All, not even EVR

    1. Brilliant ! Only flattened by the lack of napo involvement to the point it failed to get a worthwhile deal. It is divisive across organisations as noted 1334 thanks. The real lack of skill is noticeable when once a long long time ago the negotiations delivered a pay increase that was staggered on percentages it effectively awarded more to the lower scales staff. It has only been done once mind, since then we are stuck into pay interested silos of the grade elitist approach of the Negotiating committee. We are supposed to be a union what about the lower paid napo ?

  9. I am the author of the original email to Jim and would like to add that I found the language used by 13.16 anon unacceptable.It concerns me that someone who thinks it is ok to refer to other workers in this way works for the public sector.Perhaps you would care to explain yourself 13.16 anon.

    1. F**k o** U Toss** Cu** Twa*
      turret's dyslexic and something else cant spell, its not my falt single parant famly .

    2. Hahahaha this blog is hilarious if nothing else, I'm glad we have a diverse bunch posting on here, it's amazing that people retain such strong wit and humour in the face of such adversity, this was the stalwart tenacity that built the proud, successful Probation Service that is no more sadly.

  10. Jim, without the correct policing, this blog has no credibility with comments such as 23:21. Please remove

    1. Agree, I'm all for free speech but not abusive language. I sincerely hope this person doesn't work at probation or holds any position of responsibility!

    2. For goodness sake Blog police? What is wrong with u people, freedom of the blog keeps it alive, informative and a safe place for people to share sensitive details which spill into controversial comment at times, it's called freedom of expression and let's not be frightened of it. I'm less worried about 23.21 than the judgemental and rather fragile attitude of both 8.42 and 16.06 who may be unable to cope with any challenging behaviour their clients present - no running off to SPO on this cyber space, ull just have to bear this on your own shoulders, it's called maturity

    3. people have absolutely the right to be foul and offensive....other people have the right to ask them not to be.......that does not mean there is anything "wrong" with them.......Bobbyjoe

    4. There are a lot of opinionated people on here ...

    5. I don't think the poster was inferring people have something wrong BJ Just what triggers such a range of condemnatory response when the origin of the post using the offending word met such hostility. Only a few posters have tried to understand the frustration in context. The poster had explained the frustrations. If the readers don't like it perhaps they would be better off reading something else somewhere else. What can be said is because barriers are constantly challenged. Some have tried in comedy as noted above but it adds fuel to the conservatism . Lets all try and be tolerant than attack strength of feeling so aggressively.

  11. No Police please its just a comment comedy oh no no free speech on the blog oh oh oh oh no no no no .

  12. ..hard to know what is funnier...these posts or my letter re the £330 quid ! makes not having a pay rise for years so much more bearable..

    1. agree with that remark you bloomin right.