12 May 2016
To: Napo Members
Cc: Probation Negotiating Committee
Napo Officers and Staff
E3 Agreement Consultation
Napo has engaged fully in the NPS E3 consultations and has consistently maintained that the issues highlighted by E3 should have been fully scoped and explored prior to TR being implemented. Nevertheless, Napo has sought to protect and improve terms and conditions whilst scrutinising professional challenges as they emerge. We are indebted to the many Napo members who have engaged in various workshops to inform the process and feedback intelligence.
This engagement has helped secure a comprehensive agreement with the unions that ensures various protections on job security, pay and future engagement.
Napo General Secretary, Ian Lawrence adds: “Some form of operational review of the NPS was essential and we are glad that NPS management have been open to engaging with Napo and the trade unions about not just how to implement change but about the employment and professional implications of some of their proposals. Whilst there continue to be areas of concern for us and we recognise there will be a lot more work to do, I’m delighted that we have secured some very important protections for members."
Equally as important and because of the quality and depth of feedback from members, Napo has put professional issues at the heart of all of our discussions. The new agenda moving forward will focus on issues such as staff welfare and workloads, professional training, continuous professional development and accountability so that people can make good decisions safely at all levels. Pay, reward, performance management and appraisal will also come sharply into focus but set against this broader context and not in isolation. This is good news for Napo members.
Napo leading on E3 implementation concerns
Napo continues to have grave concerns about aspects of the proposed model. For example, professional protections will be needed for PSOs being asked to write reports without been given adequate training. There are also other ongoing training and continuous professional gaps which could destabilise any new operating model.
Concerns have been raised about the fairness and sustainability of some job evaluation exercises and their conclusions, for example SPOs potentially being downgraded despite the job evaluation. Napo is urging any members experiencing this to relay all concerns to HQ and encourages groups of staff such as VLOs to resist the pressure to submit individual grievances around job evaluation so that these issues can be dealt with at a national level.
Napo has also highlighted the limited progress on the simultaneous Offender Management Custody Review. This is likely to mean there could be an E3 phase two in prisons as this wider review progresses towards a conclusion.
As part of the planned implementation of the NPS E3 programme, some members will find their role upgraded and others potentially downgraded. Napo has secured early implementation of uplifts and protections for those potentially facing a reduction in pay.
For those getting an uplift – this will be implemented from the E3 start date (1 June 2016). This will be at least 3% in all cases and in some cases potentially more where the uplift takes someone to the bottom of the higher scale. For ACO members getting an uplift and where pay bands overlap, they will either move to the starting point of the higher band if this is more than 3 points above their current pay point or, if they are within 3 points of the starting point they would get an uplift of 3% moving above the starting point.
For those potentially being downgraded, nothing will happen until the completion of appeals against the JE outcomes (e.g. VLOs and some AP staff), or until the individuals start working to the new role. This could be many months off in some cases.
Pay Protection Secured For Three Years
Anyone in this position will also continue to receive their full current salary including all contractual payment, for a period of three years from when they start working to the new job description and not from the implementation date for E3. This is a significant concession for Napo members.
As part of the E3 programme, unions have also secured a no compulsory redundancy guarantee. This means that staff in displaced roles will not risk losing their jobs. The pay protection also allows for a period of time for people to be reallocated to alternative roles to remove this risk for the medium and longer term. In some cases, it may be in the interests of everyone to consider voluntary exit packages. However, NPS has no allocated funding for any job reduction programme and workloads indicate that NPS needs more not less staff so Napo are confident jobs are secure.
NAPO obtains clarity for PSO members working in prisons
After months of confusion and worry for PSOs working in prisons, Napo have obtained clarity on the future employment of PSOs who were told as part of TR they would be moved out but have in many cases then been left to wait.
As the movement of staff out of prisons was part of the original implementation of TR, E3 protections do not apply to prison allowances. However, Napo is aware that some secondments have gone on so long they are no longer credible secondments. We have raised with NOMS that some people will be significantly financially worse off as a result of any move due to relocation costs such as travel and parking. Napo will continue to raise this with NOMS and members who believe they will be affected are advised to contact Napo centrally via email@example.com with your email including PRISON BASED QUESTION in the email subject.
As part of the E3 engagement Napo has secured a clear and consistent national position. Transfers will now take place from 1 June onwards, but only after a fresh round of consultation with every PSO impacted. This will allow for a review of previous preferences and informed discussion about options now these are clearer post the implementation of the E3 scheme. Even then the timing of moves will be staggered depending upon when it is safe for PSOs to be moved, and alternative arrangements to adequately support probation work in prisons is established locally.
Napo's Dean Rogers explains: "We know from feedback at meetings with PSO members in prisons that they have been unsure about if and when they will be relocated out of prisons for around two years in some cases. That is really unsettling and unfair – making it difficult to confidently plan their lives. Hopefully now this messy process gets a clean start and greater clarity going forward.”
Napo remains concerned about slow progress with the wider NOMS Offender Management Custody Review upon which we are being consulted along with other NOMS trade unions.
Members working in prisons with any concerns or thoughts around this can feed these into Napo via firstname.lastname@example.org with your email including PRISON BASED QUESTION in the email subject.
Assistant General Secretary