Message from Rich Gansheimer, Chief Executive, MTCnovo
I am really pleased to announce two senior appointments as we move to an important part of the transformation programme over the coming months.
Gabriel Amahwe is to become Director of Probation, Thames Valley CRC from November, taking over from Paul Gillbard who is leaving after 11 years at TV. Many of you have known Gabriel over several years and he will be a key member of the senior management team going forward.
In addition, Helga Swidenbank will be joining us in November as Director of Probation, London CRC and will take over from Nick Smart after a handover period. Helga has wide experience in the justice sector, including working as Governor of HMP Bronzefield and for Sodexo Justice Services, and will bring fresh thinking at an important time for London CRC.
I would like formally to thank Paul and Nick for their expertise and support while we have been undertaking such great change. Maintaining highly professional services at a time of extended change is extremely difficult and both Nick and Paul have led their teams superbly during an unsettled period.
Helga and Gabriel will be closely involved as we make the end-of-year changes that will transform the way we work across both CRCs. I realise during transformation that the amount of change seems unending, but there will be a more settled period ahead, I promise!
Helga, Gabriel and I are determined that our senior management teams will work closely with all of you to create a fresh way of working with service users, and that will involve meeting as many of you as possible as we drive our exciting plans forward into 2016.
The Cohort Restructuring Project in the London CRC has now concluded. We have been advised that:
66% of PO’s preferencing on cohort received their first choice
34% of PO’s preferencing on cohort received their second choice
80% of PSO’s preferencing on cohort received their first choice
17% of PSO’s preferencing on cohort received their second choice
86% of PO’s preferencing on location received their first choice
9% of PO’s preferencing on location received their second choice
87% of PSO’s preferencing on location received their first choice
7% of PSO’s preferencing on location received their second choice
The consultation exercise that resulted in this project was very productive as management took on board most of our suggestions. This bodes well for future consultations about the other proposed changes in the CRC.
On behalf of the Branch, David Raho attended the CRC Drop-in session at BPR this week to hear about the planned IT upgrade planned to start rolling out later this year. He was joined by one of our members from CP who is an AT user. Given how reliant we all are on functioning IT to do our work, equipment and systems upgrades that work for everyone are of course welcome. The hardware supplied by Hewlett Packard is a big step up performance wise from current equipment. However, our main concern, given past and present problems, is that all our members should be able to benefit from the upgrade.
It appears that MTCnovo were not given detailed information about those in the workforce who require assistive technologies before bidding. They do seem to have been giving this some urgent attention since becoming the owners of LCRC. We understand that a dedicated AT support line will be available rather than having to use a call centre. The employers are keen to consult with the unions as they want to get things right first time and they are also keen to involve AT users in testing the new equipment and systems.
We will keep you posted with developments. In the meantime we would suggest that you try to attend the Drop-in sessions at BPR (there is another one scheduled for Tuesday 6th October 2-4 pm.) and let us know of any concerns that may arise during testing and roll out. We rely on you telling us how the new equipment and systems are working (or not).
Jim, it has been brought to my attention that some people who have reached retirement age since TR have not received their pensions and despite many telephone calls and emails to Shared Services the issue has not been resolved. It has been leaked that the department do not have the information needed to identify the staff, so are unable to pay them. Shared Services do not know how to resolve the issue and people are left in limbo. It would be interesting to see how many people are affected. I am aware that some are about to take legal advice.
The justice bid, mobilisation and transition team wins 'Team of the Year' for demonstrating the Interserve values #ingenuityatwork
TO: NAPO MEMBERS
Nick Smart has announced that he will be leaving the London CRC at the end of December. Having previously been the Chief Executive of Surrey & Sussex Probation Trust, Nick was asked by NOMS to become CEO of London CRC on the understanding that he would see through the period from public to private ownership and assist with the new owners' transition plans. Nick may well be one of the last Senior Managers to have spent the majority of his career in probation in the public sector.
Earlier this week Rich Gansheimer, Chief Executive, MTCnovo announced that Helga Swidenbank had been appointed as the new Director of Probation, London CRC and will be arriving in November to take over from Nick Smart. He went on to say that Helga will be closely involved in the end-of-year changes being made by MTCnovo that will transform the way we work.
Helga Swidenbank joined the UK prison service in the 1990's. At the start of her career in the prison service she worked at HMP Wormwood Scrubs before becoming a Deputy Governor at HMYOI Feltham. She was there from 2004 until 2007 during which time the POA are on record as describing Feltham as an "unsafe establishment for both staff to work in and prisoners to reside within" and warned the governors that they were breaching health and safety legislation.
In 2007 she joined Sodexo Justice Services and was Director of one of their prisons (HMP Bronzefield) for over five years. Before her present appointment as Director of Probation, London CRC, she was the Account Director with Sodexo Corporate Services (International Large Accounts Division).
What concerns me is that, despite the claim by Rich Gansheimer that she has "wide experience in the justice sector..........and will bring fresh thinking at an important time for the London CRC", she does not appear to have any experience of working in the probation sector.
I have never made any secret of my views that probation services should have remained in the public sector but, for the benefit of all members who work in the CRC, it is vital that this union engages as positively as possible with the new owners and the new Director. As I have mentioned in previous emails, our experience so far of negotiations in the CRC has been good and I hope it remains so.
According to her own CV Helga is accomplished at working in partnership with staff associations and trades unions. I look forward to meeting with her.
Pat Waterman Branch Chair