Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Probation Realities

Seen on Facebook:-

Well my comrades, friends and colleagues along with those I can't stand (can't think of any in this group) and those who can't stand me (there are probably some), I will be departing the Probation Service soon. I am CRC and still claim the right to capitiaiise PROBATION SERVICE.

I had my third redundancy interview on Friday and will formally join the ranks of the discarded and no longer required early in July at the end of my statutory notice period. I am a mere sprog and stripling of 16 years service in the Probation Service (as it will always be in my head). However, I will leave with wonderful memories of amazing dedicated knowledgeable people and also, like most I suspect, a delight in leaving behind some sociopaths, pychopaths and downright unpleasant people. Many of whom have made a comfy career in higher management pretending they give a shit.

For those who know me, there will of course be a leaving do, perhaps more than one. For those who don't, apologies across the board if they are needed. Finally (for now) keep up the good fight one and all. Hold in your sometimes tired hearts the knowledge that what we do is worth the pain and as Dylan Thomas said, 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light.'

I love your description of comfy careers I think we all know at least 2. Carry on the good fight mate.

So sad ... I left the CRC in January and am back in the NPS in a prison probation role .. And it's the best thing I've done .. Love my new role .. Good luck for the future X

Good luck for the future. Glad we were able to meet up.

Good luck for a happier future outside of this mess.

Good luck - I know it's a weird feeling but personally I can say that leaving was a great move for my family, my stress levels and my happiness! Best wishes love xxx

I don't know you but felt from your post a sadness. You like so many deserve so much more then a meeting and probably a very small cheque. This is your career your profession. I'm not a qualified PO I'm a PSO with 26 years in but the Probation Service as was runs through my blood. It's what I do it's part of my identity. We await our fate in HIOW. I don't blame the companies at all they do what they do because they're allowed to. I blame Grayling and the TORY government. I wish you well in your future and pray for an end to the privatisation of everything under this government. Sad times for all xx

I agree with you about Grayling and the tories with their devotion to the 'private better than public' ideology with no evidence to support this and much to the contrary. However, we shouldn't forget the contribution to this by 'New Labour' with the dreadful Offender Management Act with it's weasel words like 'contestability, offender and management' as if people are mere entries on a balance sheet.

Good luck for the future.

Any plans for the future? Hopefully some long needed rest and holidays are on the horizon. Your leaving is a real loss to Probation. Take care mate and remember when one door shuts...eat donuts.

Hi, I have a granddaughter and grandson and my good lady and I are off to Rhodes for 3 weeks in September. I have also made contact with an agency used by some retired colleagues so there are options to consider after a couple of months sleep.

So sad to read more posts from dedicated people who are leaving or being booted out - good luck!

Compulsory or voluntary?

Compulsory. They side-stepped the voluntary stage in the policy claiming no time for a voluntary stage despite a timetable of their own making. Were I a cynic, I might possibly think they wished to cherry pick.

It sucks. Their own policy says voluntary has to be considered first. So disappointed in our union. How can no time be a legit defence? Anyway, you seem like a really decent man with sound politics. I wish you well for the future.

You should appeal.

I'm shocked by multiple redundancy interviews which probably add to the punishment? I can only offer comradely greetings. Such a pity that despite the heroic struggle of NAPO/probation workers - this is how it seems to end. Were "we" to treat clients this way we would never get away with it.

What a loss. If it's any help never met a better SPO, thanks for giving me confidence in myself and the courage to apply for a job by the sea.

Very sad to hear this. Good luck and follow advice.

Very sad but good luck for the future.

Thank you for your honesty!!

You don't know me, but in your Napo forum posts (remember that?) and others placed, you have always struck me as a thoroughly decent individual. Good luck to you.

I'm sorry to hear you're leaving. I wish you all the best for the future. Sad times.

The phrase "Cutting off their nose to spite their face" has never felt more appropriate. They're literally throwing away all the experience they're going to need desperately! However, from your point of view, there definitely is life outside probation. Enjoy your break and all the best for the future.


  1. Good luck and wishing you all the best. If anyone has any experience with am agency could they post the details here. I don't know if i can carry on with the stress for more than a few more years and would consider other options if they are out there.

  2. Feeling truly pissed off, for you and all colleagues in this and similar positions! I wish you well and hope your obvious care and compassion is not lost to society for all-time!

  3. It's all depressing stuff and what's apparent is the powerlessness of the workforce to do anything about it. As long as the employer keeps on the right side of employment law (easy), no-one can stop this culling. The unions can't do anything, except watch helplessly while claiming to be mitigating the worst excesses.

    For those who escape redundancy, their conditions will continue to worsen. I don't think it will be long before new entrants to CRCs are started on the minimum wage. It's going to get worse once national collective bargaining is officially killed off and probation becomes even more fragmented.

  4. Are the workforce REALLY pwerless and without ANY influence Anon at 10:29?

    Parliament certaiunly STILL has the power to change probation and the main stream media has the ability to alert folk to the catastrophy that has been inflicted by several Governments.

    1. Parliament does have power, but it had no will to keep probation in the public sector. The media can influence and, as we are seeing, has the power to overturn injunctions guarding the sex life of a celebrity. But if we are talking 'probation realities' then it's a public service that is being asset stripped – and no one can do anything about it. That, to me, sounds like powerlessness. As the TR juggernaut has been rolling now for some time, can you cite a single example where it has been diverted, delayed or mitigated. In the meantime the victim count increases. Soon there will be nothing left to save.

  5. people, you need to make a stand, be united, down tools!!

  6. Plenty of 'tools'from where i am sat!

  7. So the govts removal of check off union subscriptions has been abandoned. Except for Napo who already caved in.


    1. The Government has moved to avoid another humiliating Lords defeat by caving in on a key element of its trade union reforms.

      Ministers announced they had abandoned plans to ban unions from using the check-off system to collect membership fees from public sector staff.

      Unions had warned the law would have cost them millions of pounds as well as a loss in membership.

      It is the fourth major victory for the Lords on the Trade Union Bill. Peers voted in March to allow electronic balloting for proposed strike action.

      They also blocked moves that would force union members to opt in to paying a political levy and to cap facility time for union reps in the public sector.

      PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is welcome news and shows the pressure we are applying is working, but the Trade Union bill is rotten to the core and no amount of tinkering by the government can change that.

      “The proposals are a vile cocktail of everything that is wrong with the Tories’ approach to working people and our economy, and the bill should be scrapped in its entirety.”

      Unison general secretary Dave Prentis added: “There’s much that’s wrong with the Trade Union Bill, but banning unions from using the check-off system to collect membership fees from employees in the public sector was among the most mean-spirited of all its proposals.

      “But thanks to a good deal of union campaigning behind the scenes, Unison and the TUC have built an effective coalition in the Lords that persuaded the government a ban would be both unjustified and unnecessary.

      “Now at least Unison can concentrate on campaigning to protect public sector employees at work and the services they deliver, safe in the knowledge that it will not have to spend the next year running around workplaces with direct debit forms for fear of losing much of its income.

      “Employers and unions across the public sector will have breathed a collective sigh of relief at today’s news that there has been a sensible change of heart in Westminster. And there’s no cost to the public purse as a result of this decision.”

      A Government spokesman said: “This agreement will remove the taxpayer-funded administrative burden on public sector employers by transferring the cost of paying subs to individual unions.

      "We continue to encourage union members to pay their subs directly to their union to forge a closer relationship with their workplace representatives.”

    2. To 21.38. Napo is not the only Union who made check-off arrangements-PCS to name but one other has already done so. If PCS & Napo hadn't made arrangements for their members someone would have moaned about that too no doubt!

    3. Nice try Ian!

  8. Sodexo have been fined £23k for missing targets, heads are rolling including senior managers. Just why is all this being kep out of the media????

    1. Maybe because of generous pay offs for senior managers who have colluded with the shambolic split and horrendous treatment of frontline staff in SY

  9. Where does the 23k actually come from? One less member of staff maybe?

  10. "Each CRC has been given a sum of money by NOMS, known as the ‘modernisation fund’, which was originally intended to be used to fund voluntary severance in line with the NNC VRS Scheme. It would appear that following the share sale, NOMS has indicated to the new CRC owners that the modernisation fund can be used as the CRCs see fit and that the money does not have to be spent on redundancy costs. This is regrettable, but it does not change the fact that if a CRC wishes to make any staff voluntarily redundant at any time during the term of the contract, the terms of the NNC voluntary redundancy scheme have to apply."

    Maybe the "modernisation fund" wasn't used for EVR so Sodexo could pay their fines?

    1. The sum of "modernisation" money was never formally admitted but various guesstimates put it at between £60M & £80M. Looks like it was either a clever 'money-go-round' scheme or just a pisspoor comedy routine: "to me, to you, to me, to you..."

  11. Working links south west are refusing to give any real answers about redundancy numbers. Sick of attending meetings to be told nothing. It"t two years in and things are less clear than ever. Working links staff seem to come and go with the wind and changing roles constantly so always an excuse. We are fed up with the manana approach. Time to have some real answers. Modernisation? Come on!