Before setting off for the seaside, I notice the General Secretary has treated us all to a bumper blog. These are my selections from it:-
INTERSERVE LAUNCH THEIR PURPLE FUTURE
Today sees a number of staff briefings taking place across the Purple Futures (Interserve) CRC’s where the audience will get the opportunity to hear from Senior Managers and watch a corporate video about the Operating Model that has been designed to make the contract a success.
The Trade Unions were invited to a preview yesterday which I attended along with a good number of Napo and Unison reps. Credit is due to Interserve for being as open and transparent about their objectives as they could be at this stage in comparison with the shoddy way in which one of their competitors recently went about announcing their transitional plans.
Any Purple Futures CRC employees looking for a clear idea on their future employment or exit prospects will be disappointed though, as the plan, while full of content about Interserve’s strategic direction of travel and the intended operational and delivery mechanisms that they wish to put in place, has clearly had a good deal of thought put into it. But it does not, as yet, give any indication of how many staff will be required to deliver them.
In an uncertain world everybody understandably wants answers, but the offer of genuine consultation with the unions about how all of this hangs together, and how it will impact on jobs and how those jobs will be structured using the established Job Evaluation process, (a good advert as to how NNC benchmarks are still relevant and useful by the way,) is a process that will run until January.
Of course we are now entering a crucial Autumn period where no doubt other CRC owners will similarly start to unveil their intentions (news reaches me that Working Links are another one) . I won’t pretend that we are not going to have some very difficult discussions but the crucial fact is this; being in a trade union is the best opportunity that all employees have to try and shape future outcomes. Napo intends to be part of those discussions, working alongside your locally elected representatives and consulting with our members to hear what you want us to do to support you.
It’s a message I will be repeating at our AGM in Eastbourne this week; and it’s one that we intend to take out to every workplace over the next few months.
The Rehabilitation Revolution still isn’t working!
Two more examples from Napo members showing that the post-TR world is still a shambles.
‘I have a new case, X. The client was originally allocated to the CRC as they are medium risk but they rejected the case as the client is technically MAPPA eligible so should be NPS. Hence I got the allocation only a month before their release. The sentence was under the ORA meaning that they should have got "through the gate" support with accommodation and employment. Release will take place this week and I've been told that they have been put on a waiting list for a telephone assessment with the local housing office but will need to present at housing on the day of release as homeless. So in reality the service user has got less support than they would have had if they had engaged with the previous voluntary scheme run by the probation trust at no additional cost, which offered far more intensive support joined up with other agencies.’
Nothing like diversity…
‘The CRC local to me launched the T2A guidance with much fanfare only to become severely embarrassed when it was pointed out that a picture of a man on page 6 depicts him wearing what can only be described as a Pornographic T-shirt which was seriously degrading to women. The Chief apparently got involved and representations have been made about it to the authors and the partner providers. Maybe the PI might want to consider this unfortunate situation as well since they no doubt mistakenly automatically replicated the link to the CRC publicity?’
EM review on the cards, or so it seems
This notice came the way of NOMS Trade Unions last week.
‘This is a notification to NOMS Trade Unions of the intention to engage staff in discussions about the shape and future of the Electronic Monitoring Group. The SMT are writing to you for information to highlight the intent to engage staff and the approach we will be adopting.
The Electronic Monitoring team are looking to develop existing structures to examine how we can best work together across the group to deliver against a background of programme uncertainty and developing policy ambition. This work is being undertaken in order to clarify reporting structures and job descriptions in the first instance, to ensure that the programme is properly resourced, that mobilisation of the contracts delivers effective change into the service and that the strategic objectives of Ministers, MoJ and NOMS are appropriately served, and in doing so, looking to minimise reliance on consultants. As part of this we will be running a whole team meeting to discuss the current operating environment with staff and to ask for their input on how we can best work together.
The meeting will set out recent developments in response to Ministerial ambition for tagging and concerns at delays within the programme, the current thinking of the SMT on the group’s structure and how this needs to address these issues and will provide an update on the Electronic Monitoring programme and the role of the group moving forward.
Having shared these initial thoughts SMT members will run a world café exercise, facilitating discussion with staff around the best structure moving forward to feed into discussions. At this point in time we are unable to advise on how the detailed structure will look and what this means in terms of job numbers and grades but we wanted to inform you of these discussions and our engagement with staff. This will be one of a series of engagement events with staff over coming months.
After this staff engagement has taken place we would welcome your contributions and once we have a confirmed structure we will begin formal Trade Union engagement and consultation in line with the restructuring toolkit. Any comments you have at this early stage are welcome and we will keep you informed of the outcomes of the engagement sessions.’
Whilst not quite written in Enigma, it still takes some deciphering but seems to suggest:
1. EM is a rip off to the taxpayer and has made shed loads of money for the contractors which in these times of austerity we can no longer afford
2. We really would appreciate staff and Unions telling us where it all went wrong
3. We know you told us so but...
4. We await our call up to the World Café with much enthusiasm
Ok that’s it for now, off to help load the AGM bound van here at Chivalry Road. Look out for the AGM Blog from Eastbourne and the above hashtag on twitter feeds.