Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Latest From Napo 70

This published on the Napo website earlier today:- 

Joint Napo/UNISON statement on Sodexo severance package

Napo alongside our sister trade unions met with Sodexo on Monday 20th July. At that meeting we raised a number of questions in relation to the voluntary severance scheme on offer in the 6 Sodexo owned CRC. We still believe that Sodexo should be offering redundant staff the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy (EVR) Terms, which are set out in the National Negotiating Council Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement.

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. We believe that the voluntary severance scheme falls far short of what Sodexo can actually afford and that the ‘Sodexo offer’ for those over 55 is factually incorrect.

Below is link to the joint Napo/UNISON statement with contains further information and advice for members. Sodexo have also just confirmed that expressions of interest are not binding on individuals.

JTU 19-15 22 July 2015



Members of Napo and UNISON who work for one of the 6 Sodexo-owned CRCs will have been given details of Sodexo’s proposed job cuts and voluntary severance package on 16 July last week.


Sodexo proposes to cut the following jobs in each of its CRCs:

BeNCH: 49
Essex: 72
Cumbria/Lancashire 85
Norfolk/Suffolk: 82
Northumbria: 106
South Yorkshire: 32 

TOTAL: 436

Both unions have told Sodexo that we consider these cuts to be unsafe and we have written to the Justice Secretary to ask him to confirm whether he has authorised the job losses from the point of view of community safety. We will campaign against the job cuts which we believe are unsafe and unsustainable.


At the same time as announcing the job cuts, Sodexo confirmed that it would not be offering redundant staff the agreed Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy terms, which are set out in the National Negotiating Council Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement. Napo and UNISON are opposed to Sodexo undercutting the national agreement and have been in talks with the company over the last five weeks to find a resolution to this dispute.

Here is how the Sodexo offer matches up to the national agreement:

Sodexo Offer
2 weeks pay for each year of service up to a max of 30 weeks
For staff over 55, either the voluntary severance package, or retirement with an unreduced pension

National Agreement
4.5 weeks pay for each year of service up to a max of 67.5 weeks
For staff over 55, both the NNC voluntary redundancy package and immediate payment of an unreduced pension.


Over the last month, Napo and UNISON have been working hard to try to get a better outcome for members in relation to the job cuts and the voluntary severance package. We have:

  • Ensured that the Sodexo voluntary severance proposals were brought to the National Negotiating Council and NNC SCCOG rather than being negotiated at CRC level 
  • Met with the Justice Secretary Michael Gove to ask him to review the level of Sodexo job cuts and protect the severance terms in the national agreement 
  • Written to Sodexo and met with the company on many occasions to ask it to comply with the national agreement and to get Sodexo to clarify what exactly it is prepared to offer staff 
  • Got legal and policy advice on what Sodexo is obliged to offer to staff over 55 in relation to their pension rights on redundancy; we continue to seek clarity from the company on these matters 
  • Joined with Sodexo to ask NOMS whether CRC staff at risk of redundancy might be offered redeployment opportunities with NPS
  • Brought together Napo and UNISON representatives from all 6 Sodexo-owned CRCs to discuss our strategy 
  • Met with Sodexo on Monday 20 July to feedback members’ anger at the company seeking to undercut the national agreement on enhanced voluntary redundancy, and to ask Sodexo to reconsider their offer.


Napo and UNISON understand that this is a very difficult time for members in the 6 Sodexo-owned CRCs. You are now under pressure to express an interest in the Sodexo voluntary severance scheme by no later than 10 August.

At present, we are trying to get you a better severance deal than the one that Sodexo has put on the table. However, we cannot give you any guarantees on the outcome of our negotiations which are taking place on the offer under the auspices of the National Negotiating Council, or our discussions with the Justice Secretary or NOMS.We expect to be able to provide you with more information on the choices available to you in advance of the Sodexo deadline of 10 August for you to express an interest in their voluntary severance offer.

It is a matter for you whether or when to express an interest in the voluntary severance offer. However, under the circumstances, we advise you to await further advice from Napo and UNISON before you complete the expression of interest form. The reason for this is that the FAQ document from your CRC, which accompanied the expression of interest form, is ambiguous on whether you are committing yourself to take voluntary severance by completing the expression of interest form. We have asked Sodexo to clarify this as a matter of urgency.

We will issue further information when we have had a response from Sodexo to the various issues that were discussed with them earlier this week.

Yours sincerely

General Secretary National Officer Napo



  1. From the Jan 2014 agreement:

    "National Collective Bargaining

    21.​It is agreed that the existing national collective bargaining arrangements will continue in the CRCs and NPS on 1 June 2014 by means of the Staff Transfer Scheme. The NNC and SCCOG machinery will also continue to apply to new staff.

    22.​The MoJ has confirmed that the sale of shares in the CRC to the new provider does not constitute a TUPE transfer of undertakings as there is no change of employer, merely a change of ownership of the shares in the employer company. Following the share sale, the employer will continue to be the CRC and the relationship between the employer, recognised trade unions and employees is unchanged. Existing NNC and SCCOG National Agreements on Pay and Conditions of Service will therefore continue to be the terms and conditions for all staff."

    1. "... there is no change of employer, merely a change of ownership of the shares in the employer company. Following the share sale, the employer will continue to be the CRC..."

      Without agreement the terms & conditions can't change. So, if NAPO don't agree to any changes on our behalf, Sodexo can't change anything. They can sack everyone & re-employ on new terms & conditions. These are ACAS guidelines.

      And finally, fuck off 22:02. Go & piss up your own lamp-post.

    2. So why are NAPO negotiating with Sodexo? The six CRCs are the employers, not Sodexo. Sodexo are simply the shareholders, with (as Andrew rightly points out elsewhere) the Sec of State as holder of a 'golden' share in each CRC.

  2. One comment. OH Help!!!

  3. I'm sorry I just don't get Joint Union stance on this, but then I don't get much of what the Unions are doing anymore. My mandate for direct debit for Napo is dead in water, just like Napo's representation in CRC. Cannot help but feel Napo only want to retain NPS in the hope they can rebuild on a professional front, along with PI, selling out professional CRC members. If Ian Later Lawrence does not walk, he should be booted out and kicked from here to Mars.

  4. Anyone had the commercial awareness workshop yet on maximising profit?

  5. Andrew Selous, July 2014:

    "The probation workforce was allocated to the new organisations in line with capacity needs. This was calculated on the basis of the existing staffing requirements for the different operational functions. We worked closely with the Probation Association (representing Probation Trusts as employers) and the Probation Trades Unions on the staff allocations process, setting out a robust approach based primarily on an objective assessment of existing workloads plus expressions of interest. This was then implemented carefully and transparently by individual Trusts, in consultation with their staff and the Unions locally.
    The Probation Association prepared guidance for its members on how Trusts should allocate their staff to the new organisations. This recommended that an automatic assignment process should be applied in the first instance, and where this was not possible then local evidence-based assignment criteria should be used. In those few situations where neither process led to allocation, and only in the case of administrative support staff, then the guidance allowed for agreement on transfer to be reached on the basis of a random assignment process. This was designed to ensure that staff in similar circumstances had an equal opportunity to be assigned to either of the new organisations. The process was managed by Trusts in agreement with the Unions locally, and we do not hold figures relating to the number of Trusts which made use of a random assignment method or how many staff were affected.
    Probation staff were assigned to posts in the new organisations in the first part of the year. Where they were dissatisfied with the outcome of the process, they had a right of appeal. 4% of staff exercised that right, and 0.9% of appeals were upheld."

  6. In what way is the offer to the over 55s «factually incorrect».

    1. Under LGPS rules if your employer offers early retirement at 55 then you are automatically entitled to draw your pension. This I believe the joint TU's are seeking advice on. I personally think sodexo will lose on this but then they'll probably not grant any! Bunch of bastards really

    2. This is what they are offering...under severance, release of pension I still dont understand what is factually incorrect. The potential anomaly here is that if made compulsorily redundant, an over 55 employee would get pension release as you say, but also a payout....even if at the statutory minimum rate.

  7. I am very concerned that nobody seems to be acknowledging the different legal statuses between it being called voluntary "severance", as opposed to "redundancy". I am NOT a NAPO member, but in the information from them I have read on line recently, nowhere does the difference between these terms seems to have been mentioned, acknowledged - and indeed still seem to be being used 'interchangeably'. Please someone look at this and research it properly and act accordingly! It could make a big difference to people - especially the over 55s whether they accept voluntary 'severance', or are made voluntarily or even compulsorily 'redundant'.
    Accepting 'severance' one is in effect signing away any rights - and are walking away from their job with their blessing. I believe this means you are no longer entitled to claim any state benefits for 6 months (someone more knowledgeable than me might wish to check/confirm that!).
    Redundancy however leaves you with a totally different status - your employer is putting you out of work. I phoned Greater Manchester LGPS yesterday, and was told that anyone over the age of 55, who is made "redundant" (ie. NOT who has taken a severance deal!) is entitled to draw their pension, without loss or penalty (in line with what I understand they are 'offering' those who accept the severance). So for starters, if you were made "redundant" by your CRC and are over 55 - you get the pension anyway. Anyone of any age would get a 'statutory redundancy' payout - more the older you are, check the .gov website. And you would (I believe) be entitled to claim state benefits.
    Therefore, surely if people do not sign the "severance" deal and the staff are going anyway, the CRCs will have to make people voluntarily or compulsorily "redundant" - which I accept for some (not all) may be less in actual cash. But it does at lease feel the more honest exit in principle.
    If no one acquiesced to this "severance" in any of the CRC's I can see that Sodexo (or rather the CRCs Ltd) would then HAVE to go down the "Redundancy" path which would be MUCH more painful, for them. It also makes one wonder if the sudden change from "redundancy" to "severance" wasn't part of a little nod and wink deal with the Government, to reduce the loss of employment statistics (severance wouldn't count - we are all agreeing to it!), and a way of ensuring that 600+ people don't suddenly start claiming JSA etc.

  8. Well said Anon at 12.46.

    I hope Jim features those comments in a main blog article.

    I am only a 'common man' but as I think it through - severance is merely another way of saying accepted an invitation to resign - that is voluntarily surrendering one's employment contract - so for a start I would want the equivalent of whatever I might be entitled to claim as an unemployed person for myself AND my dependent family, for whatever time I am eligible to so claim PLUS as much as necessary to take account of my occupational pension in the long term AND a bit more as compensation for all the inconvenience involved.

    1. Thank you Andrew. And yes, I hope Jim does feature this issue about the differences between "Severance" and "Redundancy" somewhere prominent (... I think I thought I had put this comment on the next blog, but I seem to have appended it to yesterday's rather than today's, where I meant it to go and where more might see it!).
      I would be interested to see a Union response to the legal difference between "Severance" and "Redundancy" - any takers?
      Frankly, I of course feel that the Unions should not be letting the employers 'off the hook' with the original agreed EVR - but that is a different issue - and anyway, once people have signed that "severance" deal they are off the hook with you, anyway, you've just agreed to walk away, with the offer - and are left with no rights at all. You and the CRC totally finished - the line drawn.
      I'm concerned that people are going to 'sign their rights away' with this "Severance" offer, without it having been properly explained, or understood from a 'legal status' standpoint.
      I feel that people are being hustled into signing this deal - with the very short window to submit 'expressions of interest'. I understand that most decent employers will pay for everyone to take proper legal advice before signing anything along these lines. Is that being offered by the CRCsLtd, and if not, negotiated by the Unions?
      Again I say - I am not in a Union, and am glad I haven't been paying them, as I don't see any of them acting in the sufficiently enquiring way I would expect and want for my dues.
      Sometimes and for some of us, it may be better to take NO ACTION. They want us gone - then let them make us redundant, and I mean "redundant".

    2. Response to 15:14

      Yes - no action - MAYBE right for some BUT only after gaining individualised legal & FINANCIAL advice to protect one's contracted rights and make the best of the situation as far as long term pension rights are concerned - which is likely to be different for different folk for a host of reasons.