|The issue of collective bargaining within probation post TR split rumbles on and Napo is seeking views from the membership. (note that links have been removed in order to reduce the chances of the survey being skewed by non members).|
As has been expected for some time, the NPS has informed us of their intention to withdraw from the National Negotiating Council (NNC) and the Standing Committee for Chief Officer Grades (SCOG) as per the attached letter from Sonia Crozier. Notice of NPS withdrawal from the Probation Negotiation Council
This means that they wish to negotiate separately with the probation unions to reach agreements that will only be applicable to staff employed by the NPS. Almost all CRCs have indicated their intention to also withdraw from the NNC in the future.
Defend collective bargaining!
At Napo's AGM in Cardiff in September, members voted overwhelmingly to oppose the breaking up of the NNC and to launch a campaign amongst members should any employer attempt to withdraw.
Our members registered their concerns about such a split in the negotiating structure causing:
We now need our members to continue that resolve and to vote 'Yes' in an indicative ballot attached to this mail out.
Whilst Napo and the probation unions have said that we are willing to enter into talks at ACAS, we are conducting a consultative exercise amongst all of our members working in the probation service (NPS, CRCs and The Probation Board Northern Ireland).
We will ask Napo Branches to convene members meetings as soon as possible (with a closing date for the consultation of 20th January). We are asking you to tell us what action you would be prepared to take to defend the national organisation of pay and conditions by voting using the survey question below and that you do all you can to attend your local consultative meeting. This will enable Napo to assess the strength of feeling across the probation service, and if members vote yes to support this strategy, you will provide us with powerful support in our fight to keep employers together for the retention of national terms and conditions.
This is not a formal ballot for Industrial Action and any such move would require a secret ballot amongst our membership
What’s at stake?
All probation service staff are contractually covered by national agreements protecting pay and conditions through national negotiations that have taken place for many years via the NNC. This contractual protection transferred to all probation employers at share sale in 2014 and NNC terms and conditions remain as the only national framework for negotiation with the recognised trade unions.
Ending the national negotiations and replacing them with separate negotiations covering each separate employer namely: the NPS, an individual CRC, those CRCs grouped under a particular owner, and Probation Northern Ireland will see an end to the current system that sees all probation employees have the same contractual pay, terms and conditions.
This will mean that any future pay awards or changes to these would not automatically be applied to all staff but could vary between these employers.
So what am I being asked to do?
You are asked to answer two key questions at the consultative meetings: whether (in the event of a formal ballot) you would support:
A industrial action, including strike action, to enforce opposition to the break-up of national collective bargaining? YES/NO
B industrial action short of strike action, to enforce opposition to the break-up of national collective bargaining? YES/NO
If ‘yes’ to question B – then the specific forms of action short of strike action would be subject to further consultation with branches, but could likely include some or all of the following options:
Help Napo to help you - vote 'Yes'
Thank you for taking the time to read this important communication, and we hope that you will seriously consider the recommendation from your Officers and Officials to spend just a few minutes completing the survey and vote ‘YES’ to both of the questions to give us an idea of the forms of action that you might be prepared to take.
More news on this campaign will be issued over the coming.
Please click here to vote or copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Chris Winters National Co-Chair
Yvonne Pattison National Co-Chair
Ian Lawrence General Secretary