Sunday, 6 December 2015

Napo Response

Again, thanks to the Napo member for forwarding the following which I understand has been sent to all union members in the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall CRC:-

Date 30th November 2015
John Wiseman Probation director DDCRC

Dear John

1. Thank you for your formal letter referencing the Companies’ intentions to change the operating model of the Justice and employability element of what you record as Working Links Group. It has been put to you several times from the Trade Unions side, verbally and in writing, Please identify the actual employer? Employees are entitled to know this information.

2. On what basis of authority has the employer determined that 40% of DDCRC has to be reduced? We require this information to be expressed in whole figures (how many posts) as well as a percentage of the workforce. This will enable us to determine the impact on our membership and how this has been calculated.

3. You must appreciate it is important for us to establish this authority. We take from your first 1. paragraph that effectively it is Working Links and that you are both employed by them and negotiating on their behalf.

4. Given if this is fact, and that you, are effectively engaged on behalf of Working Links, you will need to establish with the trade Unions a clear and defined employer. We need to ensure where your directions from Working Links the company are coming from and are properly understood.

5. Your second paragraph talks of new information yet we have not seen anything in your written communication dated 27 11 15 which provides proper figures or a business case, or which show how reductions are calculated for compulsory dismissals. Nothing to illustrate the employers reasoning, or any issues that will have to be tested.

6. Your letter refers to information you have gathered, including the views of employees, sponsors, internal and external stakeholders. You also mention the ideas and contributions made by employees who attended the workshops in addition to a review of 25 workshops and 35 processes. In order for this consultation to be meaningful we expect copies of these reports and your analysis of the information you have received. We would also expect a report from you on how you see these views affecting your plans and the impact they will have. Whether you intend to rely or not on this feedback we expect to be informed properly and full sight of the content.

7. The Unions position remains clear, we support staff seeking voluntary exit arrangements as avenues to a fair exit. We encourage you to make arrangements for this and canvas all staff. This provides accurate information where gaps could occur and provides choices to help reduce the risks when considering compulsory measures.

8. Your paragraph four to eight offer a lot of description which we have heard several times yet still no appropriate detail from which the Union representatives can draw any factual account or reasoning to demonstrate the 40% percent cuts suggested. You have still not replied to Denice James’ questioning of where this figure is to be taken? DDC or the whole combined region? The WAV fluctuation is not demonstrated to the Unions as a matter of fact. We are surprised that any bidder for a contract would not have been able to consider variations. Incredible, that Working Links, the Company, had not costed into any equation a marginal error or a bigger shift in workloads. How can this basic risk analysis not, have been tested? Who exactly in Working Links the company is responsible in managing this critical error? A flawed bid at the outset? How comfortable might anyone think our members will be feeling upon hearing that it will be them, paying the price with their Jobs. Because, the contractor failed to manage the bid effectively? Working links the Company failed to cost into the process a calculation that protected its workforce? I find it staggering! It has to be asked is this a massive error or a deliberate planned outcome?

9. Your paragraph 9 does not appear to be written by you as the first party? However and in anycase, if compulsory dismissals become the direction, the agreed harmonised redundancy procedure will need to be followed in the DDCRC. In light of the simultaneous process and wider regional negotiations taking place with Napo national official Mike McClelland. We are aware Mike will be making representations on the varying redundancy procedures for the other Justice employment areas. Locally we wait the outcomes of his activities. We continue to share the understanding and support for the voluntary exit activity and we again, seek appropriate early retirements for eligible staff. Something that we have continually asked you to acknowledge. Will you please indicate what you and the Working Links the Company have determined about this option and your formal position?

“The likely reduction in the current and future WAV compared to the WAV information provided by the Ministry of Justice during the Transforming Rehabilitation bidding process; and

• Implementing the proposed Working Links Way which has some elements which may impact on staff, such as the proposed operating model to introduce Hub Operations and an universal delivery infrastructure which could impact some of the current Front Line Operations.“
10. In your bullet point above the Unions are surprised. You are clear about 40% as the figure to cut into what remains of the probation trust. Yet despite this 40% figure, this does not show what percentage of staff has already left. Does the 40% include the long list of voluntary exits or is this an additional number to the percentage gone. We need to see the calculations and the comparative figures against the predicated budget. You offer a percentage without any calculations and therefore do not appear to demonstrate a financial economic reason for the proposal of either precautionary redundancy notice or any compulsory redundancy process. We are concerned that your claim is stated as likely but has not indicated the actual as this currently may well change? What are the facts of this matter please? Where is the business plan? 

11. Napo and Unison take exception to the veiled yet direct threat to frontline staff. You are formally on the record, at no less than three events, making open commitments to the protection of all frontline staff. On the 5th of October at Poole, despite the way it was badly communicated in the guise of a presentation from a projector. Again, in the management meeting on the 5th of November whereby the Unions were invited but not in consultation. Our notes and recollections were that managers expressed an interest to get out while asking how anything might be understood in the absence of the figures. Not just staffing and model but workload predications. More recently in the declining state of industrial relations the tele-conference on the 17th November you made commitment that cuts would not impact on frontline staff and middle management. On the 5th of November the same statement, not to allow any qualified probation officers to exit via voluntary redundancy. The implication of your above second bullet point suggests that your reassurances are therefore not true or genuine? We need to know what you mean in clear written format on the record for us to properly evaluate. What we hope you might actually mean is that where work has ceased to exist or is diminished because of a new operational model that all front line staff will be subject to the protections of our existing redundancy procedures. Within that policy exist reference to appropriate redeployments training and mobility to alternative posts before dismissal. Not to mention equality impact assessment requirements. Importantly, your reasoning for announcing cuts that now include frontline staff is predicated on the word “could” The Unions need to know what you mean by this ambiguity, You have planned the model and therefore you should know what resources you need to implement it and what resource model for staffing you currently have deployed. To propose cuts to frontline staffing you either know now or you do not know? On that basis how can you justify formally, notifying BIS under section 188 of the TULRCA? Under the terms of making cuts to staffing neither of the appropriate grounds have been described or met properly. On my reading you do not appear to satisfy the relevant section in the descriptions you offer. Using terms like may and could are not definite terms for proposals to cut staff via compulsory process.

12. Of course the TULRCA offers process that seeks to formulate agreements, of which the unions want to fulfil expectations however, you have directly made the mandatory consultation headings impossible to discuss properly and immediately. Our frustration is that you have clearly stated that

At this early stage, we are, as we have discussed with you, unable to provide the balance of detail to complete the information that will form the basis of coming consultation.

On this basis it is impossible to call your current position a process of consultation and certainly nothing in this letter that any Trade Union could find much to agree on other than voluntary process and early voluntary retirement options. Your final errant gallop in the final bullet points you appear to have made this error offering

The proposed method of calculating any applicable statutory redundancy payment;

The Unions draw your attention back to our agreed expressed terms and conditions of the current DDCRC redundancy policy. Specifically -

9.0 Redundancy Entitlements

9.1 Staff made redundant from the CRC will be entitled to:

a) Payments -

  • Notice in accordance with their contract of employment and length of service. 
  • Redundancy payment based upon a calculation relating to age and length of service. This is the redundancy entitlement and a ready reckoner is shown in Table 1 for the Enhanced VR National Scheme 
  • A week’s pay is defined as actual weekly pay, with a cap on the total amount based on 15 years service for the Enhanced VR National Scheme. 
  • Where applicable, and subject to the Pension Plan and Redundancy rules, immediate payment of unreduced pension will be payable upon dismissal. 
b) Staff under notice of redundancy have an entitlement to a reasonable amount of paid time off to look for alternative work and or to arrange training.

c) The CRC will also assist with providing access to counselling via the Employee Assistive Programme and support from Human Resources with completing application forms and preparing for interviews. 

9.2 Due to the uncertainties that the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme changes have brought, staff retention and morale has become a key issue for the company and one of its biggest business risks. In order to attempt to address this an enhanced redundancy payment structure which reflects the payments as per the national agreements is in place for the CRC. This reflects the national position that the enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme will be introduced into the commercial contracts for the new owners of the Company and will be available to all staff who transferred into the Company. This will be subject to review at September 2016 in line with the review timetable for all policies.
An enhanced redundancy payment will be made, subject to a maximum of 67.5 weeks’ pay and reckonable service of 15 complete years. This is calculated on the basis of four and a half weeks’ of actual pay for each year of completed service. A ready reckoner is set out at Table 1. Any statutory redundancy payment is included in this payment.
We cannot understand how you have failed to reference this entitlement accurately. Suggesting the statutory legal minimum in your letter has to be an error? Would you clarify this issue and correct or indicate your actual position so that we can ensure our members are fully informed of Working Links the Company intentions.

On this basis forming or not forming agreement will be a matter for consultation with our members and obviously what actions we may well be directed to take under appropriate processes.

We look forward to your written reply and further discussion in the next JNCC.


Dino Peros Napo Branch Chair.

CC Ian Lawrence General Secretary 
Mike McClelland HC DJ Napo GC Unison Ben Priestly Unison.


Branch report redundancies update 3

Date 2/12/15

Dear Union members NAPO & Unison,

This is a short report nevertheless it is an important one because for the first time we have now received something more formal than the word and presentation dictate that we have now become weary of.

The branch reps have all taken the view the incredible speed in which the Working links now being termed the Company have started to drive things along and in some opinions without any risk assessment or impact assessments for any of their changes.

I am worried that in their haste so much is being ignored by the senior management and there is no doubt given the recent telephone conference that detail is lost or a response to a question is easily avoided. This has become unacceptable to the reps.

This difficulty in maintaining a proper dialogue and written records has seen some fractious exchange between myself and Mr. Wiseman. I am of the view taking a sledge hammer to crack a nut serves no side well and we hope that management start to recognise that we have to have full information. Proper disclosures and agreements honoured. Talking of which my thanks go out to Mike McClelland Napo National Official for his calming and cool approach to this gem of a contribution from him to the Working links the Company head.

Actually I suppose we might simply assume the most favourable if they haven't been harmonised, as the words used in the agreement are 'default position'. As you know, we would actually welcome harmonisation to the most favourable policy across the three CRCs, though we recognise that there are three different employers.

On EVR, it has been established that these terms should apply for the lifetime of the contracts so far as the CRCs are concerned.

Para 16. of the National Agreement refers: "In addition, the commercial contracts will specify that, other than where more beneficial terms exist, where voluntary redundancy is offered, the enhanced terms set out at Appendix B should apply to any member of staff in a CRC employed by a Probation Trust on 31 May 2014.

This of course only for staff employed on 31 May 2014.

It speaks for itself Thanks Mike!

I have decided rightly to share with you the type of veiled and threatening change of position for you to judge for yourselves. You will see in reply we have picked up on some of the cross conflicts of issues but we are a long way short of anything we need.

In order for you NAPO and Unison members to help we must recruit all our staff into the branch and ensure we collectively prepare for whatever action is necessary if the employers suspected real plans unfold, in ways that actually lead to compulsory dismissals!

In the meantime your branch officials welcome all your feedback and comments to the letters. Any comments and support or issues we may miss are all welcome. I am hoping that you will print and share the information widely in offices and raise your concerns in team briefings.

We in the JNCC will remain steadfast to ensure the Company honours all your terms and conditions as long as we stand together and ensure the Company understand that message loud and clear.

We will write again shortly as we get a further hold on talks and remind you the next JNCC is the 7th of December and the branch has 2 observer positions for any members that want to attend so you can see what we are dealing with in relation to the current talks. Any takers?

Finally, if you are reading this and not currently a member of the Union now is the time to join NAPO. 2 steps – 1. Google www.Napo 2. Follow the sign up link and direct debit mandate. Join now as together we are stronger!

Dino Peros Branch Chair JNCC rep, 

Helen Coley JNCC rep, 
Denice James JNCC rep.


  1. Another CRC area terminations staff en mass. The rep in this area is working hard to protect his members and obviously cares passionately about what happens to people. I haven't seen this kind of support from NAPO central for as long as I can remember. I wish I had a local rep like this defending my job. If we had this I wonder if we would be in the mess we've got. Keep up the good work!

  2. I can't believe the Probation Institute made John Wiseman a "Fellow".

    Help shaft probation and ruins the lives of staff and the PI gives him an award!!

    Good to see Napo quick off the mark but I doubt Working Links, Sodexo et al take much notice.

    1. Chilling out today. Need to rest as got a big week ahead. Targets need to me met. Feeling ready for the week ahead. Anyone else feel like this?

  3. Yes i'm chilling out too. Need to rest as got a big week ahead. Targets need to be met and i've got to help ensure they're missed. Well, if the companies do not care about the staff then we won't care.about them.

    1. My thoughts exactly!!!

  4. 14.04 you shouldn't work for probation. So unprofessional. I've been in this job for a few months now and I'm already hitting my targets. I'm beating everyonr. I don't get why all the old folk are moaning. Things change. That's life.

    1. Perhaps you fail to see ageism as an area of concern or you just don't subscribe to probation values this is why you see hitting targets as important whereas the majority of the 'old folk' would see helping offenders to change their ways as the prime target........

    2. Hitting the target MISSING THE POINT

    3. Dont worry pal, you will be hitting the floor soon when you realise the shit you got yourself into lol

    4. 1 of me would beat 3 of you in terms or output and quality. I no its early days but this comes naturally to me. So don't worry pal, I'll be Okay!

    5. Im sure you would. People who have split personalities often think in this way. Dont blame you pal, its psychological.

    6. We're not pals. Maybe I'll be your boss one day! I'm number 1.

    7. Probation Officer6 December 2015 at 20:55

      Anon 15:20 listen mate, you're hitting targets good for you. Many of us work at a high capacity, in some places as much as 100 cases and a 2 PSR's per week. Maybe you've a high workload and maybe not, maybe others in your office do far more complex work than you, maybe not. I'd suggest you consider the detail before comparing dick/boob size with others, but then does it really matter to anyone but you and your manager whether you're hitting targets or not? There's always a difference between hitting targets and doing the job well, they're not always the same thing. Tbh, getting assessments, reports, enforcement, etc done on time is a piece of piss. The real deal is to do the job well, comprehensive reports, challenging the guidelines, building relationships with the offenders and partnerships, confidence at courts and hearings, navigating the prisons, working as a team with your colleagues, family work, standing as an equal with solicitors and justice professionals, etc, all all within a 9-5. This won't make you the boss but you'd get my respect, whereas at the moment I doubt you even work in probation.

    8. To 20:35. im sure you are number 1, confirms my suspicion that you need help. And as on the matter of being my boss, I have had many people like you. Sad to say they decided to take either earlier retirement, went off on long term sick or or left the service. I don't think they could cope with the shit i was giving them.
      BTW - if I recall you called me pal first. We can be pals if you like. Doesn't that get you all excited. Does me PAL

    9. As I said at 20:55, I doubt he/she works in probation. The post at Anon 15:20 talks of "hitting targets and beating everyone". Anyone who works in probation knows this doesn't make sense. Likewise Anon 14:20 talks of "planning to miss targets" to get back at the company which doesn't make sense either. My guess it's the same person having an argument with themself!!

    10. Anon 23.33 'the company'?

    11. In reference to Anon 14:20 "Well, if the companies do not care about the staff then we won't care.about them."

      (Community Rehabilitation COMPANY)

  5. 15.20 - I think you've answered your own question when you said you've been in the job a few months.

  6. Hitting the target is reducing Re offending which is changing lives. Man I'm goooood....

    1. Bonus for you, i think all CRC are using the same stock phrases

  7. Have I missed anything or are we just waiting for Purple Futures and RRP to propose 40% cuts,then that's the full set!

    1. .. And MTC Novo, I think they'll be next

    2. RE: purple futures, admin are aware there will be a central regional hub but unsure where this will be - new should be out imminently. SPOs and some other grades have been interviewed and draft job descriptions/person specs released. News re: numbers to be lost will be announced no later than January.

  8. Bristol Evening Seminar Wednesday, 9 December, 2015 Partnership working post Transforming Rehabilitation


    John Wiseman Probation Director South West Community Rehabilitation Companies (incorporating Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset & Wiltshire (BGSW) and Dorset, Devon & Cornwall (DDC) CRCs)

    Programme 17:00 Networking Reception 17:30 to 18:30 Presentation followed by discussion 18:30 to 19:00 Networking

    To be held at the Burges Salmon One Glass Wharf Bristol BS2 0ZX (a short stroll from Bristol Temple Meads station)

    To attend this free seminar please book here or email

    Please note you must be a member of the Academy to attend an event Membership is free and details of how to join can be found on our website

    1. Not able to copy & paste all the info due to my technical limitations

      More details via

  9. DLNR CRC & SWM CRC (Ingeus/RRP) are likely to show their hand next week! New (poorly written) job descriptions being evaluated. Napo East Midlands Branch awaiting outcome of their joint proposal with local Unison branch officials to DLNR CRC advising how to end the current dispute about lack of consultation and breach of LJNCC constitution.

    1. Please keep us posted - contact email on the profile page for any documents. Cheers, Jim.