Friday, 3 June 2016

Latest From Napo 108

We have three offerings from Napo today, firstly a circular regarding E3, secondly a mailing from Pat Waterman and finally the latest blog from the General Secretary:-

E3 Napo Briefing - Initial advice in respect of Job Matching

Napo has today issued a briefing that gives initial advice to Napo members and manager members about how to approach the initial 'one to one' meetings between line managers and staff which form part of the five stage job matching process under E3.

These are not formal meetings and therefore the attendance of a Napo representative will not be required at this stage. Napo members may seek individual advice further on in the process including assistance with appeals if these become necessary.

Meanwhile, any questions arising from stage one of the matching process may be channelled through your Napo Branch who will consult with your Napo Link Officer.


E3 Initial advice to members and Napo manager members in respect of Job Matching

E3 Job matching process to start soon

At this week’s national NOMS/TU engagement meeting Napo relayed initial feedback from members which has been critical of the quality of some of the communications that NOMS have issued to staff and managers in advance of the intended implementation of E3.

Napo asked for sight of the questionnaire templates that line managers are being asked to use in order to conduct the first stage of the five part job matching process that was published on the NOMS Intranet on Tuesday.

Our understanding from senior NOMS management is that these meetings are taking place on the basis that they are fact finding discussion and are aimed at securing individual responses to the E3 plans and an early opportunity for staff to indicate a preference for a particular role if they wish to do so.

Therefore they do not constitute a formal meeting where you or your manager will be expected to agree anything and we expect that they will be conducted by using the pro-forma which is summarised below.

Napo will issue further advice on how members may seek assistance in the later stages of the job matching process and certainly at any appeal stage should this be required.

Again can we ask that members who still have unanswered questions channel these through their Napo branch to Chivalry Road.

E3 'One to One' checklist - the questions that we expect to be asked

Below are the checklist questions that NOMS is asking line managers to use during the E3 'one to one' discussions.

Staff 1:1 Meeting Pro-forma - E3 Implementation

Employee Name
Employee Number
Pay Band & Job Role:

Mapped to: …….
Current workplace location ‘office base’

Key notes from discussion re how impacted by E3, options, personal circumstances, development needs

Home Postcode (this should match the one recorded on Phoenix Oracle).
(If different please explain reason for difference and plan to correct)

Normal method of travelling to work and journey time taken.
Are there any compassionate grounds which you think we need to consider when redeploying you?
Are there any health / disability issues that you think should be considered or you would like to make us aware of?
Do you have any assistive technology installed at your current workplace? Give full details please.
Are there any health / disability issues that you think should be considered or you would like to make us aware of?
Do you have any assistive technology installed at your current workplace? Give full details please.
Are there any domestic or work life balance issues that you think we need to consider?
Any other comments/questions that have not been answered

Name of manager / date
Employee signature
(to confirm accuracy of note)

(To be completed by the person conducting the meeting. Please take a photocopy of this form and give a copy to the member of staff.)

Napo's overall position on E3

As has been pointed out in earlier communications, Napo has not agreed to the rationale behind the E3 programme, and still has major reservations about its overall viability. But in reaching an agreement about the process of implementation we have secured important pay protections and future role assurances for members.

Meanwhile, we are continuing our dialogue with NOMS about many aspects of the programme and the valuable feedback that Napo branches are sending in to us and will use this to press the employer on how they intend to make E3 operationally sustainable with minimum impact on staff.

More news on E3 will follow as soon as it becomes available, meanwhile Napo members are urged to attend their local branch AGM and provide feedback about E3 and other issues of concern to their elected representatives.

Yours sincerely

Ian Lawrence                Chris Winters & Yvonne Pattison
General Secretary         National Co-Chairs



Behold the future

In the past few months, like the rest of you, the Branch Officers and I have been struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of change in both the CRC and the NPS.

CRC issues:

We meet regularly once a month with Senior Management in the CRC at the Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee (JNCC). It has become increasingly apparent to the trade union side that whereas the new Director is happy to “consult” over changes that she wishes to implement she has some difficulty with the concept of “negotiation”.

Fortunately the constitution of the CRC JNCC allows for outside intervention in the event of a dispute.

We were recently able to agree to an Agile Working Policy but only after much sustained “negotiation” during the course of which we pointed out that when the facility in the form of laptops was only available to senior management there did not seem to be any need for a specific policy.

It seemed to us that the principles underlying the original version of the policy were to enable staff to work as flexibly as possible when it suited the purposes of Senior Management. The final version of the policy contains some protection for members from over officious micro-management.

We are currently in the midst of negotiating a new Performance Improvement Policy (previously known as the Capability Policy). It was made clear to us that Senior Management thought that the old policy was too time consuming and not fit for purpose even when we pointed out that in our experience many of the delays were caused by management not implementing their own policy properly.

It is clear to us that there is a shift in emphasis from a Capability Policy which when properly implemented sought to enable staff to achieve the required standard of work and one that has as a clearly stated goal the ability to dismiss staff without any undue delay who are not “making the grade”.

We are trying to build in as many protections as we can for our members despite a seeming reluctance by Senior Management to engage in meaningful negotiation with us over some all important details. Our concerns are heightened by rumours of lists being circulated by Senior Management of staff they would like to see managed out of employment.

We will also be raising our concerns about the recently issued Directive 104 Building for Best and the extent to which it fails to consider the realities of working in the CRC. This was not discussed with the trade unions before it was issued and is indicative of the management style now prevalent in the CRC.

Assistive Technology Issues:

AT users in both the CRC and the NPS continue to experience problems that have yet to be resolved. In both organisations there seem to be systemic problems that fail to fully take into account their needs. Our best advice to those with disabilities that require assistive technology is to ensure that a current and comprehensive Reasonable Adjustment Action Plan (RAAP) is completed by their manager which makes allowances for any difficulties presented by a system which are beyond the control of the individual. We also advise you to record instances of IT problems on an A & I form.

NPS issues:

Members in the NPS will have received a message from Sara Robinson celebrating their second year as the National Probation Service. While she acknowledges that the move from Trust to NPS has been disruptive, and the challenges presented in the past two years could not have been overcome without the loyal support and hard work of her staff, I wish that I could share her optimism for the future.

We continue to remain in the dark about the full implications of the E3 Programme but are in regular dialogue with local NPS Senior Management as we seek to influence its implementation.

At last month’s meeting with Senior Management we presented a paper outlining the concerns that members have told us about their difficulties in following the guidance contained within the new Probation Instructions (PI 4/2016 – Determining Pre-Sentence Reports) to prepare Court Reports using the new Short Format Report Template.

Like with so many issues that we raise locally in the NPS this will be taken up at a national level We were advised by a member of the Senior Management Team that London seemed to be the only area reporting any difficulties. Can this really be the case???

National AGM and Conference:

Members will have received an email from our national office advising them that online registration for NAPO’s 2016 AGM and Conference is now open. Members of London Branch who regularly attend conference will no doubt be wondering why no details have yet been circulated about hotel accommodation in Cardiff.

A financial surplus, built up over several years, has enabled us previously to secure favourable advance group rates and make provisional hotel bookings for members. Decisions taken by our National Executive Committee meant that last year half of our surplus had to be returned to the national office and our branch grant was cut in half. As a consequence we have not been in a position this year to pay a deposit to secure a group booking.

I wrote in December last year, and again in April this year, to the National Treasurer outlining our financial position and asking for extra funds to enable us to book hotel accommodation for members. So far no assistance has been forthcoming.

As a consequence we may have to make some changes to the way we assist members to attend National AGM. We anticipate receiving a Conference Grant from national office in the region of £5,000. We can:

1. ask members to arrange their own accommodation and divide the grant up evenly.
2. we can arrange accommodation for a limited number of members (probably 35-40) and allocate on a first come first serve basis.
3. we can arrange hotel accommodation for a limited number of members as above and prioritise allocation to those who have never been before and the rest being on a first come first served basis.
4. we can arrange accommodation for a limited number of members as above and prioritise allocation to full members.

Under options 2,3 and 4 those who fail to secure a place at the branch hotel would have to find their own accommodation at their own expense.

No final decisions have yet been made. If you have a view please let us know by the end of the month by email to:

Branch AGM on Friday 22nd July:

Finally, both myself and David Masterson (Branch Vice Chair CRC) have completed the four year term of office allowed to us by the Branch Constitution and will be standing down at the Branch AGM on Friday 22nd July.

There will be vacancies for a part time chair in the NPS and in the CRC and also for a part time vice chair in the CRC.

In addition there are a number of other vacancies in the Branch such as Health & Safety Convenor (NPS), Women’s Staff Representative and Regional Organisers in both the NPS and the CRC. Facility Time for these posts is presently being re-negotiated.

Please consider standing for Branch Office.

Pat Waterman
Branch Chair


A late addition, the General Secretary's latest blog:-

Building belief that Napo's view matters

There is rarely a better time to construct a reflective blog posting than after having had the pleasure of addressing members at a branch general meeting. Wednesday evenings trip to Southampton and the members of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, was as good a benchmark as any of the current issues that are impacting on our members in the NPS and CRC's.

It also demonstrated yet again just how important our local activists are to the life of our union and professional association, as they go about the task of representing members interests with local employers, assisting individuals and keeping in touch with the centre so that Napo Officers and Officials are well informed when we get to engage in negotiations with senior NOMS or CRC management.

Yes, you can

The difficulty that all trade unions face, (with the exception of a few where the direct industrial route has prospered) is the innate belief among their membership that their union can't make a difference to the problems they face.

This breeds negativity which unscrupulous employers will seek to exploit. That's why even occasional attendance at a branch or workplace meeting can provide a safe environment for our members to talk safely about the difficulties they face and how they think the union can help. The many issues that I get to hear about on my travels can include excessive workloads, wider as well as personal health, safety and welfare considerations and, especially important this for Napo members, professional issues.

Other subjects that featured at Southampton, as they have at the countless members meetings I have attended over the years, were the effects of estate changes (actual or proposed) which members there, in common with those experienced by others elsewhere, have seen compounded by the impact of TR, and how these raise fears about client supervision and community safety.

This weeks straightforward message is that your views count; but to make them count even more, Napo needs you to direct your elected leaders and employees to pursue strategies that you think we should be pursuing. Better still, it might mean turning that anger you feel about your situation into positive energy.

The history of the movement shows that even the smallest local campaign can form the nucleus of something bigger, and that employers can be called to account once members start to build confidence by sharing problems and demanding union intervention at a senior level where necessary.

It could be about the impact of short format reports on sentences handed down by the local judiciary, being asked to transport clients in your cars, or interviewing them in the upstairs rooms of a pub (don't get me started) or it could be about appalling examples of ham fisted communications from above which are an insult to the members concerned. Some of the best examples of local campaigns that I have been involved in elsewhere have included lobbying to retain a workplace as opposed to it being closed, specially relevant with E3 and CRC restructuring ('keep probation local') and how members can pressure MP's and councillors to get onside.

Get active!

For these types of campaigning activity to be more effective, we need to rebuild and maintain confidence that all of the work we do for our members in the 24 employers that we cover makes a difference. That difference might sometimes be of major importance; but as is the case in life in general, successes often come in small steps.

That's another reason for our members to consider taking part in the local and national democratic structures of their union. So why not consider standing for branch or national office? Either role is often thankless, but its value to the life of Napo and the well being of our members (and our future) are inestimable.

That these structures have endured pretty much in the same form for the entirety of our history says much about the hard work and commitment of those who built them, as well as those who have served our members through them, for over 100 years. Its an impressive achievement that Napo and its members can rightly be proud of.


  1. And what happens after the "job matching"?

  2. Work to rule is the only way we can achieve anything in CRC! Down tools, by which i mean do your actual job and stop being chained to the computer.f**ck targets!!! Set workload limit and refuse to see any new cases above this! That will soon focus peoples minds! Why should we continue to absorb more and more work? Where are the workload weighting tools? Why is maternity leave never covered, or long term sick leave for that matter. Why are we being treated in this appalling manner? Sod the conferences and intellectual bullshit. Why have NOMS sold us to the cleaners and let them pilfer the redundancy pot? SHAMEFUL NOMS. We need some support and advice now. The bloody ship is sinking and not enough lifeboats and all the unions want to do is carry on playing the violin whilst we sink!

  3. no doubt sometime soon we will look and act just like all other civil servants, sad, depressed, overworked with bullshit. Our attitude towards offenders will be like that of DWP staff towards the unemployed. The meaner we are the more targets we hit and the bigger the bonus for the boss.
    We have become part of the apparatus that punishes the poor and the vulnerable.
    We failed ourselves.

  4. You're right. But we've been bullied into this. Human beings now a market, in whatever circumstances. Stock to be used up. Conform to their robotic, souless idea of existence for the plebs, or die. What a nasty, bleak, oppressive, unimaginative, vindictive society unfolding before our eyes, creating mini despots everywhere we look. Know in your hearts that what you see is wrong. Hold onto your individual truth, patience, grace and dignity. Be kind to your fellow colleagues because they delight in division and resentment, keep doing the things that you know you're doing right, and well. We are being governed by very damaged people who cannot love or care.