Monday, 7 December 2015

Help Needed

From the Napo Forum (yes remember that):- 

Well being of staff within probation

I need your views. Please share far and wide. 

I'm really concerned over my own and my colleagues well-being within Probation. it has always been a difficult job but the changes over the last year (and for much of the time prior to that) I believe have had an ever-growing negative impact on individuals and team's well-being, morale and our lives in general.

The nature of our job is one such that we are exposed daily to trauma and aggression. We deal with this numerous times daily and just continue without time for reflection or debrief. Historically only specialist teams have been given clinical supervision however I am interested in what all staff think we need to support us remaining in work and healthy in the workplace. The changes imposed by the government have meant that we have ever increasing case-loads, constant scaremongering from those above us about loss of cash and the need for boxes ticked whilst less and less time is given to the humans we 'manage' and work with day by day. Levels of stress are visible I believe. I see it in my colleagues on a daily basis. Simply pushing the workforce further and harder will not result in positive change for our clients nor for staff.

I know that my own well-being has been impacted and I want there to be positive change in the work place to look after our well-being as well as those we 'manage'. Such an idea fits in with the recent Mindful Nation UK report. I also believe that along with Mind UK we need to be positively talking about mental health and our experiences. I'm, therefore, interested in how we support ourselves and each other in the work place and it is my opinion that the use of formal supervision has become a check-list - have you done this? why haven't you done this? with little regard for staff as human beings. Management and employers need to look at the longer game and invest time and resources on their staff groups to enable us to be a productive and healthy workforce.

Please use the survey below to allow me to gather some opinions on this area. This is purely my own individual research and not linked to any one CRC/NPS. I aim to use this feedback to explore ideas for positive change in the workplace.


From Facebook :-

Thank you all for your help. I have been offered the job within the NPS as a PO and am now left feeling torn due to the possible loss of annual leave, pay and pension! I have heard, from a colleague who has recently joined the NPS in the West Midlands, that she has been given a pay rise, her holiday honoured and her continuity of service upheld! Why is it so different for different people in different places? Surely NAPO should be able to sort something out so it is a fair process for everyone.

Hey, have you tried to negotiate a higher starting point with NPS? I know that it's easier to honour annual leave/sick entitlement etc..bit more difficult with pay. I came from CRC to NPS in February but managed to maintain continuity's a tough decision. If you knew NPS were recruiting again, you could wait to see if they'd offer redundancy in CRC but NPS is due to have a load of newly qual officers in February and more again in May. Perhaps now is the best time to jump ship. Good luck buddy.

I was provisionally offered a job in NPS back in Sept, but am still trying to get through vetting!! I've been told once I have accepted a formal offer they will make a 'business case' to try to match my current CRC wage. I can't afford to move if they don't. I've been told I will lose my 11 yr service and leave. But I have been told that I can merge my pension following the move. How can it be that some people have negotiated leave and service but others can't?? Surely if a precedent has been set NAPO should be all over this? I still feel let down after TR at least tackling this would be a step in the right direction?

I was told it was a 'no' regarding my annual leave and cont of service and also any increment was refused on the basis that I couldn't be seen to earn more than my colleagues (despite them being allowed to get 8 days more annual leave than me, alongside other benefits!) so it was sadly (with little choice) a 'no thank you' from me!

The 15% salary max has been removed in the most recent communication about salary negotiations for 'new' staff. The process appears to be more complicated now as it has to go to LDU head, deputy director, then to a panel at NOMS before being agreed! And it seems to be (although I may be wrong), that it is the willingness of the deputy director for each division that holds the key to the divisional differences in it being agreed.

We need some help please. There have been some posts recently about colleagues moving from CRC to NPS and differences nationally in being allowed to negotiate terms. I have contacted NAPO and been told that officially the only element that can be negotiated is wages (up to 15% increase) and we cannot move them on annual leave or retaining continuity of service. I am aware there have been references to colleagues having agreed additional terms since the Feb 2015 cut off and believe NAPO will investigate if we can give examples. 

I realise this may be sensitive so if anyone wants to message us, (Xxxx Xxxx or myself) we can pass any info on in confidence. Please help - this seems to be the only way to get this investigated and moved forward. Thank you.


  1. Have completed survey on NAPO forum page .Fill it in folks so it is representative.

  2. I've also completed the survey, and would encourage others to do so - it's not particularly long.

  3. Wanted to put something on here as I am tired of being treated like this at work. We have no respect from some individuals within other agencies and in particular the parole board. Staff where I work are being given less thsn a days notice to attend oral hearings where you are literally fed to the wolves. I feel the parole board ridicule us in front of the offender yet give them total respect yet we are unsupported and have to face the wrath of political decisions made outside of our control eg. Funding and bad and overloaded management. We are at our desk 90 per cent of the time working with awful IT systems but have huge responsibilities for the limited pay we receive. The title of OM is am excuse for us to be made responsible for everything and anything. I thought this job was working with people not IT systems and form filling all day. For those who disagree these are my experiences if yours have been different fair enough. If the labour market was not in such a state I would not be putting up with this treatment.