Friday, 12 August 2016

Latest From Napo 114

Today's blog post from the General Secretary:-

Napo putting in some hard work on job evaluation

Just how seriously we have been taking our work in the ongoing discussions between NOMS and the trade unions on the appealed E3 Job evaluations has been demonstrated by the sheer effort and staying power of all those involved in the long pre-appeal sessions that have taken place over the last seven days.

Anyone who understands the Job Evaluation process will know that detail counts for an awful lot; and our meetings have seen practitioners, elected reps and senior NOMS managers pore over a huge amount of paperwork as we have taken a forensic look at the submissions and responses that each of the parties to the JE appeals have offered.

Given the need to ensure that we do not rush this critically important process, it has been agreed to continue our considerations on the VLO role into next week and move the scheduled appeal panel back until later into August. We have now reached an agreed position in respect of the AP Residential Worker and AP manager in terms of the final material that will be put before the appeal panels for these roles.

Its hardly exciting work, but it requires much patience, accuracy and the ability to articulate the rationale behind the various aspects of the job descriptions and the accompanying questionnaires even when the afternoon is turning quickly into evening.

Having seen the written work that Napo members have submitted and the way in which our reps at the meetings have taken this forward in our efforts to make sure that all aspects of these jobs are taken into account by the appeal panels, then I have no problem saying that we can be proud and hugely appreciative of their efforts.

More news will follow as soon as it becomes available.

Major changes on SFO Investigations

News came in this week that from April 2017 HMI Probation will be responsible for reviewing work with service users who are under current or recent supervision by providers of probation services and have been charged with a specified Serious Further Offence.

While we have yet to fully consider the key aspects of the new arrangements, the sections on holding staff to account pose a number of as yet unanswered questions about the duty of employers to foresee situations where staff could be put at risk and the possible impact on CRC contract management if providers are found to be wanting.

Recruitment for new inspectors gets underway soon but these new procedures will need to be properly understood by all NPS and CRC staff who will need proper awareness training and unions will need facilities for accompanying members who find themselves under investigation.

We will report the outcomes of discussions with NOMS and we will also want to meet with the Inspectorate to better understand the potential impact of this significant change.


Understanding and improving practice around DV

This initiative looks really interesting. It is a new joint inspection regime with Ofsted, HMI Probation and HMIC (Police) looking at how partnerships and agencies protect children living with domestic violence. Napo will be submitting evidence from our members within probation about our concerns around DV interventions in some CRC's and lack of safeguarding checks at PSR stage. I also expect that Ofsted will welcome evidence from our members in Cafcass.


Very timely, as the announcement followed an excellent article on the CAFCASS Website by Sarah Parsons, Cafcass Principal Social Worker and Assistant Director, who wrote for Family Matters (featured in edition 37, July 2016) about assessing the impact of domestic abuse on children and changes to the law around coercive and controlling behaviour.


As an aside it was interesting to see how tragic facts were incorporated into a topical storyline after CAFCASS worked with the producers of BBC's 'The Archers' to highlight an incident which featured in a recent episode.

Given the propensity of media people to add in other material to glamourise a story, it is good to hear that journalistic licence was avoided on this occasion, meaning that faithful followers of 'The Archers' received a powerful message about the real time brutality suffered by all too many victims.

AGM beckons

Following news that NOMS have given permission for NPS staff to apply for one days professional development time to attend AGM, I have written to all CRC chiefs seeking a similar facility.

Contact with members over recent weeks bears out our hopes that we will get a good crowd together in Cardiff but as always that wont happen unless you register!

The schedule of motions will soon be going out to members inviting you to nominate the ones that you believe should be given priority in the debates by the Steering Committee, and there is a really good mix of subjects which reflect the realities of life at the sharp end. We will also be issuing a discussion document before AGM on the proposals that have emerged from NPS and CRC employers to reform the National Negotiating Council which were considered in depth at yesterdays meeting of Napo's Probation Negotiating Committee. This is bound to lead to an important debate and one where the AGM's decisions will be critical to our future strategy.

This is just one more reason to register, along with the list of top class speakers due to appear at the Family Court and Probation professional sessions, exciting fringe meetings and a chance to catch up with comrades old and new.


  1. How can crc staff be held to account for an sfo. We won't even be able to assess risk properly once oasys and delius go. Another day spent without IT. Why aren't MPs held to account for destroying services and wasting our money.

  2. Quite right that the G.S is finally acknowledging that the VLOs themselves have prepared and delivered the Job Spec material as well as attending the meetings to deliver it for the evaluation process. This has taken nearly 12 months of VLO consistent commitment, collective contribution and action and persistence with NAPO general secretary to take our dispute forward. We have received excellent advice from area reps. Thank you to all those involved and hope we achieve the outcome we seek. Thanks Jim for this forum

  3. The GS dived and bottled this JE process appointing who to the panels, when did the panels convene in the first place. The poor capacity of NAPO has been obvious as we the VLOs have had to fight a rear guard action because it was clear the unions sold out initially. Still We need to have a proper dispute to disprove the claims of NAPO in bed with management. VLOs are able staff who have been judged badly even by colleagues when pay is in all our interests under E3. Lose this battle GS and you will be gone shortly after. I read the GS is on 80k per year so he wont care about our grade but he will as he faces the next election and hopefully a contest for the leadership. Benefits pay 80 pounds per week something that might focus his attention to properly.