I am sorry if you feel all the comments on here are negative, and we don't want to frighten any other CRC's, but we all received our letters today in SYCRC and it stirs up negativity and it is a release to read and comment, which is better than doing it at work. Thanks to all the contributers on here as if you read the comments as they are intended it gives you the information that you need.
Lets not be gloomy. 24 years ago I qualified as a probation officer (& social worker at that time), having spent two years funding myself through university, with Home Office sponsorship & several jobs (shiftwork in a probation hostel, homeless shelter, Safeway shelf stacking, labourer for a local builder). Prior to that I spent 3 years in various roles gaining relevant experience & knowledge in order to qualify for the DipSW course. I had a young family, hardly saw the children as they grew up during those years - & endured a painful divorce as a direct result of selfishly focusing on developing a career rather than spending time & money on those close to me. Some bridges have since been repaired.
I'd like to think I've been a diligent, hopefully fair & effective PO. I've experienced some amazing things; as well as some terrible things. I've met some amazing & some terrible people. But hey, nothing as life changing as TR. In the space of 18 months it's taken me from the dizzy heights of an experienced, respected professional in a low-key but fascinating career to becoming 1 of 600 unemployed, unwanted, expensive cast-offs who even the trades unions & professional associations don't give a fig about.
So not only has the UK government sanctioned throwing their nurtured babies out with the bathwater, but they've brought in hired help to do it for them. They have charged 21 unknown entities £1 each for the privilege of joining in, then handed over more than £60M of public money - plus any publicly owned assets that were lying about.
But hey, lets not be gloomy. There's plenty to celebrate... isn't there?
Yes let's not be gloomy. In a slightly contrasting journey to yours, a few decades or so ago I was released from a juvenile detention centre. Overcoming the difficulties this entailed and working in numerous jobs ranging from cleaner to shelf stacker, I graduated from university as a postgraduate. Then I chose to go into rehabilitation work and after working with a few organisations I joined probation and was amongst the early TPO's to quality as a probation officer.
Fast forward not far off two decades or so and here I am working in this utter mess of what probation's become. It was bad enough enduring the sometimes appalling and egotistical management and appalling local policies under probation trusts. And I never had any faith in governments or unions either.
I won't say which side of the NPS/CRC divide I'm currently on but the choice does not bode well on either. We've all been on tender hooks from before TR and staff morale has consistently found new lows. The NPS is a place where we're dictated to with misplaced policies, jobsworth managers and directors, constant threat of dismissal for standing up for ourselves and now imminent cuts that will lead to job losses. The CRC's are badly managed shadows of probation where we're no longer called probation officers and lied to by more jobsworth managers in order to keep the ship afloat until we're made redundant without due recompense.
Same as you, I've had great experiences in probation, have had a lot of good colleagues, managers included, and have had loads of opportunities and have a great CV to boot. My life has changed immensely and like many I learnt the hard way how to reduce the work stress and the importance of shutting off when the work day ends and spending time with the ever growing family. Like many I thought the past sacrifices were worth it as I'd found my life's calling. Now I'm back to an uncertain future and at a time I've got more bills and responsibilities then I can calculate, and back to worrying about applying for probably new lines of work with a juvenile criminal record.
I've done good work, given 200% and I have made a change in the lives of many others and seen a lot of people change for the better. I've helped countless colleagues in becoming outstanding probation officers. I can also whip out a PSR, Oasys or parole report in no time at all, chair a meeting, stand up in court, instill ambition in the wayward, cheer up those fallen into the worst of circumstances, support a victimised person, even give a theoretical kick up the backside to those needing it, though I doubt how useful a skill this all is in the real world. I can't knock probation for the opportunity it gave me, but I also know I'm also just a statistic waiting for the end in an organisation and profession I don't really recognise any more.
TR, Sodexo, CRC, NPS, Napo, Grayling, Gove - it's all a crock of shite!!! So yes I try not to be gloomy, I'm trying not to encourage gloom to colleagues whom are rightfully gloomy, but there's just not much to celebrate within work right now.
Sodexo are shareholders for 6 of the 21 companies & are shedding about 600 jobs. So are we to expect job losses across the CRCs in excess of 2,000? I would guess 2,500 won't be far off the final figure. And the average salary will have dropped by some £5k at least. Does that change anyone's perception of the need to focus on the shitstorm that Sodexo are stirring, and its implications? Or of the anger being directed at the unions (plural) who seem to be pleased with their capitulation into negotiating about the "offer"?
Agree, likely to be over two thousand staff cut at the end of the day. Key questions - WHEN were these staffing numbers agreed, and by WHO - the government, or the bidders? At what point in the process were the staff cuts financially accounted for - before the bids were won, or after? Someone must know this information, who can say? Please tell. A bidder (successful, or failed) maybe can, or someone from MOJ? Unions - do you know? Anyone?
I realise it doesn't help us, the employees - either those losing their jobs, or the folk left to work in the new world with too few resources/people. Or indeed the offenders who are undoubtedly going to be massively impacted by the new operating models. But in the interests of transparency, I think we'd all like to know - when; who; and at what point? One simple sentence can answer all these key questions.
All agreed by the point of submitting winning bids. Sodexo have already admitted as much when they spoke of having planned to lose staff through compulsory redundancies 7 months after share sale (statement issued Apr 2015); as have MoJ when they speak of having budgeted for covering loss of resources (staff redundancy) from 'Modernisation Fund'. Selous said as much pre-share sale. Previous posts have highlighted these admissions in Hansard, in press releases, the weasel words & the timelines, I find it astonishing there's next to no interest in the media, or that the Unions haven't capitalised on the discrepancies, anomalies & lies.
It makes no difference now, but one thing that gets me is that probation chiefs, senior managers, SPO's, managers and Napo all knew this was going to happen. They have their senior management meetings where advance projections and decisions are shared, which is then shared in management meetings, what affects the staff is also shared with unions. At the last minute they tell us, when it's too late, and when senior managers and favourites managers already had their EVR in the bag. We all know this is why chiefs and senior managers all took EVR and early retirement prior to TR implementation 2014. Some of these charlatans probably even worked on the Sodexo TR bid too while they awaited their golden handshakes, consultancy jobs and OBE's.
It is what it is now. Can Napo advise on the legal aspects of current entitlement for "severance" and voluntary/compulsory "redundancy" based on the current situation, and the implications of taking either now or holding out.
I recall learning somewhere that what's being offered may not actually be received by all applicants, that those left would like fall under the compulsory redundancy axe, and that Sodexo would still have the "restructuring" option in its back pocket which could be used to end job roles fullstop - do not pass go, do not collect £200.