As I remember it, the unions were not very good and so never had full membership. Unison saw probation as an afterthought and Napo never moved beyond the 1990's and was too busy focused on its internal management problems. Don't forget all that money Napo paid to the shamed former GS Mr J Ledger, remember when former national chair Mr T Rendon applied to be a CRC director then resigned, Napo never explained why it got rid of their best exec member ever Mr H Fletcher, and our unions continue to prop up the Probation Institute which has not been supported by members because it quietly supports TR, probation privatisation and the government whitewash of probation practice.
From long before TR the unions consistently failed to represent its members and this is why membership dwindled. There were many of us on the pickets and we were all against TR. Napo failed to mount the fight until the 11th hour, and when it did this consisted of delivering a cake to Chris Grayling, withdrawing our judicial review and employing a media officer that has failed to get any significant media coverage.
Even now with all the changes and redundancies being announced in NPS and CRC the union action amounts to a handful of statements, as usual delivered after the horse has bolted. They've said hardly anything about the gagging of staff, the huge payouts to former chief officers, the new McDonald's practices of CRC's, the coming E3 dumb-down, redundancies, office closures, etc, etc. There is so much unions could be saying in the public domain about what our work is and the impact of the changes, redundancies and dumbing-down upon us. Instead probation staff and offices continue to get the chop while the tumbleweeds continue to roll past the doors of Napo HQ, and that is why the cull will continue.
They've even bloody taken away our Napo forum!
******Brilliant review. While on this, the forum is no loss really. No one was using apart from ex Chairs and some officials who endorsed failed Rendon and what of the true scandal of his departure, another officers cover up. Thank crikey some of these people have gone yet the latest chairs are complacent and unable to actually understand what it is they are supposed to be doing. Being a probation officer does not make them able or capable trade unionists. I had heard to save money they want to hang on without elections. Can this be true?
******We're here because we didn't unite. We allowed our profession to be undermined and sold off. Although it's late in the day, you still have two choices: Go quietly, or create a fuss. If you're in a union, let your reps know your anger. If you're not in a union, grow up and join one. Your boss is not your friend, your colleagues are, so unite with them. Together we are stronger, divided we beg.
******Why didn't I go and support my Sodexo colleagues when I heard what happening to them? Why didn't I phone colleagues to ask how it was going in other CRCs? There may be many reasons, self preservation, head in sand, denial all a result of the divide and rule carve up of our organisation. We have a legacy of the old Trusts competition left where we were appalling at sharing anything with each other. We have been putty in the hands of our owners, but there is still time to fight. But I suspect few of us will be brave enough.
******Mapping Matching and Shafting Letters are Imminent. Over time I have felt increasingly let down by Senior Management who should have been the first to resist and say no to some of the unreasonable demands being placed upon us and not support the insulting fiasco of new modules, Masterclasses and half ready IT systems. I am constantly hearing that we are a well educated group of people and knowledgeable. No ones asking me my opinion though.
******In the only not for profit CRC, a couple of weeks ago, a senior manager announced that there would be redundancies and temp contracts would not continue. We know that the caseloads are not what was expected whilst the NPS are managing low risk PPOs and medium risk cases which the POs in the CRCs previously managed.The allocation process is fundamentally flawed, resulting in a payment mechanism which may result in the big players handing the contracts back as there is clearly no money to be made. This could result in even more chaos. We should be alerting our MPs to the situation and include the wide scale redundancies in press releases. The trade unions and I include Unison in this - (there inactivity in our downfall rarely gets a mention) need to act now as the staff cuts are being announced. Every job loss needs to be publicised.