Friday, 23 December 2016

CRC Dispute Latest 19

Branch update

22 12 16

Dear members

Yesterday within the DDC CRC another notification was sent to all staff regarding new interventions facilitator job descriptions. The document is another attempt to get you to vary your current and actual job and job description and allow your role to be morphed into something none of us in the unions have had any chance to negotiate on your terms protections.

Napo have made it clear, despite those taking the option of the Working Links deficient offer and have resigned their roles are to leave shortly. Those of us to remain in our jobs have and will continue to protect our employment rights and terms. This means that NAPO and Union members should not be varying our contracts without proper negotiations through the Unions.

1 Trade union consultation on all new roles having been properly undertaken. This being part of the ongoing national dispute already.

2 The job evaluation process has been applied properly and in agreement with the trade unions. Napo are of the view any role in the organisation even under working links should attract the sort of pay variations DOWN that they are on record for suggesting.

3 This trick of directly attempting to get you to change your role is beyond the process of consultations with the Unions and we can remind you to not attend and just offer a standard reply if you are approached or coerced by anyone to attend these meeting or any separate and to follow E-Diary meeting which Is effectively a 1-1 “as a trade union member we are waiting the finalised position of the ongoing dispute issues. When the union leaders are satisfied they will signal our position in order to protect my transferred and existing terms and conditions under appendix B. For the disputed reasons alone I will not be taking part in matters that effectively will result in a variation of my contract position. If my role is to be changed then my current role has to be made redundant for me to be treated properly under the terms of my employment rights. The Unions have made this clear in the dispute.

4 The unions have been constantly avoided by HR senior management in order to avoid providing you with your full employment terms and rights. This meeting being offered is just part of the process to continue to undermine your terms. Ultimately to increase your working hours reduce pay and open to a massive loss of recognised core hours and appropriate payments structure.

5 Non-members have the same entitlements but we cannot speak for them directly. They should join Napo Now. Especially in light of the appalling terms of reference that Working links continue to peddle but we just could not accept.

6 In relation to Unpaid work staff this is a process that will impact heavily on what happens to your roles and as yet NAPO the Unions have not had any proper consultation on the working models for the new operations that they plan.

The Unions are clear the changes they want are going to involve more work and the promise of less pay with far less resources. What we are clear about is that this situation has to be addressed and yet all the process issues being referred by the working links and senior management have not been submitted to the unions in writing. Instead we are seeing the Management go directly to you and we are seeing these sorts of trickster approach to get around your Unions. They are adopting high pressure tactics in order to change your job and force new working practices upon you. None of which have been agreed or managed properly. None of which you have to accept, instead be resolute and just reject all matters that involve your jobs and changes that have not been agreed with the Unions.

Health and Safety Assessment

The Unions remain in dispute as the health and safety issues of workloads the weightings for role changes and the pay and terms of conditions are not being addressed at all by the fiasco of Working Links aggressive manner and deliberate avoidance of any real or meaningful process. The games playing they have engaged at the ACAS talks are incredible. Working links fail to adequately respond in a timely way avoid any proper response on written material allege all sorts of compliance with the due process but which are just total rubbish and run and hide in order to just drive on with their relentless time pressured approach to reducing your terms. The ridiculous position is that we might well have been able to see members paid properly under their terms of employment by seeking all volunteers across the whole staff group. Instead and now due to Working Links continued mis-management of the processes we have differential terms. Which we are making representations on. Staff who want to leave but cannot get their entitlements and staff who are in fear of continuing in a role given what the awful prospects look like under the current feelings of what is becoming a regime not a decent and certainly an unfair and disingenuous employer.

The General Secretary

While we are battling locally a moment of support to the GS Ian Lawrence. He has been a tremendous ally of the branch and a diplomat on the worst employer process we have ever experienced and will ever see. Worst in our opinion of all the privateers across the CRCs. There can be no punches pulled this lot, are out to destroy any recognition of what was probation and we have to stop this plain and simple!

The leadership from Ian has been a welcome asset and we appreciate his efforts in trying to get the management within Working Links to look properly at the mess they are making and the way they engage. Sadly they have not responded well to this and so Ian and myself have been in another lengthy legal case conference this week that will trigger more action early in the new year. Look out for our bulletins. The General Secretary Ian Lawrence will be publishing his message also today. Look out for this and to continue our research in the rise on year of the failing public safety record of Working Links in their dramatic climb of SFOs.

Napo are still reeling from the claim by Working Links who you will know are new to this arena of our work and our members. While they promote the language of “our people”. Shameful, when having not properly attempting to have brought many with them, instead choosing to push experienced colleagues through the door as fast as they can. This brain drain we are experiencing also saw them deduce that SFOs occurrences are greater in the summer months. A detail that has never escaped experienced practitioners! This massive TR revolution has produced devastation and wasted spending and generates pathetic observation from Working Links.

It is just as pitiful and we are sorry our members are being put through this, when it is so clear it will fail. The SFO issues continue and we want to ensure under the strictest confidence to continue to canvas your further concerns. Members you were surveyed by NAPO SSW Branch recently to inform us of your experiences. We used some of this shocking material in the ACAS talks and while Working Links asked for the details of which we could not have disclosed that material the results were shocking. It is this underlying fear that practitioners are experiencing that we should expose as well as the secreted numbers held back by Working links of the total within the CRCs and of the regions total SFOs detail. The General Secretary will be posting further on this. In the meantime please forward or contact me at any time on this issue and I will collate material and maintain your security. What Working links appear to do is hide, Napo does not.

Members we have your support given the meetings and the galvanised indications of the branch. Napo pledge to continue to make sure Working Links and their current abuses and employment failings are properly held to legal account as soon as our members suffer any consequences from Working Links dangerous asset stripping approach and pairing down to which reduces the services for the protection of public safety. Reducing the delivery of effective rehabilitation to service users that is something set to become extinct. Together by rejection of their plans we can protect your roles and your future.

It is year too much under the treatment of Working links let us hope that in 2017 someone in the MOJ Noms central sees some sense and takes the keys from them rather than expect these people to hand anything back.

Dino Peros Napo Branch Chair SSW
Cc Ian Lawrence General Secretary Napo.


  1. You've gotta hand it to Dino he is relentless and we are fortunate indeed to have this kind of support. Happier New Year to him and to us all

  2. I don't have a problem Provider's or NPS praising/thanking Probation staff for their unstinting efforts. Only concern, is the true and hidden costs too staff, communities and partnerships they work alongside . Indeed. I regularly tweet innovation and good news story's. Albeit, a once proud/vocal SWM has gone very quiet. Possibly, reflecting tough/complex and constantly changing working environment as they too grapple with monumental changes.

    I've tried to be wise about pouring hot coals on what feels like an open furnace especially, as my own experiences of visiting offices confirms much of what I read on JB Blog and leaves me feeling overwhelmed. Indeed, I've tweeted today in response to Dino's Letter, that we now have only silo's where once stood a Probation Family grappling to make sense of this TR mess. Certainly, what I see and hear resembles little of what I once recall to be a vibrant, happy and united working environment.

    However, I also distinctly recall conversations with the Trust Board and CEO that No-One other than Grayling and 313 MP's wanted Privatisation and ALL would have been amply foretold of the consequences/risks attached to TR. I'm shocked to read of Nick Clegg's condemnation of the Prison riots. Yet, neither he or any Liberal Democrats spoke out against Probations Privatisation.

    Its truly remarkable after nearly two years that whilst many voices have been lost, focus on TR omni shambles continues and is now sharpened by HMSI Inspections, National TV/Radio, and more recently articles in the Guardian and Independent and Private Eye. Even, Probation Institute have recently begun to aire views which might suggest TR is not working and requires a complete overhaul . I've suggested to them Joe's idea of Reunification but, perhaps understandably they didn't respond. However, they are engaging and clearly read this Blog too. Dialogue must continue

    Alongside, Jim Brown's blog there are many voices and MY hope and prayer for 2017, is that we might begin to pull together and become One Voice, building on the momentum that has been established in recent months and identifying, nurturing and supporting the strengths, aptitudes and skills of all those who share a compassion/love for Probation. It is unfortunate we have yet to see any Leadership to emerge that could influence what often feels like a desperate group to come together. Yes, maybe even develop a plan which could 'make a difference' going forward . Naive maybe, but we could take a lead from the conversation/dialogue taking place within Prison Storm.

    This could be achieved via this blog or we could engage in a conversation and or take a lead from Prison Storm and have a debate /open dialogue on Twitter. Again, all just thoughts and putting maybe overly simplistic ideas out there . Just feels sometimes that there has to be a better way too galvanise a more united response whilst awaiting the Probation Review in April 17 when I believe the Re-Offending rates will also be published Maybe I'm just completely out of touch ?

    I agree with Probation Officer that doing nothing is not an option and that those that can should continue to do there very best to defend Probations Legacy against the further onslaught of further savagery of staff cuts, reputationall damage and de-professionalisation. But perhaps do that more together than apart?

    I do hope this makes a little sense. Whatever, happens sending you all very best Xmas wishes and ALL the very best for in ALL our endeavours. Hopefully, more United in 2017. Thanks Jim for making it possible to share these few thoughts too

    Take Care Everyone Iangould5

  3. Interesting, can someone expand on the changes DDC CRC want to make regarding new interventions facilitator job descriptions.

    They are not the only CRC attempting to change this role.

  4. Credit to the local branch for taking a stance and credit to a supportive general secretary. But all these protestations will amount to nothing if not backed up with industrial muscle. Napo cannot talk it way to a solution, no matter how reasoned and compelling their arguments about good employment practices.

    Insulting WLs indicates weakness not strength. We don't know how many staff, despite union advice to the contrary, have taken reduced EVR, but I suspect a considerable number otherwise the union would have highlighted the low take-up. The union is making a lot of noise about WLs conduct but how much disciplined support really exists for the union?

    This battle will be lost, not because of any lack of activism or determination on the part of those in leadership roles, but because of the apathy among the majority of the membership. From the early days of TR they have not fought for anything – except their selfish positions. Only solidarity wins and that is a quality that the probation workforce lacks in abundance. As a collective they are an embarrassment.

    1. I think the insults are the Working links who have done what all private companies do, take advantage where possible and take the biggest cash bonanza from those who have been in public service. Also while a good post the answer may not be in the same old expectations. I agree with the solidarity but they unions nationally were not led well or supported to act cohesively and there was not nearly enough ability in the golden child chair who disappeared. It is not over yet and at some point once the final few remaining public sector staff are ushered out on some final final last post deal that will be it. The government won by cutting public services to the bone. Working links will become another casualty as the contracts will then be drawn back and they lose that as did with other already.

  5. This is happening in other areas, contracts subtly being changed. I never signed up to any of this shit when I trained to be a PO. Why hasn't any of this been taken through the,courts.

  6. Just because it's interesting, and will no doubt cause the MOJ a headache or two.


  7. Can I do a guest blog on rattling arses.