Saturday, 11 July 2015

Latest From Napo 66

Just a reminder that I'm still away and internet access is not particularly easy. However, I'd be more than grateful if a couple of guest blogs were to emerge over the weekend in order to stimulate some constructive dialogue or reflection. Of course it's an understatement to say these are difficult times and I can't help noticing the 'debate' is getting a little fractious on here. Lets try and stay positive and be thoughtful of colleagues on both sides of this ridiculous divide. Thanks.

This is the latest blog by Napo General Secretary Ian Lawrence published yesterday:- 

GET READY FOR THE BIG SODEXO ANNOUNCEMENTS AND WHAT WE WILL HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEM

Sorry it's a quick fire posting to close what has been another extraordinary week which has largely been taken up with the Sodexo CRC and EVR issues that I have been covering of late. I was nevertheless able to make a visit to speak with Western Branch members today in Bath which was both a pleasure and a privilege and I am really grateful for the hospitality shown to me and the positive feedback about what Napo are actually doing on their, and your, behalf.

But back to Sodexo, where the probation unions focus this past week has been about making it clear that we expect any announcement by Sodexo next week (over their EVR offer) to be 'without prejudice' to negotiation and consultation with members. The NNC Joint Secretaries have endorsed this view, but how this will square with the way in which Sodexo do business with other unions in their empire is anyones guess at the moment, but there again Napo are not just any union.

We need a structured set of negotiations so that we can seek out answers to the many questions we are receiving about EVR and the associated job cuts. We can then put a negotiated offer, if that indeed proves possible, out to members for consultation so that they can decide on whether or not it is acceptable.

Thats the dignified way to deal with serious issues such as this, as opposed to communication techniques that seek to sideline the National Collective Bargaining Machinery and treat the unions as an irritating irrelevance.

We are definitely the former, but will never be the latter.

Have a great weekend.

137 comments:

  1. Enjoy the rest of your break Jim. Missing you.

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  2. I am a simple person who likes things simple. I don't understand unnecessary complications. They always seem like excuses or lies which are being used to cover up a deception.

    1. However much I disagreed with the idea the MoJ held an auction of 21 newly created CRCs, they defined the rules of the game, they selected the winners. The MoJ told Parliament & the committees that scrutinise the work of Parliament it would save money & improve services by rushing into this experiment.
    2. In the process of kickstarting this experiment there were generous payments made to consultants, experts & accountancy firms (£20M or so). There were huge financial incentives (est.£80M) made available to the winning bidders to cover the cost of hundreds of redundancies thus the certainty of job losses was therefore known about & factored into the winning bids.
    3. There doesn't seem to have been much value for money so far. All that seems to have happened is that the day-to-day work of probation service providers in both the public and private sector has become complicated beyond rational belief; the costs of separation, re-branding, relocation & litigation have been outrageous; the anticipated job loss figures have been shockingly high; the damage to a once Gold Standard profession is shameful, regrettable & irresponsible.
    4. The behaviour of at least one of the winning bidders has been reprehensible, i.e. wanting to steal the employees' redundancy money that was given to the bidder by the MoJ to make their bid viable in the first place - hidden under the umbrella of a "Modernisation Fund".
    5. The behaviour of the MoJ to avoid taking the bidder to task is nothing less than cowardly, collusive & dishonourable.
    6. The behaviour of trade unions is perplexing. There was an EVR agreement nationally ratified. There was funding provided for this by the MoJ. Redundancies have already been made on the terms agreed. The employer now wants to go back on its contractual obligation. Where's the need to negotiate?

    In all of the love-bombing surrounding GeorgieBoy's amazingly balanced budget for the people...

    * 1% of £25,000 is £250 - public sector pay rise
    * 11% of £65,000 is £7,000 - MPs pay rise

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    1. I share your views and simply do NOT get why Napo is talking negotiation with SODEXO re EVR or job losses.

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  3. but MPs deserve this money as loyal public servants.......oops weren't we that too????

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  4. Just spotted this in the Guardian - bit of a slap down to Grayling me thinks:-

    The justice secretary, Michael Gove, has scrapped plans for a giant £100m “secure college” for teenage prisoners, in a U-turn that will be embarrassing for his predecessor Chris Grayling.

    The government had already awarded a contract to build the prison to hold 320 young people, spent almost £6m on preparations and passed enabling legislation at the end of the last parliament. However, Gove has decided not to proceed with the project on grounds of cost and practicality.

    Labour and charities welcomed the news, having described it as a giant “modern-day borstal”, but said plans for the Leicestershire prison should never have got off the drawing board.

    Lord Falconer, the shadow justice secretary, said it was a “victory for common sense” and called on the government to start improving conditions in the existing prison estate rather than wasting more taxpayer cash on a “vanity project”.

    Gove’s decision to scrap the plans are the first big U-turn of the new government. The prison plan was announced with great fanfare by Grayling and the Lib Dem former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in 2014.

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  5. 'Renege'- 'to go back on a promise, an undertaking or a contract'.

    Sodexo wants to renege on its contractual obligation re EVR, on the grounds that it 'cannot afford it'.

    If Sodexo gets away with this, then surely the MoJ's 10 year contractual obligation, offering massive compensation to unscrupulous companies should the govt decide to terminate TR, be withdrawn on the grounds that 'it cannot afford it'.

    Oh I forgot, the Tories think the world of TR is going along swimmingly. Or will Gove turn out to be that radical renegade Tory we have been praying for!

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  6. My manager tells me if we keep on performing, the Xmas bonus will be mega. I wanna be the first PSO to own a Bentley

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    1. You couldn't write this s**t!!!

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    2. Can you give it a rest now please 22.54?

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    3. 22.54 - Nothing better to do on a Saturday night ? Sad.

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    4. Don't hold your breath; at HMP Northumberland the Christmas bonus was a £10 gift voucher.

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    5. 10.56 - nothing better to do on a Sunday morning that thinking of me pulling into work in a Bentley. Now that's sad. Get your own aspirations and don't be hating on my hard work

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  7. To put the new rates offer to members. It shows a side step from napo. The union do not seem to have any choice but to try and give the impression they are doing something. Reality it will be nothing as the evr gets dropped for the best we can do right now rubbish.
    Keep it up 2254.

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  8. Thank you 22.54. Throughout TR I've been intrigued as to why Oompa Loompa has been a quite widely used term of reference at MoJ when referring to anyone from probation and also surprised that it's not yet featured in this blog. The etymology now starts to make sense.

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    1. I don't even own a pair of white gloves.

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    2. You will do soon, when you will be required to falsify records, manipulate target figures, tick box for work done when it hasn't. All in a days job for the private sector hey.

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  9. Grateful to Ian for the update, and showing Sodexo up for what they're really up to. Sodexo's timetable might be to tell people what their plans are on Thursday, but they aren't following process and we should remember that. They're bully boys, simple as that.

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    1. Grateful , your easily pleased. he is paid well for what ? A poorly written piece above whereby he is grateful to an audience who made him feel warm. How many members were at that meeting and what can he do to ensure our jobs are protected.
      I want to see the GS look capable and able. It would be great if the employers were able to take him seriously as a business cost risk. However they are reading the blogs no doubt and their corporate team will know the desperate situation NAPO is in and it will be obvious to all soon enough. What a shame !

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    2. If Sodexo are reading the blogs, they will be encouraged by the dissent and mud-slinging. Divide and rule.

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  10. It's worse then divide and rule, it's those human emotions that come into play for all of us, jealousy, hate, ressentfulness, fear. the one complete service has been split into two separate entities. One doesn't give a shit about the other, worse off they hopeful that they will fall flat on their face. CRC symbolises Grayling and the corrupted officials who support it's birth. Everyone I know is doing their best to send it into oblivion.

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    1. 'CRC symbolises Grayling and the corrupted officials who support it's birth' but so does National Probation Service and for that matter, Probation Institute.

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  11. Gove continues to undo Graylings work. This from the Guardian:-

    Family and friends will now be able to send books directly to prisoners instead of being able only to order new books via four approved retailers, after a further relaxation of the official policy by the new justice secretary, Michael Gove.

    Inmates will now also be able to keep more than 12 books in their cells without needing the permission of a prison governor.

    The substantial ban on friends and family sending books to prisoners imposed by Gove’s predecessor, Chris Grayling, was lifted in February after a high court judge ruled that restricting their access to books was unlawful and said they were essential to a prisoner’s rehabilitation.

    Announcing the further policy changes, Gove said: “We have more than 80,000 people in custody. The most important thing we can do once they are in prison is to make sure they are usefully employed and that they get the literacy and numeracy and other skills they need for success in work.”

    Gove cited the US Conservative social policy guru, Arthur Brooks of the thinktank the American Enterprise Institute, as influencing his change of policy, saying that all human beings should be seen as assets not liabilities.

    “People who are currently languishing in prison are potential assets to society. They could be productive and contribute. If we look at them only as problems to be contained we miss the opportunity to transform their lives and to save ourselves and our society both money and pain,” said Gove.

    “All of us suffer when people leave prison and then reoffend, all of us benefit when individuals are redeemed,” he added.

    The original restrictions provoked a high-profile campaign organised by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which attracted support from a pantheon of literary figures including the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, David Hare, Salman Rushdie and Jeffrey Archer.

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    1. Gove may have to undo more of Grayling idiotic plans. The lawyers refusal to take on any new legal aid cases are beginning to create havoc.

      http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/walton-prisoner-stages-rooftop-protest-9640133

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  12. I do find Ian's written style patronising and jnfuriating..what does this mean- "That's the dignified way to deal with serious issues such as this, as opposed to communication techniques that seek to sideline the National Collective Bargaining Machinery and treat the unions as an irritating irrelevance. We are definitely the former, but will never be the latter." The "latter" is "an irritating irrelevance" but what is "the former" ? And why all this puffed-upness re negotiating offers when as most of us have said on here, the Unions were all for us buying into abandoning our 2013 disputes because of this great Framework that was negotiated which-as the GS etc- tell us, offered protected and enhanced EVR. You can't have your cake and eat it. This smacks of attributing any climbdown on EVR rates to members who are by now likely to be so brassed off and disenchanted with all that's gone on they may well consider a cheap offer but if they do there'll be ramifications on morale of remaining members and their belief in value of continued Union membership under such leadership.

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    1. well put excellent review of that trite.

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    2. Maybe you should go into literary review rather than probation. Or maybe just make sure you keep your Tory membership up; your Union bashing will fit right in with them
      (PS is all my spelling and grammar correct; would hate to offend you. Not.)

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    3. Napo is rubbish mate you need to wake up and watch as they run for the hills when we all end up shafted . Your just as bad almost inviting an exchange of negative reviews. We all wish NAPO had better skilled people but look what happens they rushed into an agreement for the sake of EVR. It generally only applied to a particular excluding frontline staff. That in itself was unfair many who have worked at the rank wanted to go yet NAPO agreed it did not apply. Now the employers want then front line to go NO EVR what a surprise and I bet napo thinks that is fair. No you don't offend anyone being an idiot may not be all your own fault.

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    4. So we're mates now SID (Sodexo In Disguise)

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  13. Has anyone heard about the estate break clause that comes into effect in December?
    Plans are afoot to move out of expensive hm properties into cheaper alternatives.

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    1. Is that CRC only or does NPS come in to this ?

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  14. That clause is the reason that every CRC is leaving former Trust premises by that date.....working from hubs/their homes and their cars. I have also heard that NPS rationalisations are afoot and big changes to how field teams will work....

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    1. What are field teams in NPS?

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    2. At a guess fiekd teams aka OMUs/pods/those that do front-line work supervising those subject to Orders/Licences as opposed to audit teams/Court/SOTP teams and other specialisms!

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    3. Field teams are the ones that bowl and catch the balls.

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    4. Field teams are people who actually do the work , achieve the outcomes, meet the targets and actually do protect the public by enabling those who commit offences to enhance their lives and prospects, thereby reducing the frequency of offending, hence field teams also save the public money and make life generally more pleasant. Oh, they are also called 'front line workers . Managers and admin were invented to support these people, assist and enable them to do the best job possible. Now it seems that the people in Field teams actually work for the managers and admin whom it seems have come to believe that it is they who achieve the desired outcomes.

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  15. There's always something in the small print. Trawling through written Q&As in Hansard has unearthed this little gem from Selous back in November 2014:

    "The National Agreement on Staff Transfer and Protections includes an enhanced national voluntary redundancy scheme which applies up to and including 31 March 2016. Decisions including agreement on applications for voluntary redundancy have to be made and agreed by 31 March 2015. The costs of all exits under this scheme will be met from the Department’s Modernisation Fund, which is used to support sustainable reductions in resource requirements.
    Figures relating to the numbers of redundancies will in due course be published in the NOMS Annual Report and Accounts."

    So, Selous, noms, napo, unison, anyone - where are those figures? When were they released? They were clearly known at the point the contracts were awarded. Yet Sodexo were allowed to publicise their figures AFTER 31 March 2015, presumably to avoid paying EVR as there was no way anyone could reach an agreement by the deadline that had already passed. They're now clearly offering a lesser package so they can pocket 50% of the funds given to them by MoJ.

    Mr Gove, isn't this wilful & premeditated theft of public funds provided by your department? Surely that money should be used for the purpose provided, namely the redundancy payments for loyal public service employees? You seem to be in the mood for righting wrongs, so perhaps this is one further amendment you could make?

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    1. I've now found the noms annual report but the reference to "figures relating to the numbers of redundancies" are nowhere to be seen. Notes 3c & 19 are meant to be relevant, but the figures only seem to be those who had gone (or were due to go imminently) at or before takeover. I can't find anything referring to future funds for job losses or redundancy contingencies. Any tame beancounters care to assist? Just whack 'noms annual report' into a search engine.

      As far as I can make out its just more smoke & mirrors & lies & deceit & general shafting.

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  16. Ref: moves by October. Dates relating to every aspect of the TR debacle have moved again and again and again. Assume nothing until it happens.

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    1. an office I know of is definitely closing - staff all informed and plans afoot for the dispersal of them all across the borough. There will be no delay with our move because the lease is up and they'd be forced to sign for at least another 12 mths.

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  17. yup, our CRC all staff told definitely out by December if not sooner....

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    1. The most north easterly CRC can't decide where to put us. It sounds as though they want to blow the estates budget on plush riverside offices for the top dogs

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  18. So you gotta travel a little.little if an office or 2 closes. What's the big deal? Jeezz, some people want everything on a plate. Grrrrr

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    1. Good to know this blog is still having an impact and someone out there feels the need to post anonymously in an attempt to stir things up. Not quite as eloquent as the ones we had here a few months back so I wonder who...

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    2. Some of these office closures will mean offenders having to travel for hp to four hours EACH WAY to attend appointments. Appalling service delivery.

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    3. Response to Anon at 12:04

      This has been an under reported problem since I joined probation in 1975, when I recall conversations with a contemporary who had gone to work in North Wales.

      I had personal difficulties in Essex in 1980s & needed to have a good understanding of rural bus time tables in order to ensure some clients actually reported to the office.

      The situation will have been worsening over last twenty years since rural courts have been closing . I used the waiting room of a village fortnightly court as a reporting centre but still had one client who walked 5 miles to report - in Liverpool in the 70s the custom, had been to give bus fares for about 2 miles!

      Some of these issues NOW need to be challenged via the Appeal Court

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    4. That was walked 5 miles each way to report.

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    5. Skype and FaceTime will be used for reporting, along with telephone contacts. Or we'll go to them.

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    6. how can home visits replace office visits a la CRC? How can you possibly do offence focussed work, address issues when family, partners or children are present. It remove professional barriers and leaves staff really exposed.

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    7. You must work for Sodexo with that French lingo

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    8. It would be good to have skype in prisons and at the desk or in interview rooms. Video links are increasingly difficult to arrange, not enough availability and aside from ensuring at least one face to face contact there is simply not enough time to visit, especially when moving people closer to home is still a rarity. Far better than telephone calls or conferences.

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    9. One of the reasons for having local offices linked to knowing and working in the community. It seems strange to close offices whilst promoting home visits, which will change around again when someone gets injured, they re introduce two person visit, ( not that people visiting in pairs hasn't led to both being assaulted, in the past) and woops the costs go higher and higher. Saving money, they think in the short term and spending more in the long term. That is unless it is all massively successful of course and who knows it may be, travelling for several hours just might prove to be sufficient deterrent,

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    10. I'll be doing all the travelling on the bus. Hope that's ok with the data protection peeps.

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    11. This was common practice 20 yrs ago when I qualified.

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  19. " Unison on strike from 8 to 10 Tuesday

    http://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/police-and-justice-staff/key-issues/probation-pay/homepage/
    "

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    1. I really do fail to see a strike between 8 am and 10am (when most staff do not start until 9am anyway ) as anything more then ridiculous.
      Just what can it achieve other then donating a couple of hours pay to the Moss Christmas party fund?
      I think it's the most stupid form of industrial action I've ever heard of.

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    2. It is merely to retain the currency of the existing industrial action mandate from Unison members. Without it, they would need another national ballot before they could take industrial action. It is a consequence of the anti trade union legislation that has plagued us for years. It is a work -around. Nothing more.

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    3. Unison only want to take action over pay or pensions. They understand little else.

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    4. our UPW guys are due to move muster and this will mean some travelling 25 miles and having to be there for 8.30.

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    5. I'm going to set myself a challenge to find a picket line not to cross.

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  20. My response to the announcement of candidates for national officers - YAWN. However I see that they're not overwhelmed by takers for the positions; people commenting on napo on this blog obviously don't want to put their money where their mouth is!

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    1. Are you running then hypocrite ? 16:49 I don't know who they are yet but good luck to them having a go at least.

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    2. to do what ? its all lost or don't you know what is going on around ostrich.

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    3. What's happening around ostrich??

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  21. Anon 16.49 do you have a link? Didn't realise there were elections due!

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  22. Good work by the GS in securing an extension to the check off arrangements ..... https://www.napo.org.uk/news/napo-secure-3-month-extension-check-cessation

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    1. Desperate more like Napo over when check off starts is my prediction. !

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  23. Well surely it's good that 3 months extension has been granted?

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  24. Interesting how the spoilers are hard at work with only a couple of days to the Sodexo announcement. I don't know the reality of the situation. I'm not privy to such information. I have a contract of employment which I'll have to abide by, as will my employer. There's no use being pro or anti napo/ unison/ any union at this time. But bullshit is bullshit, however its wrapped & scented, and whoever is peddling it. I expect my union to fight my corner & not sell me out. I expect my employer to honour the contract of employment. My employers expect me to do the job I'm paid to do. There's an expectation of honour, with everyone fulfilling their part of the deal. So to the spoilers posting here who are occasionally amusing, mostly irritating & always ridiculous - fuck off. People's hopes, careers & lives - probation staff and clients/service users alike - are in the balance as a result of this situation.

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    1. Could agree more. I suspect all the rubbish is from retired people who this makes no difference to, or, more likely, privateers from the CRCs wanting to try to undermine the unions.

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    2. if you loved the job, no matter how many years you have been retired, you never forget, and grieve for the tortured, mutilated remains now, and for our colleagues who are still there and still trying to do a decent job. And for offenders, whose chances of rehabilitation are lessened, and therefore placing the public at greater risk.

      I have been retired 4 years, still keep in touch with colleagues and friends who are still there in NPS and CRCs, still visit occasionally, have made numerous comments, written several blogs, contacted MP umpteen times, and the Green Party,(disappointingly with no reply from both local and national offices) and newspapers, and CG himself, for what that was worth. I have had to put up with a cringy lengthy letter from Andrew Selous though, full of sickening untruths and denials, which was printed on here as a guest blog.

      Please DO NOT assume that we retire and sit back smugly, saying, 'phew, I'm glad I'm outa there'. Probation was NEVER just another job and the country is a more dangerous and sadder place without it.

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    3. tick tock tick tock 8 43 or had'nt you noticed. we are all on shaky ground and your comments on an agesist slant obviously implies you feel you are better than most people on this blog. where's your respect for the wealth of knowledge held by our mature colleagues. it's sad you have to make comments like that.it just goes to show you don't understand pro-social modelling.

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    4. Read 0843 comments in context; it was in relation to the rubishers, not the value of retired people in general. Although the default position of jumping down the posters throat is quite telling. Not very pro social one might say .

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    5. ' I suspect all this rubbish is from retired people who this makes no difference to - 8-42.'

      Sounds pretty specific and accusatory to me and I tried to make my reply polite, non-judgemental, and advisory, that we are hurting too, for our colleagues, and others whose lives have been touched by Probation, for good or bad, at first hand, or as a distant consequence. I have wept in recent months for the destruction of such a firm but fair, and caring organisation, and still desperately hope for someone with a bit of humanity (Gove?) to attempt to soften the blows (sadly it is too late to go back to the past).

      from ML 12 51

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    6. 8;43 and 15:41 , evidently one and the same . evidently NO idea of what people in Probation achieved and very likely to be a person who would have been unlikely to be in the position they are now if it had not been for those who went before driving and achieving huge changes. Why do you think 'they ' wanted to get rid of Probation Officers, the real ones , not those who will now happily be responsible officers and call people ' my offenders' all of whom no doubt have a number of deficits and who are caused to report in to be made to wait and then spend 5 minutes being asked if they are ok.. They needed to break up Probation because of the very powerful voice of humanity, justice and equality that came from those in Probation Services, many of whom are now retired. If not one and the same person, perhaps they and their ilk ( mates ) could start their own blog , specifically for those brimming with arrogant ignorance.

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  25. Bureaucrats, cretins and fools....

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    1. Gypsies, tramps & thieves....

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    2. I scream, you scream, we all scream....

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  26. Why are CRC to NPS transfers still not being paid properly?

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    1. Someone will claim that's Napos fault too!

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    2. Our CJS is not fit for purpose.

      http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/13410332.Our_justice_system_isn___t_fit_for_purpose__say_Swindon_solicitors/

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    3. If in Sodexo area probably because they are in midst of transferring HR Services to a "hub" in Salford?

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    4. Calm down 839 no one is blaming napo for what is clearly nothing to do with the union. payroll is a matter for the employers. The split is a consequence of the poor general secretaries abilities to steer a more strategic and legally binding protective negotiation. The chair resignation mid term is an indication of the failing national napo relationships at the business end of the leadership. You can blame them for that. Had the split been avoided the pay issue probably would not arise but there is no blame here.

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    5. This General secretary bloke is a powerful man if he can make Chris Greyling press head with an ideological plan to dismantle a public service. Is he responsible for reduction in police numbers, NHS privatisation, prison privatisation. No. Your thoughts are disfunctional:

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    6. No he may not be but he is responsible for the tatters of Napo you cannot avoid the issue by wandering off across a range of public sector cuts from a government we know is a disaster for Probation. He is a failing and mal adjusted leader and it is a pity Napo membership is too weak to get rid. Your commentary is a poor defence of a leader out of his depth and sinking. Why don't you list all his achievements that we can be proud. Now we are talking dysfunctional

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    7. The problem NAPO has is not the GS. It is a membership that is made up of people some of whom want a massive redundancy pay out so they can go, some want to keep their jobs no matter what, some who see a future in the industry and needs it to maintain national collective bargaining, some of whom want to be negotiating on their own behalf. Add in the fact that 70% of the membership is in the NPS and most of the workforce is not in ANY union and you have a trade union that will never be able to please all of the people all of the time. It represents the whole of the collective not just the bits you want it to.

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    8. Well understood here and some good points that I can support. Still lets not blame the leader lets look at who is advising him then the elected group collectively wouldn't break double figures in the IQ test but the officials have surely got to have some awareness of the PR disaster. Is the NAPO head office a place where no one tells the emperor about his threads? I accept it may not all be at one door it is time to encourage him to look at the dead wood in Napo that hide behind the leader taking the hits. We cannot criticise members we pay for the union . We cannot blame non members as we are not selling them anything they want and that is a problem these days as they see what has happened and Napo fell way too short. It is a propaganda war and the employers are winning. Come on Napo fin something we want you to .

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  27. Sodexo Salford ???? Salford comes under a different crc Purple Futures .....

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  28. Sodexo the company, rather than CRC administers all of its HR and payroll from Salford

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  29. Salford probation???

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  30. No. Salford Sodexo

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  31. CRC to NPS pay problems are due entirely to NPS shared services issues. Re the transfer of pay roll and HR services to the Sodexo hub in Salford, everything is on hold. I know this as Cumbria and Lancs CRC were the first to transfer to Sodexo Salford. We attended a number of briefings and until 29 June were assured 'go live' date was 1st July. On 30th June we were advised that there was a delay.

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    1. Whats the delay ????

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  32. Wonder if that would work with your targets. "Sorry, there's been a delay in reaching my arbitrary 10 day ISP"

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  33. FROM FACEBOOK: -

    " News received that a charity offering mentors in Northants has decided to wind up, making staff redundant. Charity was due to be part of Through The Gate. "

    https://www.facebook.com/SaveProbation/posts/881195205261975

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  34. Are all the Sodexo CRCs finding out about redundancies on Thursday?

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    1. This email was from our Chief in Northumbria at the end of last week:

      Good afternoon everyone

      Given my last email update regarding the timing of any announcements it probably won't come as a surprise that I am expecting to be able to provide details regarding the company restructuring next Thursday - the 16th. I have asked your managers to keep their diaries clear for now as I am intending to convene a leadership development forum on that day. I will also be convening a number of other important meetings including with our senior management team and our trade unions to outline as much detail as I can.

      Following the session with all managers I will be writing to all staff that afternoon to confirm as much detail as I can regarding future staffing numbers, what voluntary exit package is to be offered and other details about the process that we will be consulting on. I also hope to visit staff again as soon as I can.

      In the meantime I will be in Manchester on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week with other CEOs and Sodexo exec members where I expect the details of our restructuring to be finalised.

      Thanks
      Nick

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    2. I took 10 minutes out from polishing my Bentley (ooh err missus) to read Ian Lawrence's post about that 3-month extension to check-off. Attached to it was a copy of the letter from Michael Gove which confirmed that he would "grant Napo an extension until 31 December in exchange for your ongoing commitment to discussions to reform terms and conditions and negotiations about collective bargaining arrangements."

      Is it just me, or did Gove get rather the better deal there? Looks distinctly like Ian has sold us down the river for an extra 3 months grace for Napo's subscriptions.

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    3. Stupid phone - this was intended as a separate post, not a reply to the above.

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    4. Can we sue if this is true? I never gave a mandate for such negitation. Breach of trust? Breach of contract as GS?

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    5. If this is true, we should stand firm collectively, get HQ leadership out from IL down - ps no I am not affected by this SHAM but all CRC staff will be in the future - my guess is NAPO only really want to retain NPS staff as part of their UNION - fecking joke the lot of them at HQ

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    6. The letter can be found here: https://www.napo.org.uk/sites/default/files/Gove%20Letter.pdf

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    7. The letter is astonishing. It clearly shows that Gove is prepared to play hard & fast outwith any national bargaining agreement and, as 19:30 points out, offers Lawrence the opportunity to prioritise the collection of subs from NPS staff so long as he capitulates over the terms & conditions of CRC staff - thereby allowing private employers to pocket additional £££'s of public funds. The words "in exchange" appear to have been specifically underlined in Gove's hand. Its utterly scandalous - particularly in the light if yesterday's announcement about strangling unions' rights to take industrial action.

      As a PO with many years of experience working with sex offenders, lifers & high risk cases, and numerous CPD & qualifications (funded variously over the years by the Home Office, NOMS, local Trust) I was shafted into CRC on totally arbitrary criteria. I had no choice. Now the SoS is offering a deal to my union GS which sells my terms & conditions down the river for a handful of subscriptions from NPS staff.

      Insult after insult after insult after insult - added to the initial injury inflicted upon the probation profession.

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  35. As much as I CAN what cant you speak properly certainly poor written. Anyway puppet by the read and a new offer to go not napo agreed but they do not care . They will ride out the bumps wipe out TU relations and off they sail the tax payers dividend in the back pocket helped by the CPOs . I could think of a few choice words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @1253 what do your first two 'sentences' mean?

      Delete
    2. Stanley Unwin lives!!

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    3. Yes, what DO you mean?????

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    4. 1423 2010 sorry both, it was a deliberately poor opening to illustrate what I mean about the new nasty Nick. From a chief to who write a good afternoon note with almost nothing to say except "what I can 3 times" I wonder is he gagged and should he not have been talking top the Unions a while back with the detail. No he has been gagged so annoyed as I am he is a puppet. I should have written clearly and just asked the question why is he repeating as much as he can? Should he not be saying he will tell the unions everything he knows. Also apologising for playing the despicable game with our colleagues lives and ultimately all of us because that Bast*** group are setting the scene for the national implosion and attack on all staff through jobs and terms. I hope this was a little clearer it makes for a terrible forecast what is happening to us. Sorry People.

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    5. No need to apologise. I have often been the victim of the cursed auto text and thought that may have been at play! Mmmmm Nick...dont know the guy but he sounds ghastly.....does he preface everything with «good morning/afternoon everyone»? Reminds me of a tour rep trying to flog a horrible overpriced excursion. However, he is still not as bad as that bloody Russell.....

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    6. Russell Bruce - his favourite phrase was "just fucking do it." Inspiring.

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    7. They are sooooo macho these guys.....handpicked by Sodexo to whip us into shape. Sad really. Just wait until they turn on each other.

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  36. An agency called Servoca Resoucing Solutions advertising for POs all over the place; notably Lancashire and Northumbria who will both announce redundancies tomorrow.

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    1. In our Office the Admin temps outnumber CRC Admin staff at the moment, who are having to train them!!. We've been told it's to keep things going until the restructuring goes ahead. I am at a loss as to what is going on. Lets hope tomorrow sheds some light.

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    2. Yup, sounds like our office too. Probably the same office (I do hope so as I would hate to think that anyone else was going through the same debacle)

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    3. to 1419, I might be looking at the wrong site for Servoca 'cos I saw vacancies in many areas, but not one for Nbria. Could you say where you found that info?

      I did look at one site and the jobs seemed to be for Community Payback.

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  37. Dear Colleague,

    Napo meets with the new Secretary of State - Sodexo issues are top of the agenda

    General Secretary Ian Lawrence and National Co-Chair Chris Winters formed part of a Napo/UNISON/GMB delegation who met with the Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove and Prisons and Rehabilitation Under-Secretary Andrew Selous, yesterday.

    A fuller report of the key issues that were discussed will follow in due course and Family Court Members can be assured that we will be seeking an early meeting with the Justice Minister Caroline Dineage at the earliest opportunity.

    The Sodexo EVR and Job cuts disputes

    As members would expect, Napo adopted a robust position on the current disputes within the Sodexo owned CRCs and provided a comprehensive briefing to the Ministers about the intention of the contractor to make 600 staff redundant and to seek to vary a National Agreement and override established collective bargaining machinery that had been underwritten by Mr Gove's predecessor.

    This contractor is seeking to move away from a nationally agreed, and funded scheme for enhanced voluntary redundancy (EVR). As members will be aware a Modernisation Fund was shared out amongst the CRC contractors following the share sale to facilitate future staff reductions

    It has been extraordinarily difficult to convince this contractor of their obligations to recognise the national collective bargaining agreements that were carried across on share sale and Napo and our sister unions are seriously concerned at the damage that may be caused by Sodexo and their (in our opinion) totally unjustifiable programme of 600 job cuts.

    Their actions to effectively undercut the EVR scheme payments formula by more than half without formal negotiations and the unions having an opportunity to consult with our members is a serious matter that undermines the authority of the Secretary of States guarantees within the National Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement.

    The unions believe that this company, who posted massive operating profits earlier this year should honour the expectation of staff who, through no fault of their own, face the employment scrapheap at the same time as Sodexo revealed to us they are seeking a variation of the contract with the MoJ on the basis that they have not received the IT support that they were expecting.

    NOMS Chief Executive Michael Spurr has been supportive of our view that full EVR terms should be payable as was the case for staff who have already left the service, and at yesterdays meeting with Michael Gove the unions asked for a firm line from NOMS Contract Management to re-affirm the requirement to use this fund for the purpose for which it was intended. We also asked the Minister to consider calling the parties in to see him personally.

    The Minister has agreed to consider our representations.

    Unions issue position statement

    Meanwhile the attached response has been sent to Sodexo and copied to the Chief Executives of the CRCs as well as the MoJ Ministers. Members may find this useful when they attend the staff briefings that are due to be held tomorrow.

    An important meeting of union representatives from the six Sodexo CRCs will take place on Friday and, as can be seen from the unions’ letter, further meetings are scheduled with Sodexo next Monday.

    More news will be issued at the earliest opportunity.

    Yours sincerely

    IAN LAWRENCE CHRIS WINTERS & YVONNE PATTISON
    General Secretary National Co-Chairs

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    Replies
    1. undercut the EVR scheme payments formula by more than half without formal negotiations and the unions having an opportunity to consult with our members is a serious matter that undermines the authority of the Secretary of States guarantees within the National Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement.

      The unions believe that this company, who posted massive operating profits earlier this year should honour the expectation of staff who, through no fault of their own, face the employment scrapheap

      Reads like the Union are more worried about not being invited into the carve up like they were in the sccog. Outside bemoaning about the breach of an agreement that Napo had accepted . I thought unions were in the business of being capable of cynicism. We all know contracts are broken every day every minute. This is a predictable situation yet the employers have already worked out Napo could not afford to take any cases what with all the scrounging back of branch funds and clawing at members support services. All this indicates a union in free fall. I read today the current treasurer wants back in. Probably a real likelihood as Napo have a record of voting for the incompetent.

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    2. Change the record.

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    3. Everything is rosy in the garden and under control. All posters on this blog need not to worry about the activities of the General secretary or the NAPO officials . They have skilfully cornered Mr Grayling and the Gove replacement with a secret plan . It is something that we have all missed in our fear anxiety upset anger and depression. All the campaigning posting supporting and concern has been in vain because by September in a flash of inspiration and knowledge beyond our current comprehension all this heart felt trouble and despair will disappear and everything will be put back overnight to pre TR state. No one knows just yet, how, it is being pulled of but a source has indicated it will be something along the lines of the famous Bobby Ewing Dallas scene. Opening in the shower it was all a dream !

      There you are a record change and as unbelievable as the supporter club for the current clowns.

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  38. HARBHAJAN SINGH BRAR​
    HR Director
    Sodexo Justice Services & Central Functions
    Sodexo
    One Southampton Row
    London WC1B 5HA

    (By e-mail)

    15 July 2015

    Dear Harbhajan,

    SODEXO JOB CUTS AND EVR

    You previously asked the unions to respond to you on the above by 15th July.

    We are now in receipt of an invitation from you via the NNC Joint Secretaries to meet next Monday prior to the presentation of the intended Target Operating Model that we understand is the driver for the substantial staff reduction programme that you intend to announce tomorrow across the six Sodexo owned CRCs. We acknowledge that your communication will make it clear that this does not preclude further discussion with the trade unions.

    Now that we have at last been able to establish (by way of the recent Joint Secretaries determinations) that formal discussions about these issues can only take place within the established national collective bargaining arrangements, we confirm our attendance on Monday. We expect to be able to provide feedback from the joint meeting of Napo/UNISON and GMB representatives taking place this Friday.

    Issues at large

    You are already aware from our informal discussions, that the probation unions believe that the content of your proposal to offer a variation of the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy scheme (EVR) is outside of the formula previously underwritten by the Secretary of State and enshrined in the National Agreement on Staff Transfer and Protections (NASTP) and published prior to share sale. It is one that we are not prepared to accept on behalf of our members, until we have been party to substantive and centrally conducted negotiations under the auspices of the NNC and SCCOG, and have had an opportunity to consult with our constituent members.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The unions find the thinly veiled threat to withdraw the EVR scheme (or alternatively that Sodexo will decide to move to compulsory redundancies in September) to be serious acts of bad faith, which would irreparably damage industrial relations between us and which may have consequences in terms of us seeking the views of our wider membership beyond those situated within the Sodexo owned CRCs.

      We must also reject the notion that that the delay in releasing information to staff is the fault of the trade unions, especially given the fact that the intention to make 600 job cuts across your contract package areas was announced last Easter without any notice to us whatsoever, and that the presentation of the Target Operating Model which will obviously impact on our wider views about your plans is only taking place next week.

      Our approach up to now has been to urge the company to recognise that negotiations on national terms and conditions have to take place on a national basis. We appreciate that you believe this is a hindrance to the business, but we also face problems that we have to live with, namely the outsourcing of thousands of our member’s jobs across the probation service and the potential impact on their terms and conditions and their future employment status.

      You should also know that these issues, and the company’s refusal to honour the full terms of EVR, took up the best part of our meeting with Michael Gove the Secretary of State for Justice yesterday. We have also furnished him with copies of the documentation that has featured in the previous discussions between us concerning the NASTP and your interpretation of the obligations under the contract between yourselves and the Secretary of State. We have also advised you that the trade unions request for access to the commercial contract was denied to us despite numerous FoI Act requests. This would have at least afforded us an earlier opportunity to discuss this clear gap in our respective understanding.

      Delete
    2. Unanswered questions

      Despite our request to have some prior indication of the information that you intend to issue to staff within the six CRC’s under your ownership, you have decided to present the job cuts position and intended EVR scheme tomorrow. We have previously explained that we do not have the mandate to accept these terms which in our view jeopardise the above national agreement. Moreover, we have consistently stated that we do not believe that your intended staff reduction programme is justified and that we have serious concerns about its potential impact on public safety.

      Meanwhile, as an indication of the complex landscape that we are in, here is a summary of some of the most regularly asked questions that have reached us from members within the last few days. Whilst you consider how you might wish to respond to them, we hope you will agree that the subject matter demonstrates how it imperative it is that that urgent negotiations should take place with the unions where these and other key pieces of information can be discussed with a view to reaching an agreement.

      • Why are Sodexo saying they don't have to comply with the National Agreement - i.e. 4.5 weeks’ pay per years served?

      • What is the MoJ doing about this? Might they cover any shortfall in EVR payments?

      • How are the government holding Sodexo to account?

      • Why can't members know which posts are at risk before they contemplate applying for EVR

      • How will I find out if my post is at risk?

      • What will the advice to members be when the consultation starts on what discussion they should enter into about their personal VR package?

      • What is going on with estates? Why have my CRC not yet identified buildings to support the proposed Target Operating Model and should my future location not be a major factor in making a decision on whether or not to apply for an EVR?

      • Why has the ‘hub’ building contract not been signed yet? *(This has caused members to speculate that Sodexo are delaying as they might pull out of the CRC contract)

      • Will all this delay mean that they'll just make us compulsorily redundant? Are they delaying on purpose to get us closer to the September date?

      • Why are Sodexo being allowed to dictate the time we are allowed to respond/consult with members?

      • What is the current position in regards to TUPE and the proposed shared service centre transfers? Should I not know all the facts about the potential EVR package before I accept or reject an offer to relocate to Salford?

      • What is happening with the IT bridging solution? Has it totally fallen apart? Will this change things?

      • Is it true that Sodexo are refusing to pay full EVR but at the same time are asking for more money from the MoJ over IT failures?

      • I have seen a job advert posted by a Sodexo CRC at £25 per hour when there are redundancies being announced. What’s going on?

      • I'm aged over 55, (or fast approaching 55), are Sodexo entirely clear as to the terms of the release of pension deal they are offering, and how long for?"

      In the interest of transparency we are copying this letter to the NNC Employers’ side Joint Secretary, all Chief Executives in the Sodexo owned CRCs and making it available to our respective members.

      We look forward to your reply and our meetings next week.

      Delete
  39. Breaking News: The 4 Shires Napo Chair standing down due in part to what is described as 'a lack of steer and direction from the centre'.

    This leads me to ask: How long are we going to let ourselves be pushed around, pushed aside and pushed to the limit before we, collectively, do something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Won't be able to do much by standing down. Who is it anyway?

      Delete
    2. What a shame the Chair wont be alone in their upset. Ian Lawrence had a welcome in Bath he says. How welcome really would he have been had he gone to the shires AGM. It is a shame .

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  40. its interesting that with a serious threat to staff and profits to be made for large companies who fear an organsised staff group represented by a union with access to legal advice etc - whatever people think about individuals leading that union - that there are constant posts on this blog all the effect that
    a) unions are useless
    b) union staff are in it for themselves
    c) give up now its useless .
    You could ponder how many of these are being posted by the HR dept at Mega Corp?
    Its the same message the right wing media spread about political parties
    They are all the same. They are all in it for themselves , There is no alternative - what we want is like a force of nature. And you get the Tories.
    Just a thought.

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    Replies
    1. If you're arguing for loyalty to the Napo cause, then we need leaders worthy of that loyalty. Not a Gen Sec whose communications consist mainly of excuses telling us why he can't tell us more, and is outwitted by his opponents at every turn. He undermined resistance to TR by sitting at the negotiating table, in the guise of "getting the best deal for members" and comes out with a Framework Agreement which is being roundly ignored.

      The only measure of comfort I get from all this is the true extent of the shitstorm that will envelop the privateers when their pathetic excuses for operating models are utterly exposed by reality. That comfort won't help save jobs - but neither, it appears, will Napo.

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    2. Your correct and well put.

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  41. Who the he'll agreed that jobs would only be protected for 7 months.

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    Replies
    1. Ian Lawrence tom rendon

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    2. Response to Anons "15 July 2015 at 23:36" & "16 July 2015 at 07:13"

      I do not know the details - but presume they were only some of the NEC appointed negotiators and that the outcome would have been accepted by the NEC unless the NEC had delegated the responsibility.

      I do not think the decision was put out to a ballot of all full members - which I was surprised about and neither (I was not there) did it form the subject of any specific motion at any of the several General Meetings held since - which I also find surprising - that ordinary members did not challenge the process being undertaken on their behalf by their representatives.

      I understand there were some - closed to non full members - sessions of at least one GM - where maybe these things were explained sufficiently well to satisfy the comparatively few (imo) full members who now attend these policy setting events.

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    3. I am reliably told and you will have some idea that they hurried into the deal as it was subject to a take it or leave pressure around the EVR so for a carrot the naïve pair bit our arms off to get a pre Christmas deal done one word starts with W ends with S . What I meant wasters.

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  42. http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jul/15/legal-aid-safety-net-does-not-work-rules-uk-high-court

    Another court ruling against the MoJ (another Grayling f*** up).







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  43. Jim & readers everywhere - please don't let Gove's letter to Ian Lawrence slip your notice. 19:37 on 15 July above very helpfully gave us the link:

    https://www.napo.org.uk/sites/default/files/Gove%20Letter.pdf

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    Replies
    1. What's to notice? Except that we've got 3 months more to sort out direct debits.

      Delete
  44. New legislation is in the pipeline to make strikes illegal unless 50% of the entire workforce votes yes. That's the workforce, not just union members in the workforce. So, a single percentage figure can vote you in as police commissioner but because there are so many who think unions no longer serve a purpose (who can blame them), chaces of taking strike action disappearing into history - not far before we are in for a new feudal age and your name going down on secret employers lists if you've ever been involved in union activities. Must be you who voted Tory, cos' it wasn't me. Tony

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  45. if this becomes law, and thousands of people walk out in protest, supported by those who are desperate to work, and other sympathisers who are disgusted by the new law, what can the govt do to punish such huge numbers? - sack, fine, prison, Probation supervision....?

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