Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Latest From Napo 77

il/rs/mp 26.8.15

CAMPAIGN FOR REDUNDANCY RIGHTS IN SODEXO

SODEXO VOLUNTARY SEVERANCE/EARLY RETIREMENT OFFER

ADVICE TO UNION MEMBERS

This bulletin updates members on the negotiations between the probation unions and Sodexo in relation to the sub-standard severance offer which has been made by the company to staff in its six CRCs. Talks took place again on 24 and 25 August to see if we could find a way to settle the dispute over the offer. Unfortunately, the talks which the parties were directed to hold by the NNC were not productive and Sodexo refused again to improve its sub-standard offer.

SODEXO OFFER IS VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY

Napo and UNISON maintain that the severance offer that has been presented by Sodexo is a voluntary redundancy scheme and therefore must comply with the terms of the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy (EVR) Scheme, as set out in the NNC National Agreement on Staff Transfer and Protections.

Our position is clearly supported by the Secretary of State Michael Gove, who in the attached letter to the trade unions dated 14th August 2014 states:

‘Any proposals to amend these [NNC] terms, like those Sodexo have put on the table, will need to be considered through negotiation with trades union and in accordance with applicable employment law. With regards to the differing Voluntary Redundancy terms that Sodexo are offering, my officials are continuing to work closely with them to ensure that they comply with their contractual obligations.’

The probation unions entered into negotiations with Sodexo in good faith to consider proposals by the company to vary the terms of the EVR. However, Sodexo failed to play their part and have failed to improve on their opening offer. Instead, they have disingenuously, and rather clumsily at the 11th hour, claimed that they are offering an entirely separate voluntary severance scheme. This is in order that they can short change employees and side step their contractual obligations.

UNIONS TO ASK JUSTICE SECRETARY TO INTERVENE

The unions will now be writing to Michael Gove asking for him to intervene urgently: firstly, to ask that Sodexo halt their redundancy process; and, secondly, to ensure Sodexo comply with their contractual obligations to use the NNC EVR scheme in the event of voluntary redundancies.

ADVICE TO MEMBERS

This guidance note sets out advice from Napo and UNISON to any members who have expressed an interest in, and are now considering whether to accept, the Sodexo voluntary severance/early retirement offer in your CRC.

You should be clear that the unions do not support the current Sodexo offer, and do not believe that it represents an acceptable offer for our members. Under the circumstances:

  • it is entirely up to you as an individual to decide whether, or not, to accept the current Sodexo offer
  • Napo and UNISON will offer continuing support to their respective members, as far as we are able, in relation to any potential application for the Sodexo offer, notwithstanding our opposition to it
The Sodexo Offer for the Under-55s

Staff, who are under 55, are just being offered the Sodexo voluntary severance offer of 2 weeks actual pay for every year of service up to a maximum of 30 weeks.

This offer compares very badly with the National Negotiating Council enhanced voluntary severance offer, which Sodexo has refused to offer, which would have given you 4.5 weeks actual pay for each year of service up to a maximum of 67.5 weeks.

The Sodexo Offer for the Over-55s

Staff who are over 55 are being offered a choice of:
  • either the voluntary severance offer (as above)
  • or early retirement with an unreduced pension
Under the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Regulations 2013, any active member of the LGPS aged 55 or over, who leaves employment by virtue of redundancy, or business efficiency, or whose employment is terminated by mutual consent on the grounds of business efficiency, is entitled to, and must take, immediate payment of their pension benefits without any early retirement reduction applying.

In making your decision you should therefore bear the following in mind:
  • If you are over 55 and want to take the voluntary severance offer, the company will include a clause in your settlement agreement to say that you won’t exercise your right, under the LGPS regulations, to take your pension early. 
  • The unions are currently taking legal advice on whether it is permissible for Sodexo to include such a clause in the settlement agreement.
  • If you stayed with your CRC and were eventually made compulsorily redundant, you would get at the very least both statutory redundancy pay* and immediate payment of an unreduced pension if you are over 55. Of course, there is no guarantee that you would be made compulsorily redundant, so it is up to you to assess the pros and cons of agreeing to leave with the Sodexo offer now, or staying and possibly being made compulsorily redundant with the above benefits.
  • Cumbria & Lancashire CRC and Northumbria CRC have both just unilaterally changed their local redundancy policies which gave staff the same benefits on compulsory redundancy as are available under the NNC enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme (i.e. 4.5 weeks pay for each year of service up to a maximum of 67.5 weeks)
  • Napo and UNISON has advised members in these two CRCs to write to their employer to object to this unilateral change. This is with a view to Napo and UNISON potentially being able to take claims on behalf of members in these two CRCs to enforce the original compulsory redundancy terms in the event that you are eventually made compulsorily redundant. However, we cannot provide any guarantees to you at this stage in relation to the likely success of any such claims, and you should not rely on this outcome in your decision making.
What to do in relation to your Settlement Agreement?

1. Sodexo has confirmed that a member of staff who wishes to accept their voluntary severance/early retirement offer must first sign a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement to waive certain employment/legal rights in the future in relation to the settlement you reach with Sodexo.

2. Napo and UNISON have asked for an extension to the period in which settlement agreements are required to be signed and returned. We believe that the timescale needs to be realistic and consistent across the six CRCs. Sodexo are considering our request and we will inform you about the outcome if we get a positive response.

3. Any member who is considering accepting such a settlement from a Sodexo-owned CRC is strongly advised to seek advice from your respective union in relation to the settlement agreement before you sign.

4. Both Napo and UNISON can provide legal assistance in relation to your settlement agreement via the Settlement Agreement Unit of our legal providers Thompsons Solicitors and recommends that you refer your settlement agreement through your respective union in this way. Detailed advice will be sent to members shortly, on how to access legal assistance from your respective union.

5. Unfortunately, Sodexo is offering to pay only £250 plus VAT towards the cost of your settlement agreement, which will not meet the cost of using Thompsons Solicitors Settlement Agreement Unit. The unions have asked Sodexo to increase the offer of assistance with the cost of the settlement agreement to £350 plus VAT to ensure that you can take advice from the unions’ solicitors. It is entirely normal for an employer to meet the full cost of any settlement agreement required by that employer.

6. Nb: If you choose not to use Thompsons Solicitors and instruct alternative legal representation, in relation to your settlement agreement, it might have consequences for the assistance that Napo and UNISON may be able give you with your case going forward in any matter relating to your settlement.

7. Please speak to your local union representative if you have any questions

*Note: Statutory Redundancy Pay

Employees with at least two years' continuous employment get a statutory redundancy pay entitlement of:
  • 0.5 week's pay for each full year of service while they were under 22
  • 1 week's pay for each full year of service while they were 22 or older, but under 41
  • 1.5 week's pay for each full year of service while they were 41 or older.
Employees can only count a maximum of 20 years' service and the 'weekly pay' is subject to an upper limit.

The statutory redundancy payment is capped at £464 a week. From 6 April 2015 the payment cap will increase to £475 a week.

71 comments:

  1. Well that's that then, as folk's aren't going to be able to wait any longer..they are hovering over us every day, pushing, pushing with pens in hand. The amazing quote from Mr Grove actually commits to f**k all, it seems to me.."Ensure they are complying with contractual obligations" is posh speak for 'finding a way to make sure its OK and legal to shaft you"

    Over and out, the bottom line is if NAPO are saying "its upto individuals if they go on VS or not" then what does that say about there actual beliefs?

    If they REALLY thought they could sort it out, would they not be saying "DO NOT sign this severence" we will get it sorted..etc. Its time to come clean and admit it, like various people have said in here before.

    The end is high and there is NOTHING we can do about it. I've enjoyed lining NAPO's coffers over the years, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty they are powerless. Where's the legal cases? Where's the solicitors..i could go on and on...What a chump i've been :(

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  2. “Hope is cruel. Hope reminds me of what almost was. Hope makes the physical ache return''(Harlan Coben, Six Years) Come on NAPO do the right thing and tell us that SEVERANCE/ VOL Redundancy is here and EVR aint goin to happen

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  3. 6. Nb: If you choose not to use Thompsons Solicitors and instruct alternative legal representation, in relation to your settlement agreement, it might have consequences for the assistance that Napo and UNISON may be able give you with your case going forward in any matter relating to your settlement.

    WHY?

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    1. NAPO are in bed with Thompsons solicitors, thats why. Regardless of what one thinks of Sodexo offering only £300 to cover the legal advice two solicitors firms have told me that this sum would «more than suffice» in terms of their fee. Thompsons are charging « at least £350 plus VAT, which NAPO will make up the difference in respect of. They are on a good earner then , given the volume of largely identical cases they could be dealing with .

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  4. The financial position of the over 55s would be better through compulsory redundancy. They have nothing to lose by withdrawing from the process. The Sodexo offer is insulting to these individuals. The offer to the under 55's is not much better than statutory redundancy. This whole exercise could potentially isolate Sodexo if there is widespread rejection of severance. To sign a binding document in the present circumstances may be regretted later, because the offer may well improve, especially if no-one wants to party with Sodexo's extortionate behaviour.

    Napo cannot stop individuals accepting these offers. But stop knocking Napo for acknowledging this fact. The Napo advice is clear: it's a substandard offer and have nothing to do with it. It's advice to the over 55s is clear. And, no, Napo cannot tuck you up in bed tonight and tell you that everything is going to be alright in the future. Instead of negating every step along the way, try a little solidarity and who knows it may make a difference. The villain here is not the workers, nor their representatives ...but reading some posters here would make you think they were.

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    1. Exactly right. Big problem if you want out though is that there is no guarantee of compulsory redundancy.

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  5. Because..... they want to get out of helping you.

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  6. Probation Officer26 August 2015 at 19:29

    "Our position is clearly supported by the Secretary of State Michael Gove... "

    No it is not - and the excerpt that follows is very ambiguous.

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  7. "Ian, Ian I love you - but we've only got fourteen hours to save probation!"

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Not with you on solidarity Netnipper sorry . Napo elected leaders from Rendon and some of those prior to him had not had a clue on the longer term issues.

    Fighting foolish internal objectives they were naïve. The idea of agreement from a union on the premise of actual redundancies should have seen Ian Lawrence marched out and booted in the rear, on his way down the road for good.

    The NEC failed by allowing this without question. They also managed to prop up the nappy laden chair Mr Rendon after he applied for a role in the CRC. He loaded off a pile of NAPO cash reserves (our anti redundancy legal costs funding) Spent our future right there and then in a way. This should have been more than enough to have had all the alarm bells ringing. But the NEC colluded with him. It should have been all the NEC and wider members needed to take swift self protective action. Yet they patted him down at the NEC saying carry on. You have to understand the members are denied material facts and the obscured truths from NEC means the debate is controlled. The pathetic chairs twinned have no accountability nor obviously appear to be able to lead anything. They certainly cannot manage the NAPO self interest.

    Gove has made his position clear in the letter and as Mr Lawrence tries to run his spin all over it. The blog reader can see what Gove is saying earlier as the plan was agreed by his former colleague before contracts were signed off. Mr Lawrence will escape as the AGM have not got a motion of no confidence facing him. Unless someone from the affected Sodexo membership ignites emergency debate in some way. Solidarity when the leadership are asking the impossible because they mislead a complacent NEC where can ordinary members look to a leadership and NEC with integrity to protect its members aggressively. Not in NAPO . There are a very few NEC voices who are attacked when outspoken, sadly the ignorance of the majority NEC and the attitudes that are pervasive in the current leadership.

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  10. Once again this information contains inaccuracies. The draft contract for over 55s who take severance does require the staff member to agree not to take their pension early. The terms of the LGPS allow pensions to be taken from age 55, albeit with reductions, and this right cannot be interfered with. What the draft agreement says is that if someone over 55 takes severance, as opposed to the unreduced pension alternative, that they agree not to then also seek to take their pension without reductions i.e. seeking to get Sodexo to take a pension strain as well. I am sick of Union misinformation and wonder if those responsible for these missives are weak and not doing their job prosperó, or whether they are deliberately mischief making. Either way, members are not getting a proper return on their subs. And no, I am not a Sodexo stooge.

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    1. I keep saying this MAKE THEM SACK YOU over 55s . Once redundant they cannot fill your post. You have a right to claim. You get your pension at unreduced rate because it was compulsory. Make them sack us all and we have a chance of destroying this immoral sodexo contract. Made more difficult as NAPO agreed the terms in the transfer arrangements. Got into a proper soup didn't they.

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    2. Rather idealistic, sounds simple but how can you make them sack us all

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    3. Don't sign up to VS wait for them to cut the staffing. They cannot recruit to roles they have dismissed it will shaft their plans. The only way they get to play their wages reduction plan is to make them buy you out properly it will take some nerve anyone over 55 have some pension protections those under are destroyed by this mess . Ignore the idiots like 3247 but do not sign make them fight you out they wont in the end they are bluffing . They need the staff. The only way to produce efficiencies in costs on contract and fulfil target is to cut your terms so they sack cheap re employ new staff on short term contracts pension free . Instant compliant workforce cheap to run no counter claims from any VS post . Redundant posts they wont go there on mass. Anyone with a few brain cells and a little employment law knowledge can work this question why are Napo silent . Just ignore the idiot static crap you read on here from 2347 and you can join in some local solidarity. As they come back threatening Napo have to do some work not just talk up they are doing work.

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  11. 22.53
    Utter rubbish. .give your mouth a chance

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    1. How do make a comment like that not a thought or any construction to say why or what your thoughts are that convince our colleagues to have some collective strength. This is a crisis in their working lives you are a foolish ignorant. Exactly why poor colleagues suffer at the lack of intellect from your kind idiot. 2347 a real idiot. Shut your mouth and try and exercise your limited capacity.

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  12. Imagine. Not accepting VS. Not being given or accepted for redundancy and THEN BEING MANAGED OUT AS YOUR WORK IS APPARENTLY SUB STANADRD

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    1. you don't have to imagine being a sophist

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  13. Test cases on the table?

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  14. re 23 47 and 7 31 - is this a Sodexo snake in the grass, trying to scare people into accepting VS? It is always much harder to make hoards of people redundant when clearly, bodies are needed. Every one of those who accept VS is making it so easy for Sodexo to ruin more peoples' lives, and putting the community at greater risk following the loss of skilled staff, never to be replaced. For god's sake, Sodexo aren't even asking for a relevant qualification.

    God help us all.

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    1. Good point moles infiltrators and there to help sodexo don't sign.

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    2. You are asking people to be thousands of pounds on a hunch. Compulsory redundancies will follow and, if they need to, Sodyou will wriggle around replacing them and Gove will turn a blind eye. This all has precedence in other fields. The law supports employers because it was written by employers. It is all stacked in their favour.

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  15. With all the focus on Sodexo areas, is there any news coming from the non Sodexo areas?

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    1. re 9 06 - they are biding their time to see what happens with Sodexo- a cunning plan, to avoid sticking their heads above the parapet and being shot down - may save face and reputation and save a lot of unnecessary expenditure. But if Sodexo wins the battle, they will likely be galloping along after them, playing just as dirty.

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    2. Agree ml, if only people would either read and learn for themselves or trust those who know...sadly, ignorance and self centered greed will out and Sodexo et al know this only too well. The amount of comments indicating how difficult it seems to be for some people to understand the different implications of severance and redundancy is frightening.

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    3. Jim gave us some news on other areas and there is not much happening

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  16. betcha non Sodexo areas will operate the same as Sodexo

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  17. FROM HM Government: -

    Press release: New national service to help victims

    http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTUwODI3LjQ4NDYzNDExJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE1MDgyNy40ODQ2MzQxMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2ODg5NjQ1JmVtYWlsaWQ9YW5kcmV3LmhhdHRvbkBwaG9uZWNvb3AuY29vcCZ1c2VyaWQ9YW5kcmV3LmhhdHRvbkBwaG9uZWNvb3AuY29vcCZmbD0mZXh0cmE9TXVsdGl2YXJpYXRlSWQ9JiYm&&&101&&&https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-national-service-to-help-victims

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  18. FROM TUC: -

    Respond to the government consultation about why we need to protect the right to strike

    https://secure.goingtowork.org.uk/page/content/trade-union-bill-consultation/

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  19. SORRY CANT THINK OF PETITIONS AND RALLYING WHEN CRC SEVERANCE ALL IN DOUBT

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    1. 13:48 What do you mean exactly? What doubt? Has NAPO pulled something off? Please clarify, or if you can't perhaps better not to post in first place.

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  20. F**k off Hatton you troll. You've been told already about your inappropriate posts off topic. Jim kick him out

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    1. Sorry Hatton. I didn't mean this. It's just some people are fighting for their jobs pouring out their heart and you sometimes then post something completely off topic. It just comes across as in sensitive

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  21. I agree. Hatton gets on my nerves !

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    1. You are the trolls, not Andrew. And if you work for probation then it's another symptom of its decline.

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    2. Absolutely Netnipper, if these posts are actually from people working in Probation, and sadly there is a possibility the person or persons are !! then it only goes to prove how and why it has been so easy

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    3. True there is decline but the way many speak and manage daily interactions has been awful for many years now. I think it is because we are crime and punishment staff have forgotten or never knew the value rehabilitation. In relation to Hatton there is no winner or loser here but again let us remind him A TIME AND A PLACE for the very annoying wanderings. People are worried for their futures the union are appalling at their management of this process from the start yet another campaign alert is just poor judgement Hatton I am not anti anyone helping but lets put our colleagues and folk first please just think on please for the future.

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  22. Sorry you are getting abuse Andrew, it is not fitting for probation staff to do this!

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    1. What makes you think it's probation that are the trolls. I know mood is low but I still think probation are trying their best to hold the whole sorry mess together. Doing what they do best...crisis management

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    2. I am probation and can assure you people are in staff are being awful .

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  23. Andrew Hatton has my attention. I've never met him, but feel like I have. I don't know many people who have fought for probation so long and so consistently with good spirit. Big salute of respect and thanks for showing your passion and spirit for probation work.

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    1. Hurst do you need some help or extra oil to get your head out of that crevice . Mr Hattons backside

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    2. I'm happy with the position of my head thanks

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    3. Course you are !

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  24. Keep it up Andrew - don't let the trolls and idiots get you down. I enjoy and learn from many of your posts and links so thank you!

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  25. What a horrible stressful situation this is for everyone. Shame to see that people on here are getting so scratchy with each other, on top of the difficult atmosphere at work. Divide and rule has worked a treat for NOMs and their bid winners.
    We must do what we feel is best for our own situations - all so different. We have to accept that we are not going to reverse the changes, and it really is time to put up, or shut up. We've all had an email from management encouraging us to continue with the VS, and to not be 'distracted by union talk of possible EVR being reconsidered, as it isn't going to be - and that's final' - I paraphrase, but that is what it said in a nutshell.
    This whole VS exercise is about saving money, and (from their point of view) getting rid of the people who are feeling negative about the future, and don't want to be there - one thing you can be assured of - if you feel like that, they sure don't want you, and if they possibly can will be happy to pay you off and replace you with someone 'cheap and cheerful'. The game was up a long time ago, and anyone who believes different I am afraid is going to be disappointed. For anyone planning on staying, what I can't understand is why they aren't actually trying to find out more about the gory detail for the new operating model - which I can only imagine they are quite happy about being pushed to the back burner while everyone is so preoccupied with the severance/EVR dispute. ... They don't have to drop that bombshell quite yet, while everyone looking in the opposite direction.

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    1. It may well be a done deal, but to suggest that people walk away with even less than was due is the very attitude that has allowed the destruction of public service and the rise of selfish, self centered aggressive and shortsighted minions, happily singing hi ho hi ho as they troll off to make a few people richer and delude themselves that they and their lives are okay.
      It would be good to have some debate about what is actually happening and what is coming though. Similarly if Napo took some interest in workloads, sessional report writing and other work place practices..if they are going to pay extra to paper over the cracks ( chasms) then may be they ought to be paying overtime across the board ?

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    2. Lurking Winks are promising us our shiny new operating model by April - yes, nearly a year after taking over. I thought TR was going to bring in all the experts in rehabilitation - and it's taking them nearly 12 months to work out how to do the job?

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    3. They promised TTG and that hasn't happened either. Chaos in most of the offices with training out of the window and instead emails with instructions.

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  26. There are many reasons for people to be ashamed in this series of comments. Those who have opted for voluntary severance are not in that category. Mr Andrew Hatton is not in that category. So, bullies, egocentrics, trolls & the rest of the shitheads - please fuck right off. We have been picked off & royally shafted. Not everyone is politically astute or active, not everyone is militant & its a certainty that everyone's situation is unique.

    We've been isolated, manipulated & stiffed. Do not blame your colleagues who are merely trying to survive this trauma. Think about the who, how & why. Look at the bigger picture (in no particular order of distaste)... Tories, Grayling, NOMS, Spurr, Maiden, Straw, Clarke (Charles), Clegg, most Trust Chiefs, most Trust Chairs, Blair, Brown.

    Have compassion for your colleagues, save your bile for those who truly deserve it.

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    1. You you, mean ? Awful foul mouthed unnecessary abusive language. Learn to articulate your views more positively and you might get more support. I hope that was patronisingly probation officer enough for you.

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    2. Troll! Learn to use commas and we might just think you once met a Probation Officer!

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    3. That's better your calming down no swearing well done. No comma required . This is why the probation service was dismantled too many people like you wanting to blame away. The reality is Probation as it was is not sustainable in this day and age with wild attitudes in the ranks as displayed by you. I am not a troll but ashamed as there are more like you. I guess you will get a new job soon , door security perhaps.

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    4. You're not your grrrrrr!!!!!!

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  27. Sodexo will be delighted with the influx of migrants who will snap up the new roles that replace those that you all vacate be it by severance or EVR - for minimum wage. Hope there's a few diversity trainers who choke when they implore (command?) colleagues to 'celebrate' this wonderful transfer of prosperity. Ker-ching Sodexo.

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    1. When did we decide we were going to use Daily Mail-style casual racism here?

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    2. don't worry. i am english, born and bred, if it's a concern of yours. the rest of what you say seems to be quite true, unfortunately.

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  28. Important domestic matters have taken me away from the blog for a day and upon my return what do I find? I have to say many of the exchanges above are disappointing in the extreme, but I'm leaving them here and earnestly hope people will come to their senses soon.

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  29. Jim ,when people are angry, it’s usually a reaction to other emotions such as feeling:hurt, ,jealous,worried ,rejected or embarrassed. This should alert you that something is going on to make them unhappy eg the concerns for their severance?

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    1. 826 is sound thanks a good comment. unfortunately hatton does a lot of posting and then redirects the critical debate issue to something else. I hope Hatton goes and opens his own blog and people can go there and get lost in all his musings as they will be off topic here. Any news on the redundancies is important as they let us stew over through the weekend break already ruined.

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    2. "Jim, when people are angry, it’s usually a reaction to other emotions such as feeling: hurt, jealous, worried,rejected or embarrassed. This should alert you that something is going on to make them unhappy eg the concerns for their severance?"

      Of course I appreciate this, but some of the exchanges are most unedifying and achieve nothing. Please try and focus the anger and direct it to where it belongs:-

      "We've been isolated, manipulated & stiffed. Do not blame your colleagues who are merely trying to survive this trauma. Think about the who, how & why. Look at the bigger picture (in no particular order of distaste)... Tories, Grayling, NOMS, Spurr, Maiden, Straw, Clarke (Charles), Clegg, most Trust Chiefs, most Trust Chairs, Blair, Brown."

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    3. Andrew's asides are no more intrusive than many of hundreds of other posts here that have drawn people's attention to other issues relevant to Probation but not to the topic of the day. Jim's blog does not allow for single issue 'threads' like the NAPO forum used to but , despite hundreds reading it, very few would post. No idea why but there you are. Andrew has started thread after thread after thread on there but people do not respond. His efforts to get information out there are laudable and negative criticism of him unfair. He is also one of the few who identifies himself on here. He is respected member of NAPO who I recall from branch meetings when I was in London in the late 90s.

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    4. Members ought to appreciate that Andrew Hatton has been a stalwart from day one in this fight - he posts threats that may not be title topic but indeed are on topic of probation values. Instead of critising him - getting writing YOUR own on topic posts. The one thing I do agree with is that this blog is becoming the blame game blog for those that are happy to suck up the way Probation staff are being treated instead of fighting collectively against it. Get a grip

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  30. Replies
    1. OFF TOPIC for probation nerds only - look away if you want to read about Sodexo and the severance shenanigans.

      One of the reason's probation is in the current mess is because of a tendency for folk to focus mostly on the most newsworthy event of the moment - meanwhile life goes on and the courts sit every day of the year except Sundays and Christmas Day - in England and Wales - meaning there is a stream of new 'work'.

      One of the issues I missed - way-back - that by degrees has changed bit by bit is the influence of magistrates collectively on the organisation of probation.

      As part of that time-warp - somewhere I have a copy of a letter I wrote to my local newspaper in 1991 about the closure without local replacement of an Essex Magistrate's court - yet central Government to this day talks about giving an increased responsibility to localism at the same time as the management of probation has been moved a bit further away from the truly local, so some is at nearest almost regional and nowhere unified within a single county.

      As local courts closed - and local people were perhaps less likely to feel a sense of connection with "their" court, I suspect a different sort of person offered to serve as a magistrate. Simultaneously the administration of local probation was also moved away from the Magistrates, some who are now taking individual action because of the unjust enforced court charges.

      I wish I had campaigned against the management of probation being taken from Magistrates (except in the old Inner London Area) - but no doubt at the time I was bothered about such as the probation order becoming a sentence of the court or pre-entry probation training being split from social work - or just getting through each working week - which sometimes I did not manage very well.

      I also remember, mentally 'switching off' in my earliest union branch meetings when the National Salaries - Codes & Conditions - Sub Committee rep began speaking about our employment terms and conditions, I later realised that was when I should have paid closest attention.

      Abuse away ....... or delete as the readers and publisher choose.

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    2. postscript -

      More for nerds - Sodexo and severance is not mentioned.

      Not even beginning to think I might be dyspraxic until the late 1990s - it was confirmed by a clinical psychologist in 2002 who also assessed me as dyslexic - I did not begin to think about the positives of those conditions until very late in my probation/social work career.

      I was of course aware of the negatives - as people move away and do not issue invites - not surprising at all - why choose to be in company with folk who ramble and miss the point you are making.

      The other side - the positive - is being able to see - big pictures - even though it maybe hard to express it clearly.

      The frustrations are manifold which is why I sense a disproportionate psychological need to compensate and a consequence, in my opinion, that much neuro-diversity (some might correctly say neuro disability) is masked by the consequences of addiction, which itself can restrict a person's social functioning.

      I have the impression that courts and rehabilitation services play insufficient attention to underlying neuro diversity because of the chaos that a person's addiction alone can create.

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    3. Hatton, please stop blogging. Your tactics are really distasteful.

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    4. I think he insults the use of dys lex and dysp in this way . No one is wanting to be ageist either but you are taking on the limits of reasonable responses AH. Coincidentally your initials are familiar with another who could just not shut up . He said all the wrong things. Fortunately you only dominate the blog with rubbish not the world.

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