Thanks once more to the reader for sending me the following which has been published and sent to Napo members in the South West. What I find particularly interesting is that it's quite clear this action is only being mounted because of the sheer tenacity, skill and determination of the local Napo chair:-
Attached is the recent letter to Working Links regarding the regional dispute over the consultation process and the general and total disagreements of the situation so far. I am not going to dress this up now but reiterate there are many behind the scenes activity and discussions that generate this declining situation have seen Working Links the company fail to make any proper efforts to arrest the situation they are making worse.
I will be drafting a full branch report shortly.
Dino Peros SSW Branch Chair
JNCC Napo Rep
Of course we don't know what's going to happen, but it also doesn't escape my attention that this person was recently felt not to be the most appropriate to lead Napo nationally, largely because three members of the top table, also standing as candidates in the election, had the effect of splitting the vote, thus ensuring continuation of the status quo. No doubt CRC members will continue to reflect on whether the current make-up of the NPS top table adequately reflects their interests?
JTU 16 -16
Diane Powell, HR Director
Paul Hindson, Director Justice Services
2nd September 2016
Dear Diane and Paul
DISPUTE BETWEEN WORKING LINKS AND PROBATION UNIONS
We are writing further to our meeting on Wednesday where we sought to find potential resolutions to the existing dispute between the unions and Working Links owned CRCs.
Whilst we recognise the willingness of senior Working Links management to try and find a way forward for some of the aspects of the dispute, the meeting was overshadowed by the revelation that the position on WAV calculations is possibly going to worsen which in turn would have an even more serious impact on service provision and future staffing.
We have received the version of your spreadsheet detailing the essential points of the dispute and we have agreed to meet as a short sides (union officers and management) next Friday to see if we can make more progress.
EVR proposals unacceptable
Notwithstanding, we thought it important to respond quickly to the proposal that you made to us in respect of altering the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy (EVR) scheme and which of course took up the best part of the time available on Wednesday.
It will come as no surprise that the unions reject any notion that we are prepared to countenance a reduction in the terms of the EVR scheme as you have suggested. In your written proposal.
It was made repeatedly clear by us that irrespective of the fact that you wish to press ahead with your staff reduction programme without having convinced anyone of the rationale for this, that the unions are insisting that the option of enhanced voluntary retirement must be promoted across all three CRCs in order to see what impact this might have on staff currently in post. We also urged you to seek serious expressions of interest from all staff for EVR so that some informed modelling could be undertaken whilst issues about future WAV volumes and funding are discussed between you and your client NOMS.
As we pointed out when we met, without the above steps being taken the unions cannot be seriously expected to countenance a reduction in EVR terms when some staff have already been awarded full packages. Moreover, we do not agree with your analysis that we are somehow content to see this paid to a few so that the remainder of staff can be dismissed on compulsory terms. We need to remind you once again that we are in dispute and that we oppose the overall position that you have put before us.
Your offer to vary EVR is also unacceptable because:
* Under the terms of the National Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement, we do not consider that you have demonstrated fair and equal treatment of all staff.
* You have not engaged in transparent, equitable and straightforward processes relating to re-organisation and
* You have not ensured that unions are properly consulted with and kept informed of progress this is especially relevant in terms of your desire to reduce the workforce to end state by 31st March and it is essentially the locus of this dispute.
* The existing redundancy policy within DDC CRC does not allow for a variation of the terms for voluntary redundancy and we expect this to be the benchmark across the whole of the Working Links CRC estate. We have offered the support of our local reps in working to a harmonised redundancy policy and this remains on the table.
* It is the fault of the contractor that they have failed to adequately take account of their obligation to understand and recognise the express terms and conditions of their potential workforce that were made known to them in the pre-share sale process.
* Your continuing refusal to withdraw the Section 188 notices and to rely on these as the means of commencing a formal period of consultation which we maintain you have failed to serve notice of.
* Your failure to agree any moratorium or period of reflection to reconsider the current staff reduction proposals.
* We have still to resolve the position of ACOs working across CRC boundaries, despite assurances that you would write to clarify the contractual continuity with the substantive home CRC employer.
* The lack of any assurance of additional funding from Aurelius the new owners of Working Links whilst the possibility of new ventures are promoted amongst staff in fear of their livelihoods. We again reiterate our request to meet with members of the Aurelius senior management team so that we can be convinced if the denial that they are not the 'asset strippers' that we believe them to be.
This is an interim response to the proposal that you made on varying the EVR terms while we consider other aspects of the outcomes from Wednesdays meeting, but it is clear to the unions that irrespective of the foregoing, the CRC's are required to notify the NNC Joint Secretaries of any intention to vary legacy terms and conditions and we strongly advise that you consider the situation before issuing any communications to staff.
We will be considering our future position over the next week and it is likely that this will include the need to consult with members and release information that we have so far resisted doing, our options for unilaterally approaching the NNC Joint Secretaries, the potential for recourse via ACAS as well as a future industrial strategy if we are unable to make progress.
IAN LAWRENCE GLYN JONES DAVID WALTON
General Secretary Regional Organiser National Secretary
Napo UNISON GMB/SCOOP