Friday, 12 June 2015

Latest From Napo 61

Here's the latest blog from Napo General Secretary Ian Lawrence earlier today. He does well to refer to 'unanswered questions' having a few of his own outstanding:-  

Another test of our resolve

A big day for Napo again, as the fully booked WiN (Women in Napo) conference commences in York with a range of excellent speakers on a number of diverse subjects covering probation and the family courts. As you would expect, I have sent greetings and best wishes to our sisters for a successful event and I am sure that the proceedings will be hugely positive and hopefully encourage new activists to step forward.

Later this morning we will be holding an urgent consultative meeting with Napo Reps from the Sodexo CRCs to explore their reaction to the EVR proposals which will be released to all staff very soon. As you may have seen from BR 63/2015 issued yesterday, the Probation Unions are standing fully united against the attempt by Sodexo to vary the terms of the EVR scheme contained in the National Staff Transfer Agreement.

We have been in talks with them to try and unpick the rationale behind their earlier announcement of around 600 job cuts. It has been made very clear to them that an operating model, which is not even fully developed and has yet to be subject to wider scrutiny, simply cannot be relied upon as a reliable driver for cuts of this magnitude. Equally worrying are some of the forecasts that have been reaching us about the expected staffing profiles in certain areas of the Sodexo owned CRCs if the cuts come to fruition, which only heighten the legitimate fears about public safety. All of these ingredients have contrived to create a testing and at times fractious atmosphere for the exchanges that have taken place so far, though I have to mention that Napo/Unison/GMB SCOOP have worked extremely well together on behalf of the members we represent. At times such as these it is worth remembering that we are the only unions with recognition and negotiating rights within the NPS and CRCs and that we speak directly on behalf of our members.

Essentially, the company want to consult directly with staff on their plans but the unions maintain that Sodexo signed a commercial contract in which the National Negotiating Council (NNC) and Staff Transfer Scheme were a component part, and therefore any negotiations need to be held within that context. Of course our position is that the full EVR terms should apply, as it is inequitable that some staff have already left the probation service on a better package than what is being offered. In short we have said that it's a pretty shoddy way to treat with people who now find themselves 'at risk', and have stayed on to help the new providers with the post-share sale transition.

It was always a given that once the CRC contracts were signed off that we would face some major challenges in holding onto the terms of the National Staff Transfer Agreement and that is why we are intending to refer this serious development to the National Negotiating Council of which the CRC employers are constituent members.

The unanswered questions

Following the meeting today we will be issuing as much news as we can to our members within the Sodexo owned CRCs and no doubt we will have a raft of questions from worried members that we will try to answer as soon as we can and wherever possible we will come out to meet with you if requested.

At the root of this whole issue are two key questions to which we are awaiting definitive answers and they go something like this:

How did Sodexo win the contract bid (which by their own admission they predicated on 600c redundancies) and did they reveal to the MoJ that they could not afford to pay for the EVR terms which were clearly part of the deal?

Can anyone seriously believe that Sodexo, one of the richest corporations of its kind on planet Earth really cannot afford to stand by its moral obligations?

Industrial action postponed as ACAS step in

Following a welcome intervention from the mediation service ACAS, Dean Rogers and I were pleased to have been able to contribute to the talks between Unison/NOMS/NNC employers and Napo either side of last weekend.

As you know Unison had planned to strike this week over the 2014/15 pay award which was implemented a few weeks ago, but as is always the case with unions prior to commencing industrial action, their officials were looking to explore all opportunities to avoid this if possible.

We have agreed that ACAS will host discussions over the next 28 days to see what loose ends we can pick up from the 2014/5 negotiations (limited though they were) especially on (non-cost) issues that got stuck in the pre-TR harmonisation talks. We will also be exploring how we can improve upon the existing pay bargaining machinery which because of government imposed pay freezes has been pretty well useless over recent years. The talks will also allow us to review the NNC machinery with a view to making this reflective of the post TR landscape.

We will issue news of all of these discussions as often as we can.

34 comments:

  1. Think I might contact my mortgage lender and tell them I cant afford to pay what I agreed to when I signed my contract with them....I am sure they will be totally happy to renegotiate and knock several thousand off my mortgage and if not I will quote the global expertise of sodexo; surely I am quite within my rights to withhold payment without any negative consequences? Sadly I am a small fry and will be repossessed and homeless! The big fish just get away with in when we would be laughed out the room. Disgusting, immoral and quite frankly farcical: Perhaps sodexo should have read the contract before they signed or maybe it's PPI all over again, were they wrongly sold a small furry animal. Come on Sodexo show us some moral fibre and treat us with some dignity; it is about time somebody did!!!

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  2. Someone, either Sodexo or the MoJ have screwed up badly. Someone is lying. The MoJ agreed the figures in advanc knowing what Sodexo had in mind. They are culpable. Incompetent or untrustworthy? What's it gonna be, guys?

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  3. The big boys do exactly as they want aware that there will be minimal consequences.The top of society is corrupt, today Dominique Strauss Kahn walk out of court free, why because he is one of them. It's a cesspool at the top and it misery at the bottom.

    Papa

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  4. I can't argue with what has already been said, but surely the Moj should be holding sod-u-all to account, it was their negotions allowed said company to purchase the contract! It is Friday, I'm suffering badly with hayfever, but that must be so obvious, why are napo having to ask the questions?

    Whilst moaning, are all NPS being told 'our' volunteers are no longer available to us, cos they are now within the crc's? I too have had a break from commenting, as I fear I will only add to everyone's misery, but just needed to vent today! Hang in there friends and colleagues!

    I will share something amusing, to give balance. I was at the England U21 match at Barnsley ground, game was okay, but the two old guys behind me were worth the entrance fee alone. One says to the other, "Jim, do you know who died today?" Bob replied, " I should imagine a large number of people"
    Jim" - "ya knows that Dracula guy...........Christopher Lee"! Made me smile!

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  5. " Can anyone seriously believe that Sodexo, one of the richest corporations of its kind on planet Earth really cannot afford to stand by its moral obligations"!

    It troubles me greatly that the phrase used is 'moral' obligation and not 'legal' obligation.
    Terms and conditions agreed must obviously be contained in any signed contract, and therefore legally, and not morally binding?
    I feel a strong whiff of dishonesty, but have no idea where it's coming from.

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  6. Remember when the contracts went out to the bidders and, on this very blog, we all said caveat emptor? Well, p'raps caveat venditor is more applicable 'cos one of them has to bloody well pay the EVR!
    One for m'learned friends perhaps.....and God knows the Tories pissed them off too!

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  7. sorry to dive in, totally off topic, but I have 2 tickets for Fleetwood Mac at Glasgow Hydro on wed 17th June - cost price £65e each , but anything will do, just so that they are not wasted. We were going to Glasgow for 5 days, with F Mac in the middle of it, but husband poorly, and my much loved uncle very very ill,, and we cannot risk being away all next week. Can get refund on hotel, but not tickets.

    I am not on Twitter, or Facebook, and don't have online banking, so I would need to hand over tickets in person, which would have to be in the Tyneside area - wearside, nbria, teeside or even N yorks, or Cumbria border, or thereabouts.

    Sorry Jim, for taking up space!!

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    1. oops! - that was £65 each, in case you think the extra 'e' looks a bit like '0' - they not NOT £650!!!!!

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    2. If any interest email me - address on profile page.

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  8. Totally inappropriate please remove the post and this one ML gumtree \ e bay you wont have a problem flogging fleetwod tickets but don't put us through your daily we all have difficulties and don't write them up here.

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    1. 1936 - I'm sorry you thought I was taking advantage, when I was offering an opportunity, which someone might have just been delighted with, and explaining why I am doing it was to assure people I am genuine, not in it for making a quick buck..I will not be making a penny out of it, and am prepared to lose quite a few. I just don't want the tickets to be wasted.

      I am a retired PO dinosaur, of almost 20 years service, not familiar with social media and this site is the only one I have ever used, having written numerous supportive comments, and several guest blogs in last couple of years, which have received several positive return comments. I am not using this site to put people through my 'difficulties' and am shocked to hear a 'colleague' suggest that I was.

      and only Jim has the power to remove my comment, so I will leave the decision up to him.

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    2. No point in being sarcastic try and look at the issues affecting those who are still working and have considerable future worries. The first blog today referred to a mortgage and the risk of homelessness. This bog often provides up to the minute opinion and information. Take Netnipper below a well considered and relevant post focussing us to the key issues. Those of the discussion around EVR and staff dismissals. If your shocked perhaps it will make you think how important it should be to post about what is happening to people at risk instead of offloading some tickets. Perhaps the comfort of retirement and slippers allows your relaxed approach to a blog which for many is crucial news. Having been a regular positive means what ? There is no status for contributing.

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    3. I've got a sofabed for sale. £50 collect only from Cornwall.

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    4. Ok guys point made - lets move on.

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    5. 21.12 your anidiot. Lighten up fool!

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    6. Well if we are now selling on here, I have a mini for sale hahaha

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    7. Fair point to "move on " Jim but I do want to say that one of the strengths of your blog is the range of posters and degree of tolerance and good humour extended between posters..sadly lacking in 21.12's post. Good luck ML-hope you keep posting

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    8. 21:55 that should read an idiot. Why be so abusive your another post waster but If you want that tone f*** off you wan** ! Sorry JB but the blog attracts some rubbish. What a shame.

      What year is the mini please colour and mileage and will you take a part exchange ? Thanks you for the comedy lets lighten up of course. keep focused though the NAPO talks are critical to many it is serious.

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    9. 22:06 I hope she keeps posting too. I cant wait to see what else comes up for sale . I would happily have moved on but you opened up the debate of tolerance you are showing none either as the line was drawn .

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    10. mini is white, mileage 3000. Just joking a little, must have some humour in this job situation we find our selves in. I always say if I don't laugh I will cry. But just like all in the CRC/NPS trying to hold on to my job or at least get a good package.

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    11. 2222 EXACTLY I suspect most CRCs will be watching the outcome. It is going to be worth their time to wait for the sodexo battle to come to an end before adopting the outcome. I do not think there will be any package apart from the statutory minimums given the way this is unfolding. I do think Netnipper helpful post directs us to the relevant points and it does appear to suggest to me at least there is room for renegotiating terms. Well I have never heard of employers looking to increase the terms have you. I hope we don't have to start selling things just yet.

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    12. thanks ,2206 and 2155. Really appreciated. Didn't mean to cause bother! I retired 4 yrs ago but stay in regular touch with several friends/colleagues in CRC and NPS and occasionally visit old office- I know how hellish it can be for some, with the added real fear of not being able to provide for family in future. AND I see the nightmare situations on the blog. And I sent a long accusatory email to CG, copied to Jim, which was put on as guest blog. Does that make me more acceptable to those I have upset? (and I'm not being sarcastic, I have great respect for the way the majority of staff have kept on coping with useless bl... systems , It was bad enough when I was there, when the damn machines would crash and work would be lost, and our 'superiors' would make our lives a misery, and many a time we would be running along corridors to meet deadlines, and working ridiculously long hours, which were more often not reclaimed. But there was still a camaraderie which kept us going, and a secure salary, and a sense of being respected by the courts, clients and external agencies, and a feeling of being in charge of your work, up to a point)

      Keep on biting the ankles, or more sensitive bits, of those -'you know who you are' -politicians, who are ruining this country, causing grief and misery to too many decent people.

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    13. Hopefully 21:12 will go away, ideally quietly and to some where else.
      Thanks for all you did in the fight ML ...keep posting.

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    14. thanks 2356. I'd better stop dominating the blog now! And my son has just told me his boss is interested in Fleetwood Mac tickets, so perhaps I should have bided my time!!

      It's a bit twee to wish you all good luck, but I do think, with fondness, about the Service I loved and felt honoured to be a part of, from qualifying in '94 at the grand old age of 48 -(I'm starting to sound like Andrew, no offence meant Andrew - we veterans never die you know - people just wish we would!)

      So- may your guardian angels work their magic and bring sanity and common sense back to the Probation Service asap.

      And a special wish to Nbria!

      Night night. x

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  9. Sue Hall tweets as follows:-

    "News of launch of Probation Register received with interest at Women in Napo conference"

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    1. Mmm what was it Groucho Marx said about clubs and members?

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    2. NAPO best put this up for the wider membership vote. If it is yet another PI initiative then NAPO should tell them to shove it up their posterior.

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    3. Well I was at the conference and I'm not interested in it

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  10. Today from Napo: 'It was always a given that once the CRC contracts were signed off that we would face some major challenges in holding onto the terms of the National Staff Transfer Agreement...'

    Previously from Napo: 'The unions do not expect CRCs to propose any compulsory redundancies during the term of the private contracts...'

    This is from the framework agreement which explains why Sodexo wish to consult with individuals. The 'unless agreed...' enables Sodexo to do it on the cheap and undermine the collective agreement.

    1.3(e) The Contractor shall be entitled to effect voluntary redundancies of Employees from the Employee Transfer Date in accordance with Applicable Law. Other than where more beneficial terms exist, in all cases of voluntary redundancy of Employees the Contractor shall give effect to the Voluntary Redundancy Terms, unless agreed between the Contractor and the Employee







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    1. It was always a given that a multinational bully would take full & absolute advantage of the free money from the uk government, would drive a coach & horses through existing terms & conditions, would crush napo, unison & any other union involved, would terrify MoJ into complying with multinational wishes once foot was in the door, and would have no regard for employees.

      If anyone ever thought it would be different then you live in lah-lah land. Naiive MoJ mandarins have been well& truly outwitted by razor sharp industry assassins - it was never going to be any different. But oh my word, shock horror, Ms Romeo aint around anymore, is she? Moved on to a higher place in the civil service, £200k+ a year, platinum pension, etc. Sold us off to global butchers for a notch on her c.v.

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    2. If Sodexo make people redundant and not offer enhanced terms, surely napo needs to run a test case through the courts. I am really surprised this did not happen at the sift.

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  11. Unless it's happened to you like cancer or heart diease you won't realise! We always say I read about it or saw it on TV I didn't think it would happen to me! Join in solidarity and let's fight!!!!!!!

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  12. However difficult our current situation is do you really think it is appropriate to reference it with having cancer or heart disease?

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