Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Latest From Napo 83

Here's the latest email to all members of Napo London Branch from Chair Pat Waterman:-

So how was it for you in Eastbourne?

This year’s Annual General Meeting was held in Eastbourne from 15th to 17th October.

National AGM is many things. It’s a chance to meet former colleagues and old friends from around the country. It’s a chance to make new friends. It’s a chance to listen to a variety of different speakers. It’s a chance to engage in lively debate about professional issues. It is also an opportunity to find out what your National Officers and Officials have been doing during the past year on your behalf and to make policy for the coming year.

As always London Branch was present at this year’s AGM in strength. We sent a total of 75 members to Eastbourne. I am always very proud when London Branch walks in to a national NAPO meeting because, not only are we there in force, but it seems to me that the diversity within the room changes markedly. I was particularly pleased to see that this year, in addition to our stalwart retired members, we had a number of new younger new members.

I do hope that those members, for whom this was their first time, had as much fun as the photographs that I have seen suggest but maybe someone should tell them that it is not compulsory to take a dip in the sea on the last morning.

It is no easy task organising for AGM. I am, as always, indebted to Beverley Cole, the Branch Administrator, for making sure that everyone was satisfactorily accommodated and well fed at the Curry evening that followed our Branch meeting.

London Branch had a fully quorate Branch Meeting on Friday evening and the minutes of the last Branch Meeting were adopted following a debate over a matter arising from them. I was pleased that we were able to endorse the nominations of Paulette Ranger and Joanna Yusef to the posts of Black Staff Liason Representative and SW Regional Organiser (CRC) respectively.

The AGM this year had difficulty achieving quoracy i.e. the number of members it needs to be present before it can make decisions. The meeting was only ruled to be quorate for the afternoon of the second day.

The Annual Report is the vehicle through which the AGM is able to hold the National Officers and Officials to account for its actions and work over the past year. The Branch Officers Group met before the start of the AGM to go through the Annual Report and submit a number of questions that we thought would be of interest to members. It is open to any member to do the same. The questions we asked concerned issues of diversity, health and safety and the use of technologies.

It is also open to any member to mount a challenge to any section of the report and for the meeting to vote as to whether or not that section should be referred back to the National Executive Committee (NEC) which acts on behalf of the union in between AGM’s.

In our pre-AGM meeting the Branch Officers sought to ensure that all the motions submitted in the name of London Branch were being appropriately proposed and seconded. In the quorate session of the AGM our motion entitled “Unreasonable Adjustments” was passed.

Members in London should not be overly concerned that the other motions submitted in the name of this branch were not debated by a fully quorate AGM. Anticipating that quoracy might be a problem this year we sought advice from our National Office before going to Eastbourne. We were advised that motions on the order paper not debated at the AGM need to then go through a branch meeting and will then be passed to the NEC as a branch motion for debate.

All the motions from London Branch, except the one entitled “Unreasonable Adjustments” will be on the Agenda for the next Branch Meeting on Friday 20th November.

Some particular concerns have been expressed concerning the fact that the motion from this branch entitled “Drug Testing” was not debated at AGM in any form.

As soon as this branch was made aware that this part of the Offender Rehabilitation Act was to be operationalised we were in touch with both the NPS and CRC asking what their plans were and how these would impact upon the Health & Safety of staff. Both NPS (London Division) and CRC have engaged in consultation. Although it is true to say that there were initially significant differences in the risk assessments in respect of both organisations, as a result of the considerable amount of work done by David Raho, Branch H&S Convenor, important safeguards and protections have been agreed for all staff in London.

The purpose in bringing the motion was to task National H&S Committee with coming up with a model risk assessment and guidance for all branches and to ask the National Officer Group to include the drug testing task in their national negotiations when discussing job re-evaluation to recognise operational changes on the frontline as a result of legislation.

I have been made aware of a number of personally abusive and indeed anti-Semitic comments being made about me on social media forums following the AGM. Can I remind members of the motion passed at last year’s November Branch Meeting about the use of Social Media and ask that if anyone has any comments or concerns about my leadership or conduct in office that they make their views known to me directly or to other members of the Branch Executive.

Pat Waterman: Branch Chair

60 comments:

  1. I was not there BUT one point of dissension from what Pat Waterman wrote is that according to my understanding of Napo's processes and conventions - members attend national meetings of Napo as a right and so it is not strictly correct to write "We sent a total of 75 members to Eastbourne" although it may have even been a fact that branch funds were used to support members who chose to attend.

    I am no longer surprised that many, perhaps even the majority of members, do not seem to value the rights they have under the Napo constitution and so leave just a few people to take crucial decisions which can have far reaching impacts on their day by day employment.

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  2. How was it for me?
    It marked an anniversary from a time when I was -we were- fighting the fight tooth and nail to see off privatisation and the split. It was great to meet up with colleagues who have done the same. We are in. a totally different scenarion now, it would have been good to have marked that
    Lots of speeches from the floor and the platform, rehashed the experience and the sense of injustice and loss. Its a human need after a trauma to verbalise and share the common experience, its a basic stage in recovery
    The Gen Sec gave macho fighting address and rallying call for unity. This doesnt ring true with where we are as a group
    The London Branch involved us all in a labrythine set of maneouvres around a motion which as far as I could gather had already been adopted at NEC.
    So overall, it was interesting, but as a group/movement, we hadnt sealed anyithing, including -crucially- a common purpose
    which is a bloody shame, as the government is hell bent on fragmenting and disabling Unions. I wanted a motion to affiliate to Labour. F*ck being a professional association, neutral in our political allegiances. The Conservatives are well on the way to destroying "Probation" AND Trades Unions. I am for taking sides! We missed a trick there,

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  3. In my experience, 90% of NAPO members care about two things: pay and conditions. Yet the top people in NAPO seem to focus on completely irrelevant things, such as the constant references to diversity and the aligning to Palestine, etc.

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    1. Diversity ? only interest NAPO has is grade specific so the rest of the workforce lose out. I do not mean the leadership its a cultural state and it has cost us all . We need to be trade unionists not role guarded professional nonsense to anyone. This idiosyncratic manifestation in PO structure has been self righteous and got us all out of a profession. We could have been a collective of workers but we chose the wrong people right the way through.

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  4. This Pat woman from London seems completely full of herself. Typical London.

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  5. I was intrigued by the observation that 'the diversity in the room changed markedly'. Some diversity may be visible but sexuality and disability, for example, are not always known or apparent.

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  6. FROM FACEBOOK : -

    " Keep Probation Public, not Private


    A CRC have told staff if they don't sign a consent form to share their data with any of its providers they will not get paid? Is that what consent means? We think there may be another word!

    https://www.facebook.com/SaveProbation/posts/924850677563094 "

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  7. overheard in my office today: colleague answers phone: "No, that is a different company.... no its all probation but you need the other copany.... yes its probation, but its a company... no I cant help you you need to redial... you need to redial the number you just phoned, but ask for the CRC.... no I cant put you through, I'm not allowd to, its a different company" FFS

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  8. I think Pat is bloody magnificent and the leader we ought to have had: but I think she hasdeliberately dodged that particular bullet which both she and NAPO should regret.
    .

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  9. We don't want some cockney, we want someone in touch with the rest of the country.

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    1. Perhaps you want nigel farage??

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    2. Haha, that would certainly be interesting. Although he's from Kent, so virtually London anyway. Let's be honest, London is a sh*thole - how any Probation Officer could bear to work there, I'll never know.

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    3. In touch with the rest of the country ? Perhaps but you had the London Napo scene dominated by talentless and lost Northerners for may years of late and they have all set this mess up. Get over your prejudices and try and read the serious skill sets of candidates and we might have had a chance.

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  10. Sometimes it seems that we talk about diversity, disability at the cost of the real and crucial focus on power and class. The the establishment and the employers love it when we talk about anything other than what they are doing with their distorted power and cohesive class position. From what I've read so far the AGM was a farce, little more than a talking shop with its narrative directed by the hoodwinked and their managerial betters. Probation has been brain dead for twenty years and now its heart is rotting from within. No there's no hope left, the spineless led by the quislings, all dancing to the bloody "new choreography"

    papa

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    1. Corbyn, is that you?!

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    2. Well said Papa

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    3. Yep, well said papa. We really need people like you to make a stand. If you can face it....

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  11. The numbers at AGM were disappointing and that is the fault of members not supporting their union which will be costly to them in a number of ways, financially and potentially in their rights to attend future AGM. It is ironic though that the challenge by PW to ensure a motion formally submitted to AGM and approved by steering thus balloted upon by the members, is then withdrawn by the chairs on the basis the NEC approved the majority of the motion last year. On these grounds take aside the details of the motion and whether you agreed with it or not what then is the point in bringing any motions to AGM. Just leave it to NEC and by the way they are now apparently the supreme body not the AGM according to our chair.

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    1. Disappointing management have bigger a team meeting in London ! Steering committee should have been all over the waste of time Palestine nonsense as repeat business. Napo should keep its motions on the job we do and our mebers needs. We do not have an international policy we are a small union. If London with its 75 strong in your face approach could have voted anyway they wanted as they had the usual misguided majority. They made up a third of the whole AGM . They could have proposed overturned and challenged any ruling. In fact London is most likely the supreme decision making body after that show. It is a shame they do not have any real idea of collectivism. It is not all about the capital.

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  12. If the criticism is of Israel, and not the Jewish people ,is that Anti -semitic.? I ask cos i dont know and it always seem to cloud any debate on Israel /Palestine issues

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    1. To criticise Israel is not anti-semetic, just as to criticise the behaviour of any government is not racist. However, those who do criticise Israel tend to be accused of being anti-semettic, because there is a very powerful Israeli lobby that will not tolerate any criticisms of Israel, however well-founded. Even Jews who complain about the policies of Israel are liable to be called self-hating Jews.

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  13. Look napo needs someone like me. Someone who takes control and performs. My team have not missed a single target since the whole thing began. It don't matter what you are. What class your from. Where you live. You age etc etc. If you can do the job then take a seat at the too table and enjoy the chicken. If you can't perform, I won't no excuses. Once the leadership have control, there is no disobedience. Where there is no disobedience, there is no chaos. I rule with an iron fist and I get results. Napo should do the same. Napo should promote me

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    1. Reminds me of the scene in Taxi Driver when De Niro is talking to a mirror and accusing it of looking at him! I hope you overcome your inferiority complex, too.

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    2. At what price do you pay to meet your targets? Do you dare to look closely at what corners are cut to meet them? Below the surface are your staff just edging closer to burn out?

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    3. 00:56, I like your approach. We need more managers willing to rule with an iron fist and to deal with staff / NAPO in a more ruthless manner. The previous threads about staff refusing to carry out drug testing made my blood boil - what are these people paid for?! When managers order staff to do a certain task and the staff refuse, then immediate disciplinary action should follow.

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    4. 0.56 is only a wind-up and such absurdities can lighten the mood. I bet s/he could, like Mussolini, make the trains run on times. And the sentiments of such postings taps into a brutal attitude that enjoys the idea of the manipulation of the many by the select few. 08.55 suffers from boiling blood, and cannot understand a refusal, whatever the grounds for withholding consent. No doubt if a manager told s/he to put their hand into a fire, there would be no health & safety procrastination, just immediate compliance. Probation is such a broad church!

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    5. 08.55 I get you. All that matters is the start and the end product. Every thing in the middle is immaterial, obstacles and moaning. You need something done and I deliver. The cost benefit of getting the job done far outweighs at "what cost". Thats why I sit at the top table.As for the person above talking about the looking in the mirror. When I look in a mirror, the reflection doesn't dare look back at me because he knows I am the champ.

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    6. Anon 00:56 im not going to do drug testd period and you can't make me. Certainly not without full and rigorous tests for h&s being carried out as regards possible viral transfer for virused such as hep b, hep c, HIV (yes occasionally HIV viral particles can be found in saliva) and so many other viruses even down to ebola.your blood can boil all it likes, though it might fry all your brain proteins, converting them to prions thus giving you mad cow disease .... Ha!

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    7. I won't be drug testing without a lab coat and goggles

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    8. Must be huge disappointment to.you working for failed organisation and now you want to work for failed union. Sounds like you have missed the boat and should be whizz kid in some multi national corporation. Looking forward to you appearance in The Apprentice - 'cringe"

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    9. Failed for you maybe but we're getting paaaiidddd

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  14. Drug testing has been done in Wales for years with the PPOs. So long as staff are trained properly why not? There is a room put aside for it.

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    1. Drug testing is an additional task. Aside from from health & safety, there is the aspect of whether a new task should trigger a job evaluation review. There is a management habit of adding new tasks without taking any away – and we see this most often with extra IT tasks. Next, management may require staff to do all the electronic tagging work. It wouldn't be complex as it only involves attaching and removing tags. It would save the MoJ money. And, like drug testing, it's just another task, albeit on top of all the other tasks.

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    2. My partner worked for our local substance misuse team for years but doesn't have a job anymore because local funding was massively reduced when probation started doing their own drug tests. They asked my partner to train the probation staff. I'll leave you to imagine what answer was given. Yet another trained, heavily qualified professional looking for work because a job has been reduced to its lowest denominator & profit overrides reason.

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    3. With all due respect 13.56. Stop moaning. If he is heavily qualified and experienced he'll find a new job. I did when I got made redundant. It happens. A free market economy is the way forward so you need to look at the bigger picture as profit is King. .

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    4. When all the specialist partner agency staff have been got rid of Probation, CRC and NPS, won't know what's hit them. All the advice and help they receive at the drop of a hat will have gone. They will be sorting out accommodation, benefits, ETE and everything else. The clock has turned back 20 years!

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    5. What's wrong with it going back 20 years? Probation brought too much in-house. It's a wonder we didn't have in-house psychiatric services

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    6. Probation staff don't have the knowledge to give advice on accom, benefits, ETE, employment/housing law, careers advice etc. This will add to their workload.

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    7. 20;04..probation staff used to hold all of this type of knowledge and more..there was no money to be made helping people whose lives involved offending, so very few others were interested in 'helping'. Many still do,particularly given the often dire 'service' and limited knowledge of housing, employment and other advisers that now abound .

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  15. What's all this to do with pat waterman. Stick to the point. Pat should be NAPO GS with Ranjit as number 2.

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    1. Seriously, the original post was over 24 hours ago, I think we're allowed to go off topic by now.

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    2. The last thing we want is Pat Waterman as GS. With all due respect she is an amateur. NAPO need to dismiss Ian Lawrence for his sheer incompetence and adopt the same approach that George Osborne adopted when identifying Mark Carney as the man he wanted to head the Bank of England, ie who is the best possible person out there for the job. NAPO should do whatever it takes to recruit a big name trade unionist and pay them whatever they demand. Someone like Brendan Barber, Dave Prestige or Sir Ken Jackson. That sort of person would really unify the membership and attract new members through their high profile. Plus they would have experience of actually running a union.

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    3. *Dave Prentice.

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    4. 1430 hilarious ! It is tough one though as we elect from the pool as lay officials so we have to have someone. The problem is NAPO elected what we have so we have to hope they can manage. Sadly we have not see what we would have hoped for.

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    5. 1750 get your facts right we have an election process its rubbish but we have it. The GS was elected and you had your chance to vote HUGH LANNING a man with integrity and experience yet the election process prevented him from campaigning fairly in my view. So we got the incumbent. Brendon Barber retired a few years ago and ran the TUC not a small union. When we elect we need more attention to the process and ask all the members to vote. Most of the top are in on less than a 1000 votes and I think that figure is generous.

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    6. 18:23, that's exactly why we need a different approach. What's the point in holding elections when there are no subsequent elections to remove the incumbent?! Sir Ken Jackson would be a good choice as GS. He was described as "Tony Blair's favourite trade unionist" so he's a man to get things done. Plus as a Sir he would instantly command the respect of the members.

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    7. Sir Ken Jackson would be a good GS of NAPO, in my opinion.

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  16. I've decided to delete moronic comments - just saying.

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    1. Thank you Jim! They spoil a good if not great blog!

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  17. We love you Jim. We love your censorship. You seem to be a bitter person because you never made it to the top so you initiate trolling on here against others at the top. I'm not having a go but you do annoy me with this

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    1. "You seem to be a bitter person because you never made it to the top". Top of what? I've never wanted promotion from PO and have only ever been an ordinary member of Napo. You may call it trolling - others might say it's discussion and debate.

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  18. If your deleting moronic comments then why is 14.30 undeleted?

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    1. Because if I delete that comment it also deletes all the subsequent comments linked to it.

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  19. I wonder if there's any research to identify the possibility of a correlation between the environmental shift towards privatisation, the perfect conditions for breeding profit-focused managerialism & the rise of abusive, ignorant &/ or plain stupid posts on a blogsite.

    PhD anyone?

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  20. From BBC - radio Programme due for Broadcast Sunday 26th October 11 am -

    " Reoffending; unadopted roads

    5 live Investigates

    Is the system put in place to manage dangerous offenders when they're released from prison keeping people safe? 5 Live Investigates asks why more murderers and rapists are committing further offences when freed from jail.

    Also, the homeowners living without streetlights and proper pavements because their housebuilder has left the work unfinished. Could more be done to protect them when developments go wrong?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06k9w64 "

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  21. From Facebook: -

    " Keep Probation Public, not Private 37 mins ·

    For the 2nd time since the split and privatisation, some CRC staff have not been paid. We are advised that this will be rectified some time today. Thank you Mr Grayling!

    https://www.facebook.com/SaveProbation/posts/925477634167065

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  22. Why is NAPO debating Palestine at this time? WTF?

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  23. Cos people are getting murdered there mate, turn your TV on

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