From today's blog by the Napo General Secretary:-
New threat emerges to CRC jobs
It’s very clear that a number of CRC owners are having some difficulty with NOMS over the impact of the Weighted Annualised Volumes (WAVS). This is the measure which shows the actual numbers of clients on the CRC's books (which NOMS says are falling drastically in some areas) and are a key component of the complex payment mechanism that helps to determine how much tax payers money the CRC contractors can claim for the services they provide. It’s a priority issue that we have brought to the attention of Liz Truss, and it was also the main topic of discussion between the unions and the project lead for the Probation Systems Review when we met a couple of weeks back.
One could easily write a book called ‘We told you so’, but the more important point is that lower WAVs equals less money which equals less need for staff. If whatever discussions that are going on between NOMS/MoJ and the privateers fail to arrive at a solution for the expected funding shortfall, then the earlier reductions (or planned reductions!) in CRC staffing will look modest compared to what may happen down the line in some parts of the CRC estate.
We have tabled Parliamentary questions to try and heap more pressure on the decision makers, and have told the Secretary of State that the money which has been set aside for the hoped for payment by results (PbR) dividend payable in late 2017 (which was the main incentive to encourage the privateers to invest in the CRC contracts) needs to be utilisednow. That’s a view we seem to share with the largest CRC owners so let us hope they (and their competitors) take up the offer we have been making with them for several months to join us in common cause and do something to help their staff instead of their shareholders.
As has been said many times before, it’s not the fault of hard pressed CRC employees (who never voted for privatisation but find themselves working in a climate of increasing uncertainty), that this situation has occurred. As I see it the choice is simple for the CRC owners: find the money to prevent an irretrievable collapse of service provision or hand the CRC keys back.
We will get more news to you as soon as we can, but meanwhile I make absolutely no apologies for saying that membership of Napo is paramount in the face of this new threat to jobs. In the land of the CRC, union density is the best protection that we have if we want to improve our bargaining position with these people.