Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Latest From Napo 69

Letter posted on the Napo website this evening:-

JTU 18-15


Rt Hon Michael Gove MP 
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
Ministry of Justice 
102 Petty France London SW1H 9AJ 
(By e-mail & hard copy) 

21 July 2015

Dear Michael,

Probation Trade Union Meeting Issues

Thank you very much for the very constructive meeting we had with you and Andrew Selous last Tuesday. We appreciated your openness and your willingness to engage with us on a regular basis. 

We promised to summarise the key issues that we raised with you and more specifically to highlight our suggested solutions and questions on which we would be grateful if you could let us have a response. You will also see that there have been further worrying developments over the last seven days on least one of the issues we discussed.

National Collective Bargaining 

The trade unions are willing to engage in work to reform the current national collective bargaining machinery to ensure that it is fit for purpose going forward. NOMS has indicated that it wishes to abolish the National Negotiating Council (NNC), but the machinery is protected under the NNC Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement and the statutory Staff Transfer Scheme. In light of this we believe that the NNC must be reformed, rather than abolished, to meet the needs and expectations of all parties, namely: employees, trade unions, NPS and the 21 CRCs. 

You have our commitment to start the necessary talks to complete this reform, but we would like your support for the continued guidance of ACAS in this process. This is necessary to maintain the confidence of all parties. 

Sodexo Proposals for Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy (EVR) 

We confirmed to you that we are opposed to the proposals from Sodexo to opt out of the terms of the NNC Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy Scheme, which is an integral part of the NNC Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement (NSTPA). This agreement was negotiated by us in good faith with Jeremy Wright, former Prisons and Probation Minister, and which secured terms for the staff transfers to NPS and CRCs which enabled the unions to recommend the agreement to members and call off planned industrial action set for early 2014. 

You will not have been surprised to hear our view last week that the NOMS Commercial Team failed to fully reflect the terms of the NNC agreement when putting together the Services Agreement which your predecessor went on to sign with the owners-to-be of the CRCs. 

Instead of enshrining the NNC EVR terms in the commercial contracts, NOMS Commercial appear to have inserted an ambiguous clause which Sodexo is now relying on to vary the NNC EVR terms. This is clearly unacceptable. We are seeking to resolve these difficult matters via the NNC, which we are pleased has responded to the crisis by asking Sodexo to refer its plans to change the EVR terms for discussion under the auspices of the NNC Joint Secretaries. In particular, we ask you to: 
  • Confirm whether the originally forecasted 600 job cuts proposed by Sodexo in its 6 CRCs were agreed by your predecessor as part of the bid negotiations? 
  •  If the 600 Sodexo job cuts were identified pre-contract sign off, please confirm what negotiations took place with Sodexo in relation to the contract price and the cost of complying with the NNC EVR terms. We are not clear why these do not appear to have been priced into Sodexo’s bid as the terms of the EVR scheme would have been clearly available to the company’s bid team. We sincerely hope that Sodexo was not awarded the contracts on the basis that NOMS knew that the potential contractor did not have the means to pay our members the full terms of the EVR scheme.
  •  If the 600 job cuts proposed by Sodexo were not identified in the company’s bid, and we suspect that they were not, on the basis that the company is now openly claiming that it was not able to fully understand what it had bought until after the contract had started, and only had full access to all employment information after the event, we ask you to confirm whether the 600 job cuts have since required your approval as the ‘special shareholder’ on the Board of each CRC? 
  • Confirm what reassurances you have sought in relation to the safety of the Sodexo operating model going forward in relation to these major job cuts. 
  •  As a matter of urgency could you please look into the disparity between the terms of the EVR scheme and clause 30.3 section e of the ARSA that we handed to Andrew and reconfirm the commitments made by the previous Justice Secretary? 
  •  Examine whether CRC staff at risk of redundancy in Sodexo-owned CRCs can be offered transfer opportunities into the NPS, with protection of continuity of service, at a time when the NPS is in active recruitment mode. The lack of strategic co-operation between the two parts of the Service in this respect is very unhelpful and damaging to staff morale. 
In a further and very serious development which we learned of only yesterday, this contractor has also signalled its intention, without due notice under the NSTPA, to revoke the protected arrangements for staff within its Lancashire/ Cumbria CRC in relation to the compulsory redundancy policy. In light of this clear act of bad faith, we must reiterate our request that you consider whether there is merit to calling in the parties as a matter of urgency. 

Pay 2014 and 2015 

As you are aware, Napo and UNISON remain in dispute at the NNC over the imposition of the 2014 pay arrangements. Last week UNISON initiated industrial action over the dispute. We have been meeting with the assistance of ACAS to seek to resolve the dispute and are very disappointed to have received a letter from Francis Stuart and Peter Firth on 10 July which appears to dismiss ACAS from any future involvement in discussions over the current pay dispute, or the future direction of pay for our members. 

We need to draw your attention to the potential risks inherent in an NNC pay system which is nearly 10 years old and which, over the last 5 years, has been starved of the cash to ensure that staff can progress up the still lengthy pay bands. You will be aware that you have indemnified the CRCs against any claims in respect of employment matters which pre-date the CRC share sale, and this will include the above risks. 

We seek your support for the continued guidance of ACAS in talks to review the NNC pay and grading system, for both NPS and CRC staff. These talks cannot take place until we resolve the future of the NNC. 

National Probation Service 

We underlined our profound concerns about the functioning of the newly formed NPS and how the pre-share sale difficulties have in fact been exacerbated since the signing of the CRC contracts. Over and above all of this, the Unions greatest concern is the sustainability of the National Probation Service. The TR programme has created nationalisation by default, and has added a number of substantial bureaucratic, organisational and professional challenges. The unions have already signalled our commitment to supporting the E3 programme which aims to address these hopefully in a strategic and sustainable manner. 

Early evidence highlights the scale of the challenge. More cases exist than were first anticipated, with higher caseloads for a staffing complement that is already way over what was envisaged but is still inadequate for the task in hand. This situation is exacerbated by poor HR and people planning, as evidenced by the fiasco within Shared Services around paying staff who transferred into the NPS since the split and the huge increase in people management forced upon SPO and senior line managers which further undermine staff confidence and morale. 

Napo has never received any clear evidence that the funding plans for the NPS are adequate. With contracts that fix the price of CRC fee for service and payment by results, any further budget constraints must impact disproportionately on the NPS where its funding appears to have been founded upon guess work and optimism. 

The unions want to work with NOMS management to tackle high workloads, increased sickness absence and low morale in the NPS, as well as improve co-operation and strengthen Professional partnerships with the new CRCs; however we doubt that a service organised in such a centralised way as the NPS and further constrained by tight spending controls can deliver the sustainable and excellent service that we all want. 

This we think highlights two areas of obvious risk which exemplify the challenges that the NPS are facing. The service requires huge improvements and investment in IT infrastructure and processes. These now have to integrate into 21 other CRC systems. 

We have been afforded no reassurance that finances are planned to meet this problem and IT failures could be catastrophic on the front line. A number of additional unwieldy systems and risk management tools have been developed such as, Risk of Serious Recidivism tool and the Case Allocation System tool. They all seem perfectly logical in the first instance but have become far too complicated and are not fully integrated with well-established risk assessment tools such as OASys, and have resulted in duplication of work which further increases the pressure on staff. 

We suggest: A fundamental review of the NPS IT strategy, via the E3 programme, with the full participation of trade union members as both users and IT service providers. Listening to the voices of staff should be the priority in NPS IT thinking. 

Notwithstanding your point (which we accept) that organisational change is almost always difficult, we believe that the formation of NPS is showing all the hallmarks of a reform programme that has been pursued at a reckless pace. We particularly highlighted the ill thought out nature of corporate support services in NPS whereby professional staff at all levels are unable to focus properly on the core job they are charged with - managing risk in the community – due to the pressure of having to deal with a remote and unaccountable shared service provision. 

This is not just about the pressure on managers as administrators and receptionists are being made redundant in the CRC's whilst adverts are being posted for the very same vacancies in the NPS. Further illustrating that the staff transfer was hastily carried out. 

We were concerned that perhaps yourself and Mr Selous felt that the 'risk; issues were solely or primarily due to ICT problems which were in the process of being rectified. We believe the issues are much more deep seated than this, and that the urgent need for better administrative support to staff is recognised and acted upon. Assumptions as to what works for the Prison Service as being good enough for the Probation Service, cannot be accepted as axiomatic. In addition NPS staff in particular are being negatively affected by problems elsewhere in the criminal system such as delays in the Parole Board system. 

In the wider CRC environment 

As we said, CRC contractors are at risk of being unable to optimise their performance in what is, for them, a new environment. One of the most significant risk factors is the connectivity problem between NPS systems and new systems that they are hoping to develop. 

We are working hard to establish positive relationships with the new CRC owners and are offering advice and support regarding the professional challenges they face in developing and implementing new operating models. So far (Sodexo aside) things are largely positive in this regard, although the scale of the task and the complexity of the operational environment they have inherited is not being under-estimated by anyone, but nevertheless we expect that industrial relations will be tested. 

It is clear already that different interpretations are emerging on the contracts that have been entered into and potential disputes between NOMS and the CRCs about liabilities, which will undermine trust – such as Sodexo's interpretation of the EVR scheme and how they are side stepping their moral obligations to pay staff the entitlement that those who have left before them received under EVR. 

Our suggestion: Is that we hope the SoS will support our efforts to establish sustainable tri-partite forums for negotiation and dialogue around these contracts to support improved professional standards, and employment practices. We reiterate here, the need for NPS recruitment opportunities to be made available to CRC staff who find themselves at risk of redundancy through no fault of their own. NOMS HR should be invited to come up with a joined up strategy to ensure that this happens as a matter of urgency, and the trade unions want to engage with your senior officials at the earliest opportunity. 

The operating system for Probation 

Post-TR, the split into the National Probation Service and 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies has not gone at all well, and is symptomatic of the speed of the implementation with many contractors now openly complaining about what they have been sold. 

We believe that there needs to be an urgent Ministerially sponsored post-implementation review of TR, which might usefully include the work currently being undertaken by HMI Probation and the National Audit Office. 

Two examples below highlight the typical issues that are arising in the post TR landscape. In the NPS there is a target requirement for of 85% of pre-sentence reports (PSR's) to be completed either on the day or in a very short time frame. This includes those relating to domestic abuse perpetrators which form a substantial part of CRC case loads. Good professional practice means that there needs to be liaison with other agencies such as police domestic abuse units for a police call out history, children services and court practitioners (who are NPS staff). Our members regularly report difficulty in gaining sufficient information to fully inform risk assessments. 

In one large CRC (and we suspect, many of the other 20) approximately 85% of post sentence reports are going from the NPS to the CRC; but the quality of the work and information requests coming from courts is variable, leaving CRC staff to undertake significant amounts of postsentence assessments – with reasonable questions about whether this work is included in the CRC/ MoJ contract. We believe that this is work which should have been undertaken by the NPS. 

CRC’s are overwhelmed with work – meaning little rehabilitation can be undertaken in this type of environment.

We suggest: that there is a need to develop an efficient and standardised operational model within the NPS that fits with those of the CRCs. This includes greater engagement between the NPS and the CRCs, involving the unions. Currently there is limited evidence that the NPS and the CRCs are progressing this service design work in collaboration. The suggestion is for a consultation forum probably an extension of the existing Probation Consultative Forum. 

Authorised Officers 

The unions are still concerned about the impact of the un-agreed instructions on authorised officers and we believe there is a pressing need to maintain a compulsory register of practitioner Offender Managers across both the NPS & CRCs linked to the concept of a 'licence to practice' together with training and continuous professional development. The Offender Management Act 2007 refers, and we have already sent a letter to you outlining the position and our proposals (JTU 14-15 dated 18th June). 

Again our appreciation for the constructive nature of our discussions last week and we look forward to your reply or any requests from your Officials regarding the clarity of the foregoing. 

Yours sincerely, 

IAN LAWRENCE 
General Secretary Napo

BEN PRIESTLEY 
National Officer UNISON

DAVID WALTON 
National Secretary GMB/SCOOP

42 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting Jim - one interpretation of that is that NOMS/MOJ are in a mess and the three Unions are showing them ways they can begin to dig themselves out of the mess.

    The Unions should consider submitting a bill to MOJ I am sure they are contributing more than some of the consultants and I cannot see why the workers should pay the bosses to fix the job especially whilst the bosses are making life ever more difficult and planning to lay folk off!

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  2. NAPO are good at writing letters, but only time will tell if there will be support for action to protect our colleagues if the MOJ do not stop this threat to the very people that despite all the odds have kept the system running.

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    1. Napo may well be good at writing letters Anon at 20.50 - BUT it was a joint effort the Bosses Union and Unison helped as well!

      " Yours sincerely,

      IAN LAWRENCE
      General Secretary Napo

      BEN PRIESTLEY
      National Officer UNISON

      DAVID WALTON
      National Secretary GMB/SCOOP "



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  3. Fair point Andrew but perhaps if Unison and GMB has supported the initial strike action we may not be in this situation. I am a Napo member and feel let down, I did strike on each occasion as some of us saw the writing on the wall long ago.

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    1. Response to Anon at 21:35

      Those little strikes were almost irrelevant - in my opinion - they just showed how disorganised were the Unions collectively.

      What was needed - IMO was an absolute refusal to engage with anything that could be later taken to be seen as agreement with the split - that was the worst damage - plus the PR and parliamentary campaign was very quiet with folk allowing selves to be gagged.

      But that was then this is now.

      I am too selfish - I would have been off on 31st May 2014 - unless retirement would have been in sight - I would not trust myself to retain a sense of balance and integrity after the split.

      However I accept many are better able to cope with personal stress than me or were less able to consider alternative employment than some others.

      I can only commiserate.

      I reckon - what is needed is a real demonstration - just walk out - no ballot ignore the law - the fact is front- line probation workers are still needed more than bosses or bods at NOMS & MOJ - but I guess it is too late for gestures of revolt now and the best folk can do is consider their own situation - get legal advise and act boldly and positively.

      Maybe once the nation realises what it has wrecked - it will start to recruit social workers who specialise in criminal justice work again - but I cannot see it in my lifetime - which I expect to be short

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  4. I have sent an email to David Cameron expressing my disgust and asking him to listen to what the unions have to say. Not that it will do any good. But at least I will have a good nights sleep for once.

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    1. Sadly our political education has been too little too late.

      Consider the Home Secretary - who toughened up Parole in 1985 ( I was at the event he justified it - whilst simultaneously releasing shorter sentence prisoners EARLY ) who also BEGAN the nationalisation of Probation - Statement of National Objectives and Priorities (1985) - was almost certainly a major child abuser himself who colluded with others in power to manipulate the Justice system so they could carry on as abusers - whilst the junkies & folk who were from the so called 'criminal classes' had the media spotlight on them instead.

      A major TV Programme was broadcast about it on Sunday on main stream Australian television - it has only - as far as I am aware been mentioned in one UK newspaper (The National - published in Scotland)

      Meanwhile the UK Chancellor announces he is flogging off yet more family silver - The Royal Mail having been sold last year.

      Emails to Cameron - You're 'avin a larff! AND so are they!

      http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5614/australia-s-60-minutes-makes-special-on-uk-s-vip-paedophiles

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    2. I think that Anon 21:49 is not "avin a larff" as you put it. Respect peoples opinions on here, there seem to be a lot of slagging going on this blog.
      If it makes that person feel even a little better by sending the email the good on them.
      In fact I am sending one too. So yes I am "avon a larff
      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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    3. Good - if you also write to your own MP and follow it up with a meeting - don't ask for an appointment - just lobby them at Westminster - if is feasible for you - then they will realise the strength of your opinion - meanwhile encourage colleagues to do the same - phone every local radio & TV programme in the area and then when you have been broadcast write to the press - when that is published - do it again and again - if enough people act boldly now - it may still be possible to mitigate the damage - which must come from Government OR maybe negotiations direct with CRC owners.

      Ultimately Government is ONLY answerable to Parliament.

      I lobbied my elected MP at Westminster - before she was in Cameron's Cabinet (Priti Patel) - when she realised what it was about she said that she had spoken that day (it was in Feb 2014 - the last day the ORB 2014 was before Parliament) to Essex Police - Essex County Council and the CEO of the then Essex Probation Trust - they all assure me it will be safe in Essex which was all she was really concerned about, she told me (words to that effect) - as I tried to point out it was a bit easier in Essex (one Pbn Trust only being involved) - then she walked away saying - It will happen - and refused to consider any detail.

      At that point Probation was on the edge of a hole - it is now in the hole having missiles thrown on top as it tries to stop slipping further down - let alone climb out - but a couple of emails to Cameron - might just swing it and he will say it was all a mistake!

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  5. Sadly, I feel the only people laughing are Grayling and those that were able to escape on the EVR offered before the profiteers to over. Probation will never be the same.

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  6. What a weak and weasly letter, speaking a language the readers don't understand ( and people wonder why no one understands what probation did / does ) . Rambling along like a report when the author can't sort the wood from the trees so writes 10 pages of repetitive gloop. It also seems to a good job of suggesting how to destroy the NPS, well done chaps.

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    1. Appendix B of the framework agreement says, 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.

      Presumably if you were able to remove the final clause: 'unless agreed between...' Sodexo would have less wriggle room. I do not understand why the unions signed the framework agreement with this clause or why they signed an agreement which set countdown of seven months to compulsory redundancies. 'The unions do not expect CRCs to propose any compulsory redundancies during the term of the private contracts...' which is presumably why they did not worry about signing an agreement that enshrined this very intention.

      I don't know if Napo 69 is a semiotic that signifies the beginning of a love-in with Gove, but to the teaching unions he was the 'demented Dalek'. And his track record with the unions is abysmal. He is no supporter of national collective bargaining.




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  7. How many years of experience are Sodexo/Nacro getting rid of? HOW MANY?!? Do they know how dangerous the offenders in the low-medium cohort are? There are violent offenders who carry weapons. There are offenders with serious mental health issues, unstable on their medication who are hearing voices and have seriously physically harmed before. There are sex offenders who target children but their offences were plead down and are not on the sex offender register. There are prolific offenders who have committed robberies and burglaries to fund their drug use. We need to be shouting from the rooftops about this! Get rid of our experienced probation practitioners and OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR FAMILIES are not safe. Working in probation, my fear of crime has always been lower than the average member of the general public. Well not any more, I'm scared for my children, I'm scared for my family, and I'm scared for my community. The public of England and Wales have no idea what risk they are being put at.

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  8. A point made in the above letter from the three unions caught my eye, and made me think: has anyone considerd taking action against Grayling & others over the CRC redundancy debacle, given that (I think there were three of them?) were the named shareholders/directors of all 21 CRCs until 1 Feb 2015 & as such had a duty of care to the staff of those 21 businesses? If they sold the businesses on, in the knowledge of the sizeable staff losses, but didn't negotiate or otherwise notify staff or trades unions, isn't that unlawful at worst? Reckless at best, actions worthy of being stripped of directorships or any responsibilities?

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    1. Who would pay for the employees potential court case ???????

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  9. From Richard Johnson's article in BQP febr 2014:

    "Grayling, however, has waved his magic wand and made this (TUPE) problem go away for his ‘rehabilitation revolution’. The new CRCs are not being transferred to incoming contractors – they are being sold for £1. Because this is simply, therefore, a change of the shareholder, TUPE does not apply.
    Additionally, all historic pension liability is to remain with the Ministry of Justice. The ongoing cost of pension contributions becomes the responsibility of the new shareholder/owner, but at a reduced rate. Some redundancies will be made prior to the sale of the CRC and then, in the first year, the cost of further redundancies will, at least in part, be covered by the Ministry."

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    1. Thanks for the Reminder Anon at 08.43 - That BQP article was called

      " Grayling’s secret revolution " and can be found here: -

      https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/33451102/273

      He also quotes Grayling thus: -

      “We expect that the majority of staff currently performing probation roles will transfer to new providers. These transfers will occur under statute, and in their new roles staff will have the opportunity and flexibility to work on rehabilitating offenders. We will take a sensible and managed approach to making this transition.”

      Is that true? If not was Grayling lying or have the CRCs not fulfilled his expectations - or is this happening in reality " staff will have the opportunity and flexibility to work on rehabilitating offenders? "

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    2. I hope that question was rhetorical, Andrew. Unless the flexibility meant was in terms of caseloads (up), bureaucracy and targets (up), and time spent actually doing the work with clients (down).

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    3. I expected the response Anon at 13:04 gave but it was a genuine question as I am on the outside of probation and only have what I discover via the Internet to go on as information.

      Of course Anon13:04 is just one, maybe she or he does not have an average situation - I simply cannot tell?

      If folk are so angry why do they not publicise the reality of day to day probation more amongst the folk that matter - the media and the parliamentarians - sadly talking to each other via Internet Forums obviously has value but real change will only come with something different as well - from those who are at the front-line NOW.

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    4. I think the flexibility you were looking for was the ability to grab your ankles & brace yourself...!

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  10. Profit above everything else. All CRC's operate this way now. They have share holders to appease.

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  11. 2. Community Rehabilitation Companies – Background and Legal Basis

    2.1 The Secretary of State has established 21 CRCs under the Companies Act 2006. The Companies Act requires at least one Director to be appointed for any company, who must fulfil the statutory duties specified in the Act. There are also governance arrangements set out in the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Corporate Governance Code 2012. This code sets out a number of principles for good governance of companies. These are not mandatory, however, the Code identifies that companies should ‘comply or explain’ – i.e. either comply with the code, or set out a clear explanation to shareholders (in this case, the Secretary of State) why elements have not been complied with."

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    1. Dear Sec of state ;
      it was good to see you last weekend and here is a reminder to get your mate in the euro zone to get me another case or dozen of the bubbly . You knocked back so much of it I am wondering when you sobered up. Anyway as you know I said I would drop you line to explain why we are not in a position within our CRC contract to follow the governance code on financial reporting. You know we don't have to anyway but by way of an explanation the share holders have identified numerous ways to save on our spending to increase the values of our legitimate profits as all business should. 1st we are reducing all thos staff who have done nothing for years and many of the hard working ones because they are all out of date with the technology. We are bringing in the bio metric machines that your brother in law is offering us a dirt cheap money so its a new way of working the same ends. Also we are closing all the fancy offices for the laptops that work in the free internet hotspots and we expect our staff that are left to hot spot and café work on a few order that we still see. We are using rental office space for meetings as this fits into our corrperate building subsidiary and we use the rooms for a rent we can afford at another in company profit margin.

      All said I know your allright on this as I we had a few glasses on it last week but we are having another bash and so will see you there its in my place in Italy and bring your trunks. By the way the lolly we have saved will pay for the lavish fun I have planned for all our guests and directors see you there .

      A.M. Oral
      Your friends in business with a social conscience .

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    2. 10.56 it might b funny if it wasn't so a accurate. Thank you for the humour and effort puut in

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  12. An open letter from NPS staff to say that they are disgusted by Sodexo proposals and the risk it places public in, supporting old colleagues. How would that go down? Could use all Grayling's quotes bigging NPS staff up and use it against them. Not anonymous either - really go for it. If all NPS staff did it, it would likely have some impact. What say you?

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  13. @13:25 totally agree we should be in solidarity with our collegues in the CRC's. After all if we dont, when they come for me...there was nobody left.

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  14. Good idea but think that NPS staff too frightened of their own predicament or being singled out to back CRC. Some might think " iM ALRIGHT jACK "...........

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    1. Sounds good to me - why not use this comment section to submit a draft - to get things going Anons 13:25 & 13:24 - It might convince Anon 13:44 to break her or his anonymity as well - and why just NPS workers - do not CRC bods having something valid to say collectively as well?

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    2. I was thinking NPS because CRC have enough worries of their own at the moment and are likely to be feeling very vulnerable. Perhaps the open letter should be to CRC colleagues, with an opportunity for a response??

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  15. Anon 13:44.. anyone that thinks I'm alright Jack in the NPS is a fool,, as is anyone else who thinks that the NPS is 'safe'..or comprised of people who think they got a good deal

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    1. Too right. Let's rise above the divide and conquer that Grayling tried to foist upon us. I've seen a lot of solidarity on friends' Facebook pages over last few days.

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    2. @14:30 If that's the case though,why was there so much wailing and nashing of teeth (and naked jealousy, displayed here frequently) over the people that did make it into the NPS? One could almost believe that they were told it was a random process as a sop to their egos rather than perhaps they're just not cut out for it? I'm sure this isn't the case, but a few posters here make me rather glad they didn't get sifted! For the CRC colleagues that are decent, non vitriolic people (the vast majority!), I wish you well. And yes. When I was pre-split, I did strike, for all the Good that did!

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    3. Oh for goodness sake!! The sifting was not done on whether any individual was "cut out for it" or not - if it was on merit then it would have involved an expression of interest. It was based on highly-questionable data about people's workload on one particular day, and was very much open to manipulation. Some people have clearly paid too much attention to Grayling's messages about the NPS being the best of the best.

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    4. Sorry, that should have read "more than an expression of interest". I'm obviously not cut out for posting comments on blogs.

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  16. Another statement out from Napo and Unison today: https://www.napo.org.uk/news/joint-napounison-statement-sodexo-severance-package

    I hope my first reading of this is wrong, but it rather looks like this: "We told Sodexo to pay EVR, they said no, so we're giving up and trying to bump the severance package up a bit."

    Nothing quite like holding a firm line in defence of your members. Wonder what happens when Sodexo decline to improve the severance package.

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    1. Sadly I fear you are right:

      "At the meeting Sodexo confirmed that it will not offer EVR, so we are now in discussions to improve the voluntary severance scheme that is on the table."

      Fuck Right Off. You do NOT have my mandate to abandon my terms & conditions. You do NOT have my authority to leave my EVR in the pockets of greedy arseholes whilst offering me a handful of shit for over 20 years of professional contribution. I'd rather die penniless trying to achieve what's right than capitulate to these mofo's.

      "We believe that the voluntary severance scheme falls far short of what Sodexo can actually afford..." - No Shit, Mr Lawrence.

      FUCK OFF & LET SOMEONE COMPETENT HAVE GO.

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    2. Oh Mr Gove, give me my NPS subs & I'll deliver you CRC-lite on a plate. Ta-Dah!!!

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    3. This is a sorry post to read from a colleague and napo members. This is what many are saying and thinking. It has to be time for Ian Lawrence to be made to go. Members will want to see the back of him at the AGM. NPS members will not return will go at check-off at Christmas. Suffering colleagues still pay NAPO wages and you have run the Union under with constantly failing decisions poor judgment. A lot of tough talking and no real capacity to understand what was happening. The total PR shambles has in part been orchestrated by a defence of a post holder who neither has the skills or aboilities required of such a role evident in the total silence and lack of any response in the press for the incredible Sodexo behaviour. I don't mean the EVR I mean the sacking of brilliant staff who have worked incredibly hard and loyaly to be dismissed when the risks to the public are not understood. Not one PR release yet a salary wasted that should be directed towards legal action for the breach of contract yet it appears he is rushing back into a negotiating room to do what ? He will agree a watered down worsening deal . ONCE agreed it will be described as the best we could achieve rubbish and no doubt he will look for a pat on the back from some adorning top table fan club member. Napo should have alerted members to what was to many an obvious total destruction of the probation services. The timing is the Transfer arrangement which NAPO agreed were such clear markers. Those mebers who do not have the experience of knowledge of these matters rely on that assessment from the Union. It never came in instead it was agreed by the leadership. Inevitably it is a rubbish agreement Napo brokered. Harry Fletcher was the last straight talking PR competent and he disappeared in strange arrangement yet the NEC let you Napo do that too. Members of Napo will not be encouraged to attend the AGM part of this disincentive has been the claw back of funding support to for AGM. In fact this is an open wound now and many will turn up anyway calling for a leadership change with a motion of no confidence. The AGM will look to hold those in the top accountable not like the few at the NEC who adopt everything that is told them. It is a clear statement telling Napo there is no mandate for renegotiations. We would all rather see a fight and we all need to tell Sodexo sack us on compulsory terms and our union will take class action ETs . NAPO need to act properly and instruct lawyers now. They need to consult members for a formal trades dispute. They need to spend the NAPO reserves in a way to consult on a national collective issue to ensure the rest of the waiting CRC companies don't just follow suit as they watch Ian Lawrence implode . What has happed to the chest beating mouthing off "not on my watch" rhetoric now? Currently what is being done is not what we want or would expect our Union leadership to be doing. Spare us this old spin again again again. Weak approach is what got us into this mess despite the re framing and Narcissistic reinvention of the facts Napo have given us. It is time to see a lead have a fight get a lagal claim going and protect the membership not holding onto the money for reserved redundancies for NAPO. However this goes lets hope Ian Lawrence goes as a result of members realising the spin and the bluster is all a sham its time to call him and hand him the redundancy he thinks is ok for us. I bet he will be asking for the full rate of his term under the codes of his employment does anyone know what he would be asking for so we can see if it is good enough for us then we can adjust the terms in NAPO so they are good enough for him.

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  17. Looking back at some of the earlier posts I think we can all agree that no-one is 'safe'. As an NPS employee I saw one of my CRC colleagues today holding his 'letter' he had received yesterday-it is so sad to see a valued and experienced colleague being treated in this manner and he along with many other colleagues will be sorely missed from probation services. Whilst some stated the probation service had survived thatcher-it did not survive grayling and the coalition-the Probatoon Service as we knew it is no more-and as an NPS employee I am struggling to recognize the service I once loved even now....very sad indeed

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  18. Dog eat dog big style. Gotta love the NPS and CRC banter

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  19. Probation Officer22 July 2015 at 19:54

    So that's that then.

    Napo failed AGAIN!!!

    Failed to fight TR.
    Failed to protect terms and conditions.
    Failed to protect EVR.

    Bottom line is that Napo got our subscriptions for doing nothing; Probation chiefs and managers got golden handshakes for selling us out; and we (the ones doing the work) got shafted AGAIN!!!

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  20. What Sodexo are proposing seems simply illegal to me and as the "golden share holder" the Secretary of State MUST be required by Parliament - (this is being done as parliament goes into recess) or the legal system to hold them to the contract they willingly entered.

    It will need the Sodexo employees to take the initiative, ideally collectively.

    If Sodexo get away with it the other CRC owners are likely to act at least as badly - meanwhile as just announced - the NPS employed folk are also likely to face major cuts in jobs and facilities.

    It seems the only way the MOJ can make the sort of cuts demanded by The Chancellor of The Exchequer is by the early release of prisoners - but even that is not straightforward because any staff laid off as a consequence would also be entitled to redundancy pay.

    However the issue for focus NOW - a time limit has been set for 10th August - is what appears to me to be Sodexo's breach of contract with the Ministry of Justice.

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