Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Latest From Napo 62

Blog post today from Ian Lawrence, Napo General Secretary:-

SODEXO DISPUTES REACH THE NNC AT LAST

Our top priority over the last few weeks has been the ongoing dialogue with senior Sodexo management about their offer of an Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy Scheme (EVR) which was supposed to shield the 600 staff who have been deemed as surplus to requirements from the possibility of being made compulsorily redundant (that’s sacked in everyday language).

Surplus to requirements: it has a dreadful ring to it doesn't it? Being in the frame to no longer be able to continue the career you entered many years ago which, through no fault of your own, is quite likely to be taken away because the new contractor who now owns your employer a) did not know how many staff it was inheriting and b) claim they cannot afford the terms of voluntary redundancy. Leaving aside the incredulity factor, both of these are fundamental issues that would have been very clear to anyone with half an idea about how to structure a competitive tender. What we now have is a classic blame game between the contractors and the MoJ about what they were being sold (see earlier posting: 'Salting the Mine') which again highlights another aspect of why TR has been and will continue to be an unmitigated disaster.

I will leave it there in advance of tomorrow’s meeting of the NNC Joint Secretaries where the parties will be discussing the two disputes that were registered earlier this year in South Yorkshire and Northumbria CRC's over EVR and the job cuts. The outcomes will be reported to Sodexo reps next week and we are currently considering how we can best consult with our members in all the Sodexo owned CRC's at the earliest opportunity.

Of course the whole farcical situation has been brought about by Graylings ideological reforms that have not only caused such serious uncertainty among Sodexo owned CRC staff but which were the genesis for the creation of the NPS which is creaking at the seams and which, one year on, still cannot demonstrate that it knows whether it is paying its staff correctly, and, as all too many members can claim from bitter experience - sometimes not at all.

Shared Service Problems

A good opportunity then to ask frustrated Napo members who have been suffering with pay problems to appreciate that these are not Napo's fault and that we have been (and are) throwing as much in the way of resources as we can into trying to get involved in personal cases that have been referred to us. Dean Rogers has a substantial number of members on his books in addition to his other equally important responsibilities and is working extremely hard to assist.

The reality is that this commitment of resources to helping people in difficulty is unfortunately no longer a shared one; since the NOMS specialist who was working with us on these cases has not had their contract extended. The other major factor is that the Shared Services division is in private ownership following its outsourcing to Steria (another wizard decision by the unlamented former Secretary of State for Justice) and guess what? They also plead that they didn't know what they were buying which also has a familiar (as well as dreadful) ring to it.

We will be issuing a separate update next week on the current situation and how we have been raising these problems at the highest levels.

More news to follow on Friday.

44 comments:

  1. meanwhile, in Brennan's World of Twitter: "Warm welcome for MoJ Permanent Secretary @mojubrennan as she visits us to meet CEO @neilm1805 and other colleagues"... & ...

    "#CSAwards celebrate all that is best in @UKCivilService; incredible diversity of talent and commitment. Nominations open now"

    How about "Clusterfuck of The Year 2015" ?

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  2. And Brennan's Sidekick, the responsible officer? She's moved on:

    "Antonia has been Director General of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat (EDS) at the Cabinet Office since February 2015. Prior to this, Antonia was Director General Criminal Justice at the Ministry of Justice, with responsibility for criminal justice policy and major programmes including rehabilitation, sentencing, youth justice and digitising the criminal justice system."

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    1. Romeo in Apr 2014: "First off, PAC found that the MoJ “did not have a clear understanding of its requirements under the new system”, and ended up being “driven by bidders’ proposals rather than its actual requirements.” What’s more, it didn’t pilot its scheme before implementing it nationwide. What evidence is there that the new probation system will meet the MoJ’s aim of reducing reoffending? Romeo acknowledges that the ministry hasn’t trialled its final proposals anywhere. “You have to turn on the statute once nationally,” she says. “You can’t provide rehabilitation services to under-12-month cohorts in some areas and not in others – not least because people go in and out of prison, and end up in different areas, so whether they were covered by the statute or not and whether that service provision existed would become impossible to manage.”

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    2. Romeo, again in 2014: "As the ministry introduces the new system, Romeo argues, it’s taking every precaution to ensure it’s robust. “To get large transformation programmes working, you’ve got to have really good assurance in place so that you know you’re not believing your own hype,” she says. “We have external, independent assurers telling us if we’re doing the right thing and, before we proceed with any part of the programme, whether it’s sensible and appropriate to do so.” NOMS has a business assurance board designed, she adds, to “give me, the senior responsible officer, the assurance that this is going to work and isn’t taking on any unnecessary risk.”

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    3. Romeo, 2014 (same CSW interview): “My job as senior responsible officer is to make sure we deliver the benefits of the programme. We need to really understand what’s going on – and there are no prizes for not listening.”

      So who's the SRO now?

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  3. Double standards

    CRC - senior managers get massive pay out whilst the people who do the real work get peanuts.

    NPS - senior managers in Northumbria and Durham Tees Valley allowed to "swop" areas so they're closer to home, whilst other staff can't do the same. Will stop the senior manager having to "work from home" we suppose.

    And we wonder why all these senior managers rolled over and let TR happen - because they're in it for themselves.

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    1. We were wondering in the former DTV area how senior and middle NPS managers suddenly moved between Northumbria and the now separated Cleveland and Durham areas.You see staff have not been allowed this luxury ( privilege ? ).....very interesting and still flying the flag for double standards here!

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    2. All staff are equal................

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    3. all staff may be that's the point different...... rules for managers clearly evidenced by Anon 10:36

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    4. Shame there is no equality in caseloads in DTV CRC and NPS. ELeven staff in NPS have 160 cases 100 In custody. CRC managing the othe 270 Cases between seven staff run off their feet.

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    5. To Anon 19:12
      That is not an accurate picture and you shouldn't post what is not true. For example, some cases are custody but they are High or Very High Risk requiring massive amounts of pre release work ( have you filled in the latest MAPPA or AP referrals ? they are lengthy docs ) As for NPS community cases, am seeing one of mine several times a week due to risk, so that doesn't get counted up either, whilst you make you ( inaccurate) post for all to read. Then there is the NPS IT system to cope with which CRC does not have, loads of emails instructions we don't have time to read or understand. Basically every system we had has changed, so what you think we do is wrong. CRC don't write Parole reports and I am doing mostly CRC PSRs ( you forgot about the work load with reports conveniently)...Now, the CRC in DTV is little changed except NPS writes all your reports ( see two can play that game). This leads no where so PLEASE can we stop? Just make sure what you write is accurate in future.

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  4. SHELTER INVITE DETAILS of Through the Gate Problems: -

    http://probationmatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/sodexo-news.html?showComment=1435221048805#c6987659707832888600

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    1. And Jim Brown responds!

      "Are you serious Mr Ryan? Do you honestly think an employee of a privately-owned CRC, or a former publicly-run Trust would be stupid enough, let alone authorised, to make such a complaint? You are deluded if you think it possible!"

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  5. Government still paying G4S and Serco millions for tagging despite ban

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/25/government-still-paying-g4s-and-serco-millions-for-tagging-despite-ban

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  6. A little off topic here: Member of the public attacked unpaid work service users in Northumbria with a machete whilst they were carrying out their hours.

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    1. When did this happen?

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  7. Off topic, but an important observation. Since the start of TR, myself and many others have noticed that the majority of trainee probation officers are young white females, even in ethnically diverse places like London. I hope a discussion can be had about this. Are we seeing the return of institutional racism? Is there sexism going on since the number of males have dropped? What's going on?

    Some officers have noted that most of the qualified probation officers who have been sent to CRC are black. I have not noticed that where I work. However is this true? Have you noticed it?

    I'm sorry to bring up race, however its time it is discussed on this great blog.

    Anon 123

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    1. in my area all trainees are indeed young white females..your second point about race does not apply as represented in both sides of divide.

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    2. Why are so many women employed by the probation service when the vast majority of clients are men? If things were the other way around, positive discrimination against men would be allowed. It is white men who are being discriminated against, not the other way around.

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    3. 9 out of 10 of the new cohort of TPOs are female. Yet the highest earning are still proportionately male.

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    4. Time for a Men in Napo conference

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    5. Same in Wales CRC too.

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    6. Return of institutionalised racial preference ; nepotism , same club, school, family on the bench and that special handshake ; did any of this ever go away ?

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    7. Employing more women may have something to do with the , misguided to say the least, belief that women who commit offences and /or have suffered domestic or other violence at the hands of males, have their needs best met by a female supervisor.

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    8. I wonder how many men have applied to become TPOs and were rejected. The same for people from ethnic minorities (whether male or female). If anyone has he statistics please share.

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    9. This from Guest Blog 40

      "There were nodding acknowledgement to what was denoted as the 'great unspoken' in terms of the 'feminisation of probation work' an unbalanced gendered workforce, the choking off of entrants from more diverse backgrounds in the labyrinthine qualifying regime, and the current gender split in CRC/NPS."

      http://probationmatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/guest-blog-40.html?m=1

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  8. Whether voluntary or compulsory, redundancies were envisaged in the framework agreement that the unions signed. Why was that clause included if not to signal what lay ahead – after seven months. I cannot recall a single contributor to this blog suggesting that jobs would be safe post-split; on the contrary, the consensus was that the private companies would reduce their costs, and boost their potential profits, through cutting jobs. The clause was in the agreement because it was part of Sodexo's business plan.

    Back in March Sodexo told their staff: 'We had planned on the basis that the majority of exits would be on compulsory terms, seven months after contract commencement, i.e. 1st September 2015, as per the National Agreement. If operationally possible and staff wish to exit early through a compromise, we are currently looking at whether we can offer an exit package on slightly enhanced terms'.

    Counter intuitively the unions stated in a memo to branches, last March: 'The unions do not expect CRCs to propose any compulsory redundancies during the term of the private contracts and branches should be vigilant in opposing any such proposals that emerge after 1 September 2015.'

    I find it hard to believe that the unions did not expect redundancies. And if that was truly their expectation, what was it based on? It was not based on a deception by the CRCs, because deceivers don't give seven months notice. No, the unions knew there would be redundancies, but they could not say, We have signed an agreement that will mean redundancies in a few months. So, they simply said, Although we have signed an agreement that is predicated on redundancies, we do not expect redundancies to happen.



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    1. Sack ian Lawrence please.

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  9. Look, everyone FEARED there would be redundancies but at that point the bids were secret remember? It was vital to get the best possible protections in place : did anyone really expect a union not to contingency plan for such an eventuality? As it is the deal seems to have got the better of Sodexo at the moment doesn't it?

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  10. Of course it would have been recognised by all 3 of the Unions involved that private companies would look to redundancies to save money:we had the previous horrir with UPW in London where Serco began redundancy neg after ONE month. The real point is Sodexo knew that EVR rates were to be offered to CRC staff and are now presumably trying every trick in book to wriggle out of it!

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    1. The horror of the unpaid work sell out was that NAPO locally in London branch failed to react . Probably not interested in unqualified staff. National napo failed to act by getting any dispute together for the sell out of those staff and members. Wilson wrapped up in ledger gate and super silly Rendon was the London chair . The napo national chairs decision not to act properly on behalf of those members led the way to mass TR across the probation service. Cannot Blame Ian Lawrence for that because I don't think he was in charge then.

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  11. yes, that is the point, the EVR rates do apply and this is one up for the unions!

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  12. I feel sick for the staff who are at risk, but why do people still believe anything like the former EVR is going to happen? Didn't that EVR agreement end for any CRC staff still in post after March 2015, with compulsory redundancies permitted from October this year. So if Sodexo and others are wriggling or haggling at the end of June, it's surely only about the equivalent of three months salary per redundant employee?. I hope I've got this wrong, it's hard to follow the history sometimes.

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    1. Redundancies were acknowledged thru the 7 month clause referred to above. MoJ knew the figures because they have shared out between £60M & £80M amongst the CRCs to cover EVR on predicted job losses. The disinformation is that the EVR was only for a priveleged few, but Sodexo are determined to make this fact. Of the six Sodexo areas, three have embraced the NNC agreed EVR in their CRC terms & conditions. Sodexo are truing to drive a wedge between & bring everyone to the lowest common denominator, i.e. Statutory Redundancy + a pitiful bit extra. The financial difference between stat'y figures & enhanced figures is around £20,000 for most (@67 weeks' pay). That isn't 3 months' salary for me...

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  13. Can someone from Sodexo please come on here and explain the circulating rumours about the demise of the planned relocation hubs in the Cumbria/Lancs areas? Will this mean even further delays??

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    1. what offices are closing in Cumbria/ Lancashire? I was also wondering, what kind of distances are some offenders having to travel for supervision and do you give any travel expenses - we give a flat £2.

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    2. I am not from Sodexo but I should imagine that there will be further delays. The location previously identified as the Preston hub, which many had the impression was almost a cert has been discounted. In terms of office closures there was an intention to close nearly all that exist in their current form, to be replaced by a few local hubs that similarly are yet to be source. Other than that 'lodgings' are being sought in partner agencies spremises....colocation. Given that everything, but everything is delayed I am not packing up and would not be surprised to be in the same location as I am now this time next year.

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    3. Colleagues from Cumbria talk of some clients already having to catch two or three buses to get to their local office following previous Trust closures of offices around the county. One client was described as having to catch the only bus leaving his village at 8am, taking an hour through rural lanes to the village where he got on the 10am connection to the "town bus", finally reaching the town where his office is based at 11:00am. His route home was equally tortuous, with the only bus back to his village finally getting him home at 6pm. Other rural villages no longer have public transport of any description. Another client could feasibly have caught a tourist-season bus, but the Trust wouldn't refund the ticket because it was twice the public transport rate. I heard that his PO (now having reached their sell-by date, lucky person) used to either dip into their own pocket or drive him home.

      I know, it sounds a bit far-fetched. Well, my client used to have to get to his appointment half an hour before he'd woken up, travel across two continents in a barrel of worms, walk a tightrope over a gorge, then do SOTP, ETS and drug testing all at the same time, before hiding inside the carcass of a dead horse so he could catch the knackers yard van back home.

      "Try telling that to the youth of today, they'd never believe you."

      And still no word about four & a half weeks...

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    4. Bon soir, mes amis. Je suis parler pour Sodexo et le closures c'est due to les Managements, 'ow you say, "creaming it". Maintenant, nous sommes collaborating avec our colleagues dans le CRC pour le benefit of Sodexo.

      Je suis tres happy to be travailling avec MoJ et le bank balance c'est tres tres bon. Merci beaucoup, M.Grayling.

      Bon Chance!

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    5. Good evening, friends. I speak for Sodexo and closures is due to the Managements' ow you say, "creaming it". Now we are collaborating with our colleagues in the CRC for the benefit of Sodexo.

      I am very happy to be with travailling MoJ and the bank balance is very very good. Thank you very much, M.Grayling.

      Good Luck!

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    6. Bonjour, M.Brun. Your Franglais is excellent. Chapeau!!!

      As M.Dylan used to say:

      "May your croissants be crispy & your condiments be fresh
      And your coffee be... Forever Strong"

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  14. Talking of office closures, can anyone in Essex confirm the Colchester office is really closing? With a population of 176,008 in 2012 I find this impossible to believe.

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  15. To pick up a point above, I took EVR in December. People were vying for it and some left the minute they found they hadn't got it anyway, because it was made plain that the pot was finite and the chance may not arise again. To hear that only circa £16m was paid out and the rest has collateralised rich companies to fuck loyal employees off for peanuts, should be a massive scandal but Bob Crow died and there isn't another union leader worth a light left.

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  16. Office closures are now in the NPS's interests as well once CRC relocate..the distances clients have to travel in Cumbria are scandalous and alrerady NPS high command are eagerley eyeing up the CRC (non) operating model.....

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