Friday, 17 July 2015

Reaction to Sodexo Offer

This is nothing other than robbery. Sodexo refusing to pay redundancy terms that they were given the money to do so. People have a gun to their head. Napo's position appears to be if you accept this you're on your own. It's going to be legally binding but Napo should be saying that it's nothing short of blackmail. Sodexo know lots of staff aren't coping and are desperate to leave.

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Can someone explain to me how they (Sodexo) can give a window for people to put expressions of interest in when it (the offer) hasn't been agreed via the NNC? Does this mean we don't put expressions of interest in and wait for the unions to tell us what to do? Are we more at risk of compulsory redundancy if we wait for the unions to advise, as the window passes? Feel bullied, as the way I read it if there's not enough people express an interest they will move to selecting compulsory redundancies, so don't bother waiting for unions? Feeling confused.

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The way it was put to us was, this EVR is the Sodexo final package, however, they are still in negotiations with the union. IF you want out then this is it. IF you want to wait to see what happens with the Union negotiations and miss this opportunity hoping for compulsory redundancy as for the long service members it would work out better and don't get compulsory as you are not in the right criteria, then basically you may miss the boat. Sooooooooo....... still a complete mess in my opinion. The decision is, if you want out, then you have a couple of weeks to decide. Rock and a hard place springs to mind.

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NO TAKERS. Give them back the rock, it's time to shape up and show them up. Force the scandal ridden employers to make compulsory cuts to every staff member they select. Do NOT do the work for them, make them show the selections process and justification grounds for sackings. This is our battle front. Challenge test and appeal all reasons through the mechanisms. THEN NAPO TAKE THE MEMBERS CLAIMS to ET! Or are you doing a deal to retain another 3 months on check off?

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If you were thinking of taking Sodexo to an employment tribunal for the unfairness relating to EVR given this is the second wave of redundancies under different terms to the first wave (those who got their EVR's) think again. There is a difference between EVR and Severance.

A severance agreement is usually used when an employer wishes an employee to leave the company and is willing to pay them a certain amount (severance pay) so that the employee will contractually agree not to sue the company for any claims they may have against the company.

Essentially, therefore, a severance agreement draws a line between the employer and employee whereby they can both walk away knowing their relationship has ended and there will be no future disputes.

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Well I am not going until pushed, not because of any other reason than I don't want to retire just yet, the government has made that impossible as I am still 11 years from pension age. The bottom line is I enjoy my job and although concerned about losing it, that decision will go through Sodexo's due process and I will not give up a living wage for a few silver dollars.

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I know the Sodexo deal isn't as good as EVR but I know five people who are already looking at signing up for it. People want out. They're just going to leave. No point hanging on.

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That will justify Sodexo's behaviour. They will be patting themselves on their back for every one applicant. Money in the bank not the staff.

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I'm worried about how Purple Futures will deal with redundancies - they've said that they are going to open up vacancies with Interserve to probation staff, so could they get around redundancy by offering a post in an Interserve company? On one hand this is quite a good gesture for those that want to stay in employment with financial commitments, but me personally, I want totally out.

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Talk about being got over a barrel. Feel totally exhausted, frustrated, pessimistic for the future of (CRC) Probation. I am not in a Union - and to be frank I don't feel the Unions have done a lot for those who are. I so hate the way they have strung us all out with this pending 'offer' - to the 11th hour, but of course now give us a relatively short window in which to make our applications for the 'severance' - which they make a big point of explaining, they do NOT have to accept.

I am totally disappointed with the original senior management who I think have been (predictably in retrospect!) naive. I am really sad that people who have done a job mostly well, which for many was a 'vocation' - yeah, that old thing - have now simply had the rug pulled from under them, and have been left feeling like this. Worse still, I feel that the future for probation CRCs and the effective management of offenders looks extremely bleak, and the shiny ideas of new innovative practise have all but melted away already.

As for Sodexo, and the rest of the bid winners, I can only imagine they are already bitterly regretting their positions, and probably looking to make a sharp exit at the earliest opportunity. But then like me, I suspect you are thinking: 'we could have told them that would be the case'...

Interesting they are not using the 'R' word, and substituting it with the word 'severance' everywhere - must be a reason for that? Still not sure of the legal position for them changing the terms from the original EVR scheme, which other colleagues went out on - it would be interesting to know, from a legal expert? (I guess that is what the Unions are looking at). What an end.

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There are a number of differences between voluntary severance and voluntary redundancy. By calling it severance they are removing the offer from the EVR framework thereby allowing an inferior offer to be tabled. Moreover by severing a member of staff, the post can remain (cf redundancy), meaning that someone else can occupy it....a way of making savings going forward if the new incumbent is lower down the pay scale or even, potentially, of a lower grade.

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Ian Lawrence spun the JR, almost claimed he won, then ended up forking out for costs. What a guy claims it's what we want him to be doing. He agreed the 7 month clause and it is surprising so many on here don't seem to realise it was in print Christmas before last and the rush for a non enforceable EVR for the few. All the chiefs and all the chiefs men and women. Now the workers get zip and Napo will watch the blame game hoping there is so much it will confuse us. But we know what he did and the day will come get rid. Soon I hope.

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We are all being treated appallingly, but the over 55s especially so. What is on offer to them is WORSE than the deal they would get in a compulsory redundancy situation. In that scenario they would get pension release AND redundancy lump sum, which even if it was the statutory minimum would be better than what they are invited to apply for by way of severance.

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Not if the area has a better redundancy deal in policy pre TR and harmonisation in merged counties was requiring the best terms to be adopted, so hang on in there for a compulsory dismissal. Only if the rates are better. A forced dismissal will equal an unreduced pension anyway. Now can we organise the GS dismissal for doing a great job? Ask his supporters. By the way, where is the fantastic press and parliamentary press campaign official in all this PR disaster? Nothing to say as usual. What do they draw a salary for?

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So while the CRC's get shafted from the front the NPS gets it in the back. This is the start of the Tory/Gove scorched earth policy for the 'justice' system. Did I miss Napo speaking about this on prime time news? Just pulling your leg, we know nowadays Napo only cranks up to speak about check-off!

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In my opinion Napo hasn't had a credible media operation since Harry Fletcher's departure, but of course Napo won an award last year, so it just shows how out of touch I must be.

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What you being polite about? Taken a job in a role she has zero appropriate experience for, hardly ever seen, never actually heard. Not considered effective and from what I read and have seen is a bit of GS video phile side kick. Gets paid a massive subs-funded salary for nothing notable or obvious. Any Napo Press and PR relations news bulletins or public statement from them? Er None! Says it all really and lets all be clear here NAPO knew this news was coming today so it's not like they could not have helped the trainee get at least a few little lines out while our colleagues face the sack and no compensation. Great PR Napo.

102 comments:

  1. Today is a sad day for the probation service. There is little that can be said to be voluntary about this manoeuvre. It's a melting pot of conflicting emotions for staff who really need professional legal advice. Napo et al should step up, instruct thompsons to offer free advice to staff on what is best for them. Never mind this the union has nee money, cash in the shares they have and do right by the staff. Just saying hold the line is so naive when the butcher is sharpening his knives. This plump little piggy is off to market!!!

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  2. Any news / update from Purple Futures et al. ?

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  3. This is what private companies DO. WE ARE NOT PUBLIC SECTOR. WE ARE PRIVATE EMPLOYEES and we signed up to this. Severance, Comp redundancy, vol redundancy or even EVR anything better than being managed out by not meeting impossible targets me thinks

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    1. We certainly did not sign up for this - though I think you may well end up being right about the chances of being managed out due to failing to hit impossible targets.

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    2. ER I think napo did sign us up for it .

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  4. we signed up for nothing. We have resisted this since it was still in the planning stage.

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  5. Will all CRCs be offering same terms as SODEXO ?

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  6. At least if I get pushed out by compulsory redundancy my circumstances will allow me to claim state benefits; let the state take care of me for a change, me and my family have been screwed enough every which way! No pay rise; a devalued occ pension; a state pension that i'll not get until I'm in a care home with a total loss of faculties; a union that is neither use nor ornament. In future I will do the taking, not the giving. Sodexo can shove their 'severance', my mission is to work the system and enjoy life away from the stress and targets. I wont be putting any more, money in their pockets, might just make sure a few pennies drop out ;-)

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    1. being jobless aint all jeremy kyle you know. We gots to jump thru hoops so them private folk can get paid. Seems to me you failed to protect your profession so now yous got to choose; Wanna be the box ticker who makes sure the unworthy do some jumping? or, the poor sod whos got to jump jus so you can eats?

      But hey, i understand, you couldnt afford to take a day off striking hahahahahahahaaaa, its so sad, it really is.

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    2. Exactly my thinking anon 1430...Sudexo won't make a bean on my back n I might enjoy becoming an underhand b#####d like our employers.

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    3. hey 17.21, at least i'll get to watch jezza! I can send off CV's and sabotage any interview; you just have to a bit brighter my friend. I stood on the picket line and lost money whilst good ole joe public refused leaflets, told us they don't believe in probation and generally didn't give a stuff. So the public gets what the public wants (thanks to paul weller for the quote). Good luck with your job search.

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  7. Cumbria and Lancashire CRC - There are still a handful of corporate employees who applied for EVR last August 2014 was awarded it and are still working for CLCRC, three of them have had their contracts extended, and two of them don't go until December 2015, on 4.5 weeks and full pension for those over 55. The former CEO of CLCRC selected who he wanted to give EVR too. The majority of employees will be facing redundancy on a reduced package and probably exit before those who got 4.5 weeks. How can voluntary redundancy be offered and given to a select few members of staff when clearly their roles are still required even after Sodexo won the bid.

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    1. Cumbria and Lancashire CRC EVR Corporate staff , what grade were they ?`The former CEO of CLCRC selected who he wanted to give EVR too'

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    2. All CRC CEOs were responsible for deciding which staff received EVR in the first wave. The problem was that, when these decisions were made, they had absolutely no idea what the operatiing model was going to be so did not know which staff they would need to keep and which were no longer needed. Some CEOs played safe, otherd went for it. Hindisght is a wonderful thing but the fault lies squarely with Grayling and his civil servants.

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    3. EVR given to CLCRC staff on 4.5 weeks plus full pension for those over 55, their grades where band 4 and above. In the HR Departments across Cumbria and Lancashire 5 members where given EVR that included 3 HR Officers who where on band 4, 1 HR manager on band 5 and the Head of HR/Training who is still working at CLCRC and has just had their contract extended. Two of the HR officers where replaced with 'Business Partners' but still doing the same role. Two Office Managers got EVR, they don't go till December 2015. The two lawyers for Cumbria and Lancashire where given EVR, one has gone the other goes in August 2015. Two PA's on band 3 got EVR. one has just gone, the other one has had their contract extended, and will probably still be working till January 2016. So in reality the EVR should not have been offered until after the shared sale.

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    4. Northumbria CRC still has a director waiting to leave on their massive EVR payout, along with the other (who were mostly old men) who have already gone.

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  8. Corruption and poor union foresight.

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  9. BBC Website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33559083

    Norfolk and Suffolk probation cuts letter sent to staff

    Hundreds of Norfolk and Suffolk probation office staff have been sent letters asking them to consider taking a voluntary severance package.
    Private firm Sodexo won the contract to monitor low and medium-risk offenders in those counties in December 2014.

    Union Napo said the plan to reduce the number of staff by 82 would make it difficult for the probation service to "protect the public". Sodexo said due to the consultation it would be "inappropriate to comment".

    In a letter leaked to the BBC, Sodexo it wanted to cut the number of staff to 133 posts. At present it employs 215 people.

    A Sodexo Justice Services spokesperson said: "We have shared details of a voluntary severance offer and our proposed staffing levels with employees at Norfolk and Suffolk Community Rehabilitation Company (NSCRC). Given that we are formally consulting on plans, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

    Rob Palmer, branch chair of probation staff union Napo, said morale was at "rock bottom" with staff already stretched with their present workload.
    He said: "It is going to be increasingly difficult for the probation service to protect the public - with far fewer staff monitoring more and more offenders."

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  10. Would people kindly let us know of the intended staffing reductions for the other Sodexo areas? Thanks.

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    1. From 267 to 160 in Northumbria.

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  11. With all the focus on sodexo what is happening in non sodexo areas?

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    1. Very quiet in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. An experienced PSO asked to cut her hours to 2 days a week. She has left after 20 + years service because it does not suit business needs.

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    2. Why would you want someone only working 2 days a week. What's the point. A good decision made.

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    3. Flexible working retain the skills help loyal workers vary work life balance. Family needs looking after those and create a shared role for other part time staff with needs. What are you think a new Nazi party for the next election harsh.

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  12. TEXT of Secretary of State Michael #Gove's FIRST major #prison policy speech given today

    http://www.napo2.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1030#p3826

    I note in the list of prison service workers Gove mentions - he omits seconded probation service workers from NPS - he also omits the prison administration staff - who I know are vital - but they are often like probation workers, members of a trades union - I wonder if there is a connection?

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  13. Well said 15.09. and absolutely spot on with your facts.how on earth can this be allowed to happen. i ask anyone.

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  14. Sodexo are bossing it. Sharp, slick and ruthless... NAPO are out of their leave

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    1. You are so wrong, it's funny. Sodexo are dropping balls all over the place.

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  15. Let's agree to disagree. It's hard for some to take, but that's business. It's time to start working harder to win them over that you can add to sodexo business. Ppl on here will probably want a shot at my title but this is part and parcel of business and is happening all over the country. Dog eat dog :/

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    1. Get real "shot at your title". Who do you think you are. Muppet

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  16. "shot at my title" ??? Get Over Yourself ! I am laughing so much at you!

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    1. WTF ? There is only 1 title we need to concern ourselves with . That , of the GS. It has to be time to call in his marker. For every one of those members under threat of dismissal they should be at the AGM in October . By then they may well be sacked . Yet it has to be time for a motion of no confidence in this man. This number of members can ensure the same fate awaits the architect . While we are looking for some accountability there are many unanswered questions of his leadership and what the truths are.

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    2. I agree with you 21:02...what does «shot at my title mean»!!!!???? Too much watching «the Apprentice» methinks. Still, it has cheered me up. What a hoot.

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    3. Shot at the Title - Urban Dictionary

      The phrase has a variety of meanings and has never been officially defined. It was first coined by "The Broski" in the YouTube video "My New Haircut II Return of the Broski".

      A shot at the title cannot happen every weekend. It has to be special, such as a holiday, facebook invite party, having friends visit, sporting event, bachelor party, wedding, etc. So you cannot just win a random game of beer pong and claim that you have won the title because that is bullshit. It is a good common courtesy to call a shot at the title at least 4-5 days before the event. This ensures that you have several days to get "jacked and tan" for the event.

      "The title" can be obtained through means of alcoholic competition (Usually Beer Pong) or out-drinking a friend or rival. It does not have to be a competition though...It can just be good friends getting very drunk together. In that case everybody wins.

      The Broski's definition of a "Shot at the Title" is the act of going to a party to try and hook up with "slam pieces"(See broslikethissite.com)... So I suppose in this case the "slam piece" would be "The Title" that you are taking a shot at.

      VERY IMPORTANT! - For any "Shot at the Title" it is essential that you "Bro Out". Never wear just basketball shorts or jeans with some random T-Shirt. It is highly recommended that you wear a nice polo or dress shirt. Good brands include but are not limited to: Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Lacoste, and Polo Ralph Lauren.
      1. " Bro! We need to take a shot at the title next week for New Years Eve!"

      2. "Hey bro, Sarah is going to be there tonight! Are you going to take a shot at the title?

      3. "Sorry bro, but I'm going to go workout. We do have that shot at the title next week."

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    4. Shot at my title simply means "I'm the champ, and people want to take that from me". I've heard this type of talk before.

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  17. as requested, Jim:

    Breaking News - West Cumbria Office, part of Cumbria+LancsCRC - 17 staff (po, pso & admin) to be reduced to 6 staff... No admin, 2 po & 4 pso.

    A Sodomy spokesperson told our reporter "The 11 unwanted staff can fuck off on our shitty terms & get a job with the new French/ Japanese nuclear power station."

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    1. seriously? 11 staff to go. How 12mths ago the staff compliment was correct but now Sodexo say 11 can go - it just shows how they have decimated the offender management model.

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    2. In CLCRC they are getting rid of admin and POs, but have decided they need nearly 5 more middle managers than they did previously. This despite the numbers these Managers having to lead reducing or not changing. Whats that about. Looking after Managers as they are going to need them to bully the workers or have they got a plan to shaft the middle managers at a later date.??

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    3. I think you're latter sentence right. At the moment they are using managers to make the operating model fit as it's miles away. They also know many middle managers opted to crc for evr but are now desperate to go so will settle for the reduced amount. I don't agree with them bullying most are very concerned about staff but you always get a few bad apples

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    4. I agree 21:50, but I do think they are going to want Managers to be vigorous and to get ahead and survive they will need to be ruthless. I hear that not enough Managers want to stay so that means some who want to go may get turned down. They wont want to engage with it. However the deal is crap so some might sit it out.

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  18. To complete the picture painted by 23:11, the West Cumbria mags court at Workington will close so no local NPS presence will be required either.

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  19. Any CRC staff fancy a class action against Sodexo?

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    1. I'm not in a Sodexo CRC but will contribute financially. Try 'crowdfunding' I'm certain there are people both nationally and globally who would also contribute to legal action against Sodexo in support of UK probation workers. Good luck!

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    2. Great sentiments 08:20 but where is the case against Sodexo? They are offering a severance package that people can voluntarily go for. They are total shits like the puppets operating on their behalves but do really think that there are «people nationally and globally» who think we are sufficiently oppressed to put their hands in their pockets???? I dont.

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    3. I am willing to support legal action to either challenge Sodexo mistreating their employees &/or forcing Government to properly require Sodexo & by implication the other CRC owners to fully honour the contracts with MOJ.

      However that would need to be what a group of Sodexo employees are keen to demand.

      Individually every Sodexo employee needs to now decide what is in their own professional & personal best interest, after taking the best financial & other advice available & considering the needs of their families.

      Leadership would be needed, let us await news of the national Sodexo Union representatives meeting mentioned in one of the recent communications from Ian Lawrence.

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    4. Lets go for it, start arranging group meetings and getting a lawyer willing to take on our cases. Unions are changing are not what they used to be. We need to stand as a group to win. Going alone will not get is anywhere.

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    5. Many years ago, an accountant told me that document is not an invoice just because it has 'invoice' written on it. Sodexo cannot simply change the rules by changing the descriptor. It is not as simple as that. They are not nearly as sharp as many seem to think they are.

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    6. Exactly, as I said, call a cucumber a banana If you want; but if it's straight and green then is still a cucumber.

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    7. They definatly aren't that sharp; the Sodexo hr director tried to win us ex-public sector workers over by telling us he was sick of the NHS!! He's a Tory for sure.

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  20. All quiet at Working Links. The lull before the storm?

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    1. They are to be watched very closely. I don't like the language, seen recently in blogs, of Working Links various functions coming together as a unified 'social intervention' provider. The Working Links CRC footprint is suspiciously comparable to that of their Work Programme remit.

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    2. It's in their interest to put all offenders not working onto the work prog. Double whammy for them if the offenders get a job! The SWA1 LDU head is part of a working group looking at machine reporting so possible job cuts in the offing

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  21. linked to 23 30 - I have just found a message from Cumbria/Lancs Chief Exec, on the staff newsletter - on the Cumbria/Lancs website - I am not from the area and apologies to staff there who will already know about it.,

    the gist of it - 'our transition into Sodexo Justice Services is gathering pace as we continue to develop our new service model and a new way of working for staff, a new IT infrastructure and the creation of one central hub in Preston with 3 local management centres and 4 neighbourhood centres across Cumbria and Lancs. We will start to move into the new offices at the end of Oct and our service model should be fully operational by 2016.'

    It then goes on to talk about the introduction of RAR and TTG.

    TTG- 'delivered by our partners Shelter and Via Partnership. I am delighted to report that by week 2 100% of service users had received their resettlement plan. This was a significant achievement and we were the only CRC in the country to do this. I would like to thank everyone who helped to get the service off the ground, especially the prison governors of Haverigg, Preston, Kirkham and Lancaster Farm.'

    Interestingly, I have heard that at Lancaster Farm, there has been little evidence of TTG, certainly in the first few weeks, a huge contradiction to the 100% success rate. Having said that, having a written resettlement plan does not mean that there has been any action! Twiddling with the stats?

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    1. ps on 1.22 - I should have also linked the above info to 23 11.

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    2. No TTG in SWA1. One offender, jobless and homeless, was only given his resettlement questionaire the day before release on day 27.after a 28 day recall. I think they are recruiting paid mentors to fill in

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  22. Jim. I've asked before but can we have some nice stories about the CRC please as some of us believe in the CRCs? Our service users are happy with our delivery for starters after management completed a recent survey.

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    1. The answer is quite straightforward - if you have a nice story, by all means pen a guest blog - it takes the pressure off me especially when I feel too down to produce anything, like today in fact.

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    2. Yes please Jim !!!!

      A nice story like this in my CRC. No one is upset about the plight of those in Sodexo CRC. All those unhappy staff have no right to be worried about the information gaps . The breaches of their long standing contracts or that they were career employed staff in the once great public sector.

      I mean it is outrageous really, that they claim some view of vocation a reason for working above and beyond for many years because they have inner soul for the job. Lets not look back at the memory of staff who designed intervention tools like programmes testing metrics and behavioural modification techniques. That would suggest that staff were interested in making a real difference in peoples lives.

      Instead lets look at the lovely new CRCs . We have a reducing budget in the cuts yet to come and to be hit hard but we do have a new operating model to offset the issues. We have a new Pilot tool for bedding in and sharing cases . We have a broader caseload and many more unqualified staff without vocation or skill base working with what was once heavy end offenders. They are not now because the wonderful support we get from our old NPS colleagues who kindly down graded them to give them to us. In such we all feel confident to work with people we know almost nothing about. Instead we accept the position that we get a cases from the courts and all we have is the name and address.

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    3. This is enough because although the NPS officers do not want to share critical data with us anymore they do tell us to rely on them as they have decided . In our CRC this is good because we trust and respect the elite dynamic the NPS have adopted. They are civil servants and the hierarchy is well respected.
      Mr Grayling is so wise we automatically accepted all he says because we in the old bad days of probation trusts we were never happy or facilitated to do the best we could. CRC and TR have been a real god-send.

      Now we are in the CRC the delay in paperwork and information is actually better than it used to be in a trust. We see information a couple of months after work has started with offenders. So it does not get in the way of proper assessment. We actually see them less which is a good thing but we get them to report quickly to ensure all our tick box measurements are met. We enjoy ticking boxes all day because as we get more practiced our lovely unqualified managers give us more cases to tick box and we can do these a little faster.

      I have been especially pleased as I was marked for a good effort award and I said to many of my colleagues that if they cloned my sense of following loyally and respecting everything I am told and not to question anything then they would not be in those capability proceedings.

      I know they all have some issues with the reasons why they are on these but I said to them its really a good thing because it shows how much management care about us and they want to see us improve to beat our colleagues in other areas. I like the fact we compete to get boxes ticked because it is now all about the money and budget I feel I am making a difference . In our CRC we never complain because the management are so good to us. I have a new working model lots of interesting cases that have high accommodation needs literacy numeracy difficulties and unemployment . These are all good too because we are able to refer these onto our report centre and according to our model they are all worked with and within four weeks we achieve more targets. They have to look for jobs and homes and can read an write.

      I cannot recall any similar success in the trust because we had a different way of working then. I think we used to put the offender at the centre of the range of interventions and guide them through with support and peer mentors. It was based on evidence models and that all people learned to change behaviour at a different rate based on unique difference and needs. Something really odd like Criminogenic need was used and a scale of intervention requirement ? This sounds awful now because the tick box process and factory model of sequencing input and output is so much better in the new CRC. Because we don't have to adapt to any complex working relationship with these people. In fact we have a better way of managing all the N-delius entries and that's what is most important to me and my CRC targets .

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    4. "Our service users are happy with our delivery for starters" is a pretty meaningless statement. It could mean anything from "they think we're doing a good job" to "I love how my PO's caseload is so big that they can't keep a proper check on me and I only have to report once a month".

      I echo Jim's comment - if you believe in the CRC, why not let us know why?

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    5. We are happy in our computer screens all day. I had heard that our CRC with the new through the gate plan is going to be more work but this is so exciting more tick boxes and I had heard from my lovely manager that we will use free unpaid volunteers to do what would have been paid work. Well gosh, I thought how kind of those people working for free in our CRC we are really good here.

      I also heard from a senior manager in a briefing training day that RAR sentence will improve the offenders lot and we will manage all the additional work with existing staffing. I was pleased to hear that too because it means new work areas. I was not clear what he meant by seeking out all new efficiencies of delivery models because the new owners want to integrate systems to save functions and duplication. I was told this does not concern me or my role but may do ? My colleagues said that redundancies and cut back of staff is nothing that will come to our CRC because the management have said we will streamline and be efficient . They never said anything about cutting staff. So we are all happy. Its Nice !

      Anyway I read on here something about management are adept at using euphemisms but I did not understand what this meant and my manager explained a euphemism is about the Yot offenders. I was pleased because someone else said its like hiding the truth. This cannot be the case in our CRC not just because its nice here but because our management are brilliant .
      Anyway I did have to speak to an offender recently he looked like one as he had small sharp eyes and his eyebrows met in the middle. My manager told me that Mr Lombroso was misunderstood way back when he was researching things about offending and physiological aspects. I was told my own judgements were probably most likely and best when judging offenders and the way they look. As I say, I had to check on his experiences of the CRC inputs and he thought it was great because he has seen no one twice and he likes meeting new people, so that's good isn't it ?

      Also that of all the people he met, he knew none of them or they him. They made no judgements and sent him onto new things where he was able to identify another problem that needed solving first so he was sent on again and again. He said he didn't mind and that his order was over fast and nothing like probation used to be like. He said in the old the probation officers were horrible they made you do stuff.
      He was confronted about his offending behaviour made to address the underlying issues in long and involving group work and that he had to attend many times over many weeks and many hours.

      He said he was monitored regular and had to cut out any offending because he was scared his probation officer would breach him and send him back to court and tell him off. Worse he was scared he would have to do more probation so he used to work hard to complete his intervention model.

      Well we don't do that now in the CRC I told him . We do targets they are more fun important for us and the offenders like it so this is a nice story of a successful CRC. I think all those complaining cannot see the great vision of our leaders and that in fact the reduction in staff is probably because they want to go and really ought to go if they are complainers. If they are not happy why work in the CRC at all ? I don't see what all the fuss has been about its a great thing for us and I look forward to the CRC future and what I will be doing soon.

      I am also looking forward to working with the new system called biometric reporting centre as this I am told will impact on my work so that will be great as its more new stuff. This investment in the CRC is brilliant isn't it readers ?

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    6. Thanks, made me smile for the first time since Thursday.

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    7. RIP Probation Service and Good luck to all the good people thrown out with the trash

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    8. Well I am a receptionist and it's business as usual, we have a laugh with our OM's our Clients and watch with interest the ever unfolding story. We have people leaving in droves, fed up, but in reception it's like a little haven where we refuse to offer anything other than exceptional customer service. We laugh we take everything in our stride, accept all the extra work with a smile. Our clients are dreading the day when we leave (if we get one of the jobs on offer), as they are used to seeing our smiling faces and the fact we know their names and they like that. For us we dread the day when we need to leave as for us just to work for one company doesn't feel right. So until then, we will keep things are normal as we can and hope that the future holds as much fun as it has in the past.

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  23. Commiserations JB - just by making the blog available and moderating comments you have done a tremendous service to the probation world - despite all the criticism that is almost inivetable if one takes any action.

    My concern is that the blog stays available and so hopefully the chief blogger will avert his attention at times - just to get a complete break - I can imagine that at times it will feel as if you are carrying a heavy burden.

    As long as the burden is put down in a safe place - it will still be there when one is ready to do some more carrying.

    Thank you.

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    1. "Put down in a safe place" - might mean having the comments facility turned off for a time.

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  24. To Anon 09:51
    I honestly cannot think of a CRC positive story. Having trained with POs now are now spread across 4 different CRCs and NPS,we meet up once a month. It is our friendship and solidarity that keeps us going. It is clear that not on of our group has a positive to note about CRCs with one exception, all agree at least they are getting paid. Far from the brave new world of privatisation with innovation, we just compare disasters. From the Very High Risk Offender ( yes Very High) who arrived for duty from another area but being CRC we were unable to access his records to the endless problems getting NPS to process not reject breaches it just beggars belief. You cannot get over the truth that the whole probation system has been ripped apart but not built up again.Probation for profit is the main aim of CRCs.....and it shows. It is sad that none of the CRCs are delivering innovation but are relying on bewildered staff to keep it limping along....that's the truth.

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    1. due to the strong working relationship pre-split, our local mags court are continuing to be extremely helpful - minimal rejections if any at all. The one thing the NPS at Crown have started doing is asking for full breach packs for revocations for good behaviour. The other week I sent Crown signed consent from offender, a supporting memo and a copy of the Order. I then got asked for CPS, & precons which I thought was odd. Unbelievably a further email was then received asking for a Warrant Risk Form - I emailed back and was told this was needed in case the judge wanted to summon him and then he fails to show up!! Absolutely ridiculous - if the Judge wont act without the defendant then we don't want to pursue the revocation the Order can just run its natural course. I've since emailed the court and told them that the revocation for good progress is to be withdrawn. Stuff 'em.

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    2. LOL Yeah, it's only an offender's life you're able to play god with! Fuck'em eh? :-)

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    3. This is arising because there are now so many people who have VERY limited knowledge of legal process. People are being 'trained' by people who do not know themselves and it would seem that there is now a generation , or tow, of people who may well have 15 GCSE's numerous A levels a degree and even a Masters, but who simply have no idea how to think, question, or do other than follow a tick box process map. Arrogance, aggressive and defensive attitude appears to be mandatory
      Re an increase in managers...the CEO's 'succeed ' ( and get the bonus ) if they have the tick boxes ticked and the statistics to prove 'their' success. The managers do this for them.

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    4. In Northumbria the enforcement team think they are Rumpol of the Bailey.

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    5. same can be said in DTV @19.02

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  25. My experience too 11:45 and the breaches being rejected by NPS can only be described as ridiculous and in truth for no acceptable reason.

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  26. Inane rambling alert

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  27. awww, welcome back 12:23 we've missed you since 09:51

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  28. Who wants a shot at the NAPO chairs title? Will someone man/women up to lead this once great union? Can we name some serious people who could do a better job than the past and present?

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    1. Got another year for that

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  29. 14:44 that's is what we all want friend, the intelligent people who saw what was coming and warned us but we elected those who could not and still don't . Chair and the Lead . The results speak for themselves. It is way too late I think at this stage. 12:23 is that the napo press statement. Comprehensive.

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  30. One name springs to mind but is it fair to name people on a public domain? Some say he is a maverick but all know of his integrity and hard working ethic as a local rep, he has grit and balls, works tirelessly for the right result at personal sacrifice to his own time and if I needed assistance there is only one person I would consult with confidence. All of us must know someone who is capable of leading our union, the task now is to persuade them to come forward before it is too late ...

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    1. It is most likely too late and your comments reflect all the Napo\ unison local reps in branches.

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  31. Yes I know somone that .. Only person I'd want to rep me but sadly not in same organisation as me now. He knows his stuff

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    1. God please don't tell me that name is Dino

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    2. Who is DINO? Please elaborate?

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    3. Dino, the last dinosaur... he's my friend and a whole lot more.




      Sorry,, I actually quite like Dino but that tickled me a bit and I can't be the only one here who remembers that theme tune.

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    4. Aw, crap, sorry it was 'Denver' and not 'Dino'.

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  32. As some of us have had 15 months in the CRC world and knew the likes of Sodexo et al are going to be sticking the knives in, a bit of blue sky thinking is now needed. Bills, rents, food and tv licence all need paying and its time to think of yourselves. I have booked my first lesson in driving the buses. Not a job of choice but an interesting back up plan if all else fails. At least on a good day the most you would have to say is 'single or return'? On a bad day, 'can you keep moving down to the back of the bus please' or ' get your child out of the disabled seat who do you think you are, can't you read''! and on a really really bad day, 'oh yes, I remember you Norman, been behaving now your out of that hostel!
    Hold tight everyone.............. .....

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  33. Is he my driving instructor????

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  34. Is that Shelter bloke still reading this blog? Can he tell me what the issue is with Shelter in Northumberland prison which seems to have meant they ended up with the CRC and prison contact by default?

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  35. Probation as we knew it will never die as long as there is an internet. Browsing thro' it, I found a page with a variety of advisory sites -- 'Probation Instruction 2010 '(a doc); Good practice for oral hearings - gov.uk (a pdf); and 'Implementation Instruction Manual for NOMS:annex-gov.uk', for starters - the latter in particular was a very detailed manual, describing everything to do with Probation and officers roles - incl such as how to write a PSR, an OASys, a Parom 1, and breach reports, and thorough risk assessments, and included regular interaction with prisons, police, Social Services, partner agencies etc, and even families of the offender, and victims if appropriate...

    As a retired PO of many years I wallowed in the memories, in spite of the take over by the computer and NOMS. And CRAMS was so much nicer than Delius, And we were dependant on the ever faithful admin staff (or clericals as they had previously been known) who selflessly supported us.

    And looking at all the tasks, the roles, and the expectations and a million different reports to complete, made me think - how did we manage to do all that as well as giving clients quality time?!

    But we did, and felt satisfied at a job well done - and still managed to laugh...

    RIP Nbria Probation - and all the rest..

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    1. ML. We're in the new world. We're at the end of the change curve. Probation changed at the split. If you want to do all of the above then go work for NPS. If you want what we want then work in the CRC. Simples!

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    2. What rubbish.... if you think NPS has time for all that you are sorely mistaken. We are reeling from the devastating impact the IT continues to have on us and of course training by lengthy emails no one has time to read... then there is working with everything high risk.......idiot

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    3. to 6.11- you miss the point , like the post below, 21 05 -and no doubt you will not read this now, given as there is a new Blog. But I write this to put the record straight. I am on your side.and I empathise with staff suffering the cruel sabotage of a meaningful Service. That is why I read this blog daily, and make contributions when appropriate.

      I DID NOT SAY that I wanted all that technology and form filling - read carefully and particularly my further post at 23 10. I said I loved the job, IN SPITE OF THE BIRTH OF THE OFFICE COMPUTER IN 2000 AND NOMS INTERVENTION.

      I commented on the interminable forms which needed to be worked thro' while still managing to give clients quality time.

      The nostalgia I felt was seeing on the website all the terminology and details of the duties we had, NOT the fact that we had to do them, which went right against the grain. I loved the camaraderie, and support of each other, and the awareness that I was helping people, so please read my later post at 2310 and honestly ask yourself -am I still an idiot?

      and finally - re your comment on high risk - I worked for many years with high risk offenders, and for 2 years I had all the sex offenders who were supervised in our team, because everyone else refused, I was also the resettlement officer in our team for several years. And please read 23 10 carefully, particularly about the comments made to me about my 'amazing work' with the most dangerous offenders which no one else will touch. (I think I missed the word 'amazing' out of that 23 10 post, but I can assure you it WAS said to me by our ACO). I most certainly had my faults but giving clients of every level of risk and vulnerability short shrift was never on my agenda.

      I am sure if any colleague from those days sees your comments, and recognises that the 'idiot' is me, they will be stunned at your assessment. But I am sorry if my words were misleading and I can only wish you good luck for the future.

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  36. Well said. CRC will be what probation should have been. Professionals spending time with people helping them.

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    1. But wont pay for it, you are quite silly. Profit is all that matters now.

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    2. No. Crc will in time become an under resourced, deskilled and amateur bastardisation of what probation could have been.

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    3. re 2038 and 21 05, Maybe I have romanticised it too much. I actually thoroughly resented some of those unnecessary processes, as did many of my colleagues - stupid oasys, with tick boxes, and the requirement to update them every 3 months, regardless of there being no concerning changes.

      I ignored the Service's instructions to ensure that someone's life had improved because of our supervision, in the termination report, to meet the bloody targets :- so they slept on someone's floor?- then don't tick the homeless box etc.

      I hated writing reports on computerised templates, rather than the old free-hand style. And NOMS did us no favours, they even managed to get rid of any Probation representation on their Board and I loathed their pointless targets which were only there to make money for the Service, not to reduce crime. I only found the website nostalgic seeing all the terminology which went with the job. I never said I approved!

      And there was no love lost between me and the CEO for reasons too complex to describe here.

      But- most of us had our own office, and we were able to give time to clients without the faff on of booking a room, or running around the corridors looking for an empty room. And we could discuss issues on the phone with other organisations without wanting to tell others around you to shaddup! And I could spend longer with my client if the situation required it, instead of someone popping their head round the door because they had booked the room. Oh, and I had covered the walls with posters with philosophical and plain funny comments, which I sometimes used to grab clients' attention and understanding and used the pictures and the writing on them to lead them into a discussion about their experiences, their violence, their personal issues and their fears..

      I was criticised by my manager for giving too much time to my clients, and researching their background too much. But I was told the courts appreciated my reports because they gained a good understanding of the defendant. And clients would frequently thank me for helping them, and did not want to cease reporting.

      And, no matter what technology did to change the Service, I recall that feeling of satisfaction, believing you had written a good report with detailed risk assessment.

      Nonetheless, -although I was told by my ACO that I was a good officer who related well with clients, and was not afraid to work with the most dangerous of clients which other officers would not go near, and in 18 years I had only 3 days off work, but I still ended up in Capability because some of my pointless OASyses were out of date.

      I was a dinosaur - my favourite time in the Service was in the 90's - pre IT, a golden age for hands on work, but I loved the job, with the opportunity to help both offenders and victims, and no technology or targets or bullying CO's and managers could ever take that away from me. And I still stay in contact with colleagues and 3 ex-offenders, and have been e-mailed photos of one's new baby and have been invited to their wedding.

      And there lies the difference, 2038, - I never got over the thrill of helping people, and enjoyed the camaraderie of the team, incl amazing admin staff, though I despised the way those at the top were trying to automate us. And that is why I am still supporting colleagues stuck in this nightmare. (and I'm not sure, 2038, what you meant when you said 'if you want what we want then work in the CRC) I thought most people wanted things back the way they were, and with job security?. Oh and I think I would find difficulty getting back into it all as I retired 4 years ago - so work it out, I'm truly almost a dinosaur!

      and finally 21 05 - I don't know if your 'well said' was meant for me or 20 38's new world. But I hope I have convinced you that I was one of those professionals you spoke of.

      Meanwhile, I hope I have not been seen to 'big myself up'.

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    4. ML is quite right and I feel compelled to qualify my assertion of 22:38.

      I became a youth worker in 2001. I had no qualification but I was employed by a youth inclusion project funded by the Labour government. As a naive graduate, I didn't realise at the time I would be attempting to do the work of a qualified and experienced social/youth worker whilst having little or no understanding of how to work with the client group. This became the status quo.for a large proportion of youthwork and remains the case today. I unwittingly played a part in deprofessionalising one essential and undervalued public service, I won't be complicit again.

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    5. Don't be silly ! CRCs are going nowhere and the staff are being sacked . Are you seriously not aware of the issues. The cuts will not pay the salaries bill the buildings the heat the light your IT and the fag breaks. Interest rates will rise your mortgage is set to increase 2% no pay rise in the pipe line Napo couldn't negotiate away the forced 1% this year . You will see more work less offender time and all work will be sub contracted out to cheaper part time or volunteer staff seeking your experience.

      Yet to come is the copy cat attacks from changing all terms and probably in CRC a de recognition process certainly in the bigger company sectors. 2105 your ignorance is incredible so I hope your irony is a comedy line. If not your naïve and must very young . I know that is patronising but what probation was what it became and what is to happen to it is beyond any of you current comprehension sadly.

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    6. sad but true, 00:19

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