Friday, 30 September 2016

Working Links and VR

Thanks to a reader, here we have hot off the press and dated yesterday, the latest from Working Links. I gather it drew a few hollow laughs when circulated, especially this bit:-

"We are really keen to retain a high level of experience, commitment and knowledge within the organisation and hope that many of you will choose to stay to help us change more lives and create a better future for our communities"

Justice News Extra
Transformation Update

As we move forward with our transformation plans we are continuing to share information with you about our new ways of working, future changes and what impact this will have on the services we offer. This includes information on:
  • Operational hubs
  • Case management
  • Community hubs
  • Interventions
  • Community Payback
As you will be aware, the first stage of our implementation plans following the proof of concept testing phase was to set up the Operational Hubs. We are now well on the way to doing this and are currently in the process of moving a number of administrative duties into our Operational Hubs across Wales and the South West.

We are now looking to the next stage of our implementation plans which focus on transforming our frontline operations - and in particular case management and interventions. 

Through the communication events you will have attended earlier this year, and the fortnightly conference calls, we have shared further details on our proposals. We have been very open and honest throughout the whole of transformation that we feel we have more people than we need in certain areas of the business.

We are really keen to retain a high level of experience, commitment and knowledge within the organisation, and hope that many of you will choose to stay to help us change more lives and create a better future for our communities.

However, as well as transforming the business we are also faced with reductions in our WAV volumes and this is also leading us to consider our employee levels. And because of the changes we need to make to the business to ensure our future success, we know we have more people than we need in certain areas. We have considered a number of options and discussed these with the unions and our executive team. Following these discussions, we will now be looking to seek volunteers in areas where we have an oversupply, who may wish to apply for Voluntary Redundancy (VR). This process will be phased over the next couple of months across the CRCs.

The VR scheme we are proposing has been revised from the previous scheme and it is our intention to use this revised scheme for the remainder of our transformation programme when offering VR. By doing this it means we can continue to manage any exits from the business on a voluntary basis, mitigating the need for any compulsory redundancies at this point, which is something we are really keen to do.


The voluntary scheme whilst it is enhanced has different terms to the previously used EVR scheme. The multiplier that will be used for VR calculations is 3 weeks per complete year of service, capped at a maximum of 52 weeks. Please note that this scheme will not provide pension strain costs, although people over 55 are still able to apply for early retirement, in accordance with their local policy, as an alternative to VR. This should enable us to offer more voluntary exits.  

We hope that opening this scheme and supporting sufficient requests for volunteers to exit the organisation, we will be able to redude staffing levels whilst avoiding compulsory redundancies at this point. 

What happens now? 

The VR scheme will be opened to certain areas of our frontline operations on a phased timescale. We have already begun discussions with those individuals in Wales CRC and these discussions will take place in BGSW CRC and DDC CRC next month, where more detailed information will be shared. 

The voluntary redundancy scheme will be open to the following individuals, dependent on where there is a requirement to reduce numbers:

  • Wales CRC: people working in case management roles and management positions
  • BGSW CRC: people working in case management, interventions and management positions 
  • DDC CRC: people working in case management, interventions and management positions 

Please note that the scheme will also be open to those in Community Payback roles where there is an oversupply from November 2016. 

As with previous VR schemes, all applications will be reviewed and a decision made as to whether the application is accepted or declined according to the scheme selection criteria and business requirements.

What do you need to do?

If you are based in Wales, you will have been given more information on the process, whether it applies to you and what you need to do if you wish to be considered for this VR scheme. This information is also available to view on the Wales CRC intranet.

If you are based in BGSW CRC or DDC CRC you don't need to do anything at this time but further information will be shared soon.

Ongoing communication

We are continuing to consult with the probation unions about our proposed changes and new ways of working - and ultimately what impact this will have on people. We have also discussed the revised VR scheme with them and our reasoning for doing this.

We are keen to ensure everyone is kept informed on these discussions as we work to try and minimise this impact - and in particular the current areas of concern the probation unions have and how we are responding to these.

As we have the group intranet in place, and a platform that is accessible to all people working across the business, we have created an area on the intranet that is dedicated to our ongoing dialogue with the unions to ensure you kept up to date. You can access this through the link below or via the transformation section on the intranet, available through the main menu. 

We understand that you want as much information as possible about our future proposals - and we've had feedback from people on this topic too. We want you to hear updates and get information via other channels too, and not just through the intranet. Therefore we are considering continuing with the fortnightly call that all can dial in to and we will also continue to include information in Justice News. Regular communications will also be shared via managers.  

18 comments:

  1. "We have considered a number of options and discussed these with the unions and our executive team. Following these discussions, we will now be looking to seek volunteers in areas where we have an oversupply, who may wish to apply for Voluntary Redundancy (VR)... The VR scheme we are proposing has been revised from the previous scheme and it is our intention to use this revised scheme for the remainder of our transformation programme when offering VR... The voluntary scheme whilst it is enhanced has different terms to the previously used EVR scheme. The multiplier that will be used for VR calculations is 3 weeks per complete year of service, capped at a maximum of 52 weeks. Please note that this scheme will not provide pension strain costs, although people over 55 are still able to apply for early retirement, in accordance with their local policy, as an alternative to VR. This should enable us to offer more voluntary exits."

    Written to imply this has been agreed with the unions. Has it? Have the unions agreed to a revised VR scheme? Have the unions given away 15.5 weeks of members' money? And what gloriously caring, thoughtful, heartwarming terminology, "oversupply". How about an honest statement like "We've fucked up, we were sold a pup, we don't know what we're doing, we still want to milk this cash-cow but can't make any profit unless we cut costs to the bone so we're screwing you lot over. See ya!"

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    1. Yes, they want the reader to believe that the unions are onside, but they know the unions aren't. So they seek to deliberately mislead and manipulate. They cannot be trusted.

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    2. It was known that these companies cannot be trusted long before TR was signed off. The approach of these companies was a well established business model designed to reduce costs without any real concerns regarding service delivery. No surprises to anyone in the know. The selling of the idea as legitimate was only ever snake-oil salesmanship.

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    3. True, but the seller was desperate to shrink the state and reduce public liabilities. It truly was The Road to Serfdom.

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  2. Time was when a work force faced with this would walk out en masse, together, and backed by their union in doing so.

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    Replies
    1. From wildcats to pussycats.

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  3. Wouldn't it be good if all CRC and NPS staff walked out together, en masse, indefinitely, supported by unison and Napo, with a demand to reunite as a public service.

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    1. That might have worked if staff could be bothered but unfortunately they can't !

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    2. Would love to know if there is a study showing the different reasons for the reluctance to take joint action. I'm beginning to suspect many people are oblivious to the power we hold when we act collectively.

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    3. Lots of staff not even prepared to strike for 1 day prior to TR. So not a hope in hell now.

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  4. On a different note the impact TR has had on women to be discussed on Woman's Hour.Described as the impact "cuts" have had on the service by Jenni Murray.Be interesting to see if Chris'actions mentioned as being at the heart of it.

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  5. Off topic but I wonder who will be going for / get these posts and what impact they will have on the future of NPS - Deputy Directors of Probation, South East & Eastern, London: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1510265

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    1. 'Whilst experience within a probation or related environment would be beneficial – wider experience of offender risk management or reducing re-offending would be particularly valuable.'

      Who would have more experience than probation when it comes to risk management and reducing re-offending? Slightly worrying that they seem to be willing to consider people with no probation experience...

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    2. Who would have more experience?
      Maybe a Probation endorsed rehabilitation officer?
      They're being prepared as all rounders.
      Experience doesn't really count when cost is the primary focus.

      'Getafix'

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    3. ***AMENDED VACANCY
      We are now recruiting to two roles and have extended the application deadline to 10 am Wednesday 12th October 2016.
      • Deputy Director, South East & Eastern
      • Deputy Director, London***



      What we do matters – we reduce re-offending by changing lives.

      The National Offender Management Service is responsible for running prisons and probation services across England and Wales. The Deputy Directors of Probation will be accountable for the safe management of offenders across both the community and custody and play a critical role in supporting courts pre-sentencing.

      The successful candidate will oversee the operational delivery of the division, as well as providing expert advice to senior leaders and leading on high profile and sensitive cases. You will be experienced in driving transformational change and be able to manage multiple competing priorities often under scrutiny. You will also be an outstanding leader of people, with a demonstrable ability to build high-performing and engaged teams even across disparate geographies.

      If you are an experienced leader who is comfortable working in a flexible, fast-paced team, have excellent relationship management skills and a real passion to make a difference then we would be delighted to receive an application from you.

      For more information on the role including job description, person specification and instructions on how to apply please refer to the Candidate Information Pack attached.

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  6. Interserve(purplefutures) have switched on their new IT. Training was dire, I still don't know how to use the kit and I like to think of myself as fairly proficient with stuff like this. Our email address has changed and is long fangled name even worse than the one before - I know impossible but Interserve have managed it. The new kit wont allow us to get onto the OMNI server so we've been told to use both systems for now ie log onto PC 3 times per day to check for emails & use the new laptop for delius/oasys. Send help......

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  7. We have had lots of problems with IT in London CRC. The effect is to tie us to our computers for even longer ( as opposed to what we were told would happen when we got our new system : " it will enable you to spend more time with your service users". I have learnt now that when big assertions and announcements come from most official quarters that such and such is in place/ will happen/ is being arranged then it usually means the complete opposite. Another effect of the " improved IT" is we have become mighty useless and slow and ineffective with the computer work. At the moment we can't attach anything to the records, so we have started relying on saving everything on our own documents, hoping one day we can upload on Delius again. Only we all know that will not happen, no one will ever have the time. Alongside all this, for some reason NPS appear to have stopped doing their basic Oasys assessments. So at present we are being allocated new cases with no cps docs, no Oasys, no mg16, and within 10 days of first contact with the service user we are obliged to conjure up a full Oasys assesment on him/ her.

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    1. Render unto Caecar (CRC) what belongs to him/ it. If Caecar is happy with hollow/ no content oasyses then I think I can manage that. In fact, it's a lot quicker, leaving more time for me to answer the call of our receptionist, who is the best and most truthful communicator I have ever met.

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