Saturday, 17 December 2016

Latest From Napo 131

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).   
NATIONAL NEGOTIATING COUNCIL UNDER THREAT - Napo SEEKS A RESPONSE FROM MEMBERS

Dear Xxxxxxx,

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:
  • Division across the service at a critical time
  • The threat of performance related pay
  • Employers seeking to reduce leave
  • Employers seeking to change contractual protections to make it easier and cheaper to dismiss people.
During the AGM debate it was very clear that the disgraceful manner in which some CRC owners have approached staffing reductions and introduced operational plans that are deemed to be unsafe and chaotic have led to a lack of faith that these threats will not become a reality.

We now need our members to continue that resolve and to vote 'Yes' in an indicative ballot attached to this mail out.

Napo’s response

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:
  • Working only to contractual hours, including taking full breaks.
  • Removal of goodwill.
  • Not doing work that would take you into 'red' on local workforce management tools.
  • Using up all TOIL and holidays.
  • Not covering for colleagues if this takes your workload beyond what is manageable in your contracted hours.
  • Targeted action that could obstruct the employers but not involving the direct withdrawal from work (e.g. all taking lunch breaks together)
Your local Napo reps have been issued with briefing material and a presentation and you are encouraged to attend any local meetings that are arranged. If you have questions but are unable to attend a meeting please contact your Branch Chair or other local representatives first or email Napo at ballot@napo.org.uk and someone will respond to your enquiry.

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

Best Wishes

Chris Winters 
National Co-Chair
Yvonne Pattison National Co-Chair
Ian Lawrence General Secretary

53 comments:

  1. It seems to me that a determined NPS cannot be legally stopped from withdrawing from the current arrangements.

    Whether they would change their minds if confronted with a full- scale strike is unknown. If strike action is not supported and Plan B's work-to-rule, etc, is adopted, then there would be no effective industrial action, as such tactics have never worked and usually most staff are not even aware they are in force.

    I think national collective bargaining is finished. The facts on the ground have changed and the union must adapt and focus on getting the best possible new negotiating machinery in place with legacy protections.

    Of course, if the indicative ballot produces a turnout in excess of 80% and a commitment to resist change, then this would empower the union negotiators. But in the absence of an overwhelming mandate, it would be folly to resist from weakness, as it will only lead to more humiliation.

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  2. Truss says, post-Birmingham, that violence will not be tolerated and those responsible will face the full force of the law. Truss makes as much sense as Trump. Violence is tolerated as evidenced by rising numbers of prisoner-prisoner assaults, prisoner-staff assaults and the self-inflicted violence shown in the rising prison suicide numbers.

    But the unrest in prisons is by design, not accident. It's a consequence of demented benchmarking exercises that reduced prison officer numbers by a third in the face of an unchanging and inflated (Thanks New Labour) prison population.

    Truss and her apparatchiks are failing in their fundamental duty of care. If that was her starting point for her toleration threshold, then prisons would not be in the present crisis. Truss went viral when as Environment Secretary she vented her anger – about cheese, “We import two-thirds of our cheese. That. Is. A. Disgrace." She seems to lack similar passion for her duty of care to oversee safe prisons.

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  3. The NNC has made no impact at increasing my take-home pay over the last 10 years. I understand the govt freeze in public sector pay but NNC have been unable to do anything about it. Is this the NNC who approved 20 point scales with each yearly increase only worth £12 per month? I won't be voting as it's pointless.

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    1. No long-term officers anymore. 7 years is the longest in our team.

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  4. Probation Officer17 December 2016 at 09:07

    Noms knows that Napo is weak, which is Napo's fault for being weak. Napo should have long reduced subscriptions to a minimum, even £1, just to max out the membership following its previous TR failures. If the NPS is pulling out on 16 Jan then why is Napo ballotting for results by 20th Jan. The horse will have already bolted and the stable door shut! In short, now we're fucked!!

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  5. 9:07. I agree with your point about reducing membership fees but Napo members voted at AGM to remain part of the present NNC and retain collective bargaining. Unison, however, at their delegate conference voted to leave. So in effect it left Napo and GMB around the table. NPS are not leaving on 16/1/17 they have extended this to the end of Jan pending talks with ACAS. 9:06 it was a previous NNC who agreed the present pay structure back in the day when we got 3 pay increments and a pay rise every year.No one could have predicted staff the present situation.

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    1. Everyone predicted the current situation. Those of us around long enough know Probation has been going down the shitter for years. Likewise Napo has increasingly been lubricating the flush for years and the present leadership has enabled the biggest failures.

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    2. 10:53 I disagree with your comments. I have been around 20+ years and even 10 years ago I would never have thought successive governments would do this to our service and other public services.

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    3. Then youve had your head in the sand. Ive known of a few of you 20+ years PO's that are either too far gone or up their own backsides that they can't see the woods through the trees. I knew it was coming, most I know knew it too. The last 10 years alone even with blinkers on you could see where we've been heading. They've been stripping out and dumbing down for years, and privatisations been on the cards long before the Tories took control.

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  6. We need to strike and NAPO need to put coaches on to bring members to London for a rally at Westminster as a united group. The Press Secretary needs to raise our profile and get coverage and clear explanations about our failing services and risks to the public, Serious Further Offences, lack of face to face supervision etc. This is the kind of publicity we need to get the public interested, after all they are the potential victims. Be strong for our futures in public service

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    1. There will be no strike because Napo doesn't have enough members. It's failed to recruit/retain members and its failed to work effectively with other unions.

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    2. National Collective Bargaining

      21. It is agreed that the existing national collective bargaining arrangements will continue in the CRCs and NPS on 1 June 2014 by means of the Staff Transfer Scheme. The NNC and SCCOG machinery will also continue to apply to new staff.

      22. The MoJ has confirmed that the sale of shares in the CRC to the new provider does not constitute a TUPE transfer of undertakings as there is no change of employer, merely a change of ownership of the shares in the employer company. Following the share sale, the employer will continue to be the CRC and the relationship between the employer, recognised trade unions and employees is unchanged. Existing NNC and SCCOG National Agreements on Pay and Conditions of Service will therefore continue to be the terms and conditions for all staff.

      It seems to me that we have a few problems but not all insurmountable. It would help us all understand how we are here, what is being breached as they drive an illegitimate agenda. Also without NNC the professional association which is valued but nothing of use in a union. The union part of napo the part that is supposed to deal with these problems is confused by the professional considerations and not the terms being destroyed. We need to divorce ourselves from that situation to try and grapple this together as a collective and as such aggressively as members of a union.

      Ian Lawrence will have understood this position but the question has to be asked Ian ARE YOU RESIGNING over this issue ? It is clear you will have to go immediately because you must realise as the General secretary who sold the members a protection agreement. Failing to safeguard this on his watch no matter what the argument he has to go. It may well be as a matter of conduct and competency for the role of GS on this issue.
      Members should write all action yes on their indications of course, but the real question is why are we members being balloted at all at this stage its too early. Why show any hand or position we already know what we have by entitlement. Indicative or not? What MS Crozier and her cronies are doing is a clear breach of an agreement that was signed off by the General Secretary and sold to members. We should all be clear to the two incredibly and obviously a disastrous pair of incompetent Chairs is not to be asking membership anything just now. Instead telling us your immediate plans and appropriate and full legal challenge that has to be lodged now. You don't need any mandate to see the issue of the breach of the agreement.

      AS for internal matters there wont be any point in stating the negotiating team decided this was their course of action. These decisions are on your term of office and you have a duty to protect the members as you got elected to do. The contractual agreements are clearly stated. What is it you do not understand about dealing with it through law plainly. If you cannot manage the responsibilities or not have the strength then resign now . YOU are obliged to protect our terms on the stated agreement and spend napo money on a proper legal challenge.
      We don't need to consider a strike for an automatic breach of the agreed terms if they actually really try. Members the only vote we need is in the confidence and abilities of the signatures of the notice to members. I think The General Secretary appears to slip by and not be accountable but in reality he will be as will the chairs. In any case we need to see protections offers policies on leave protected and a national pay structure. The incredible and what appears to me at least a gross error by London branch in their foolish position oin NNC collective bargaining signals weakness to employers as they jumped before any force. What sort of union branch is being run there? I am reliably informed on a few people in the room understood the meaning of the vote and yet a national Napo assistant general secretary was there to watch the events and bizarrely then writes in the London branch report?

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    3. From this the General Secretary and the assistant General Secretary appear at odds. At least Ian Lawrence appears to want to abide by the AGM motion. However Mr Rodgers was in London and endorsed the breakaway position. He must realise in this shady corner of politics that whatever happens the result may well displace Ian Lawrence. Mr Rodgers is clearly wanting to be the new General Secretary? It is shady but a real potential I hope the current General Secretary realise this stalking horse appears to be from within. A knife in the back is easier than a challenge at the fore coming GS election. Cowardly or not I would return Ian Lawrence of Rodgers every second of every day despite his occasional errors .
      For the moment lets hope members make the chairs do their job and get a legal opposition going first come to members when a better legal position is known.

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  7. I am definitely with you 10:35. Our service along with all our public services are being strangled. This government are using public sector money as their bank to take and give to their own. We need to take this on board. I am not sure the power structures are widely understood at this point. We need direct action not being drawn in to more time wasting prevaricating and sidelining. Sadly I feel NOMS does understand the power structures and NAPO' s poor position.

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  8. As Unison are in agreement with the NPS that current arrangements are not fit for purpose, I fail to see how Napo can realistically resist change. These battle cries to do something are naive. We cannot change the direction of the wind, Napo has to adjust its sails.

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  9. It's happening so deal with it. Time to get out if you don't like the change. That's what I've been telling my staff. At my managers course I was taught to be brutally honest as people respect this. So, it's happening. We're all effected so like it or lump it.

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    1. And what is that based on I do not respect your use of terms such as 'like it or lump it' so I imagine I am not alone in that. Believe what you want to believe but if you choose to avoid finding out what staff really think you are either deluded or not a good manager.

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    2. To be fair, it's doesn't matter what staff think. The employer will always do what they want to do!

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    3. Like it or lump it. Very true and puts a clear perspective on things.

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    4. Seems as if your Management Course is promoting Authoritarian Leadership Styles. Who's delivering the training - other more consensual styles around, which may be less oppressive and rejected 'bullying and harassment'. Beware, not all non-managerial grades lack 'management qualifications'.Some choose not to reject core values of respecting colleagues and remain in operational grades.

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    5. 11.30 is probably a deliberate wind-up and use of effected when affected is the right word, is an area for improvement on the next management course.

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    6. They probably stated on their application how "affective" they are

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    7. You lot have no respect. You need to respect the chain of command.

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    8. I must say, the manager is right. It's happening. There is nothing that can be done. It is like it or lump it!

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    9. Like it or change it

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    10. its happening however doesn't mean its working, ha balls to managers.

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    11. 15.56 You expect your individuals to respect you for having authority yet you have double standards. Probably time to think about a new career....

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    12. To be brutally honest, there is "management" and there is "leadership". The best people-in-charge do both. Management without leadership is following orders, and administration. Brutal management does not deserve respect, and it will not get it

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    13. 18.17 you're a fool. No respect

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    14. I agree with 18:17 whole heartedly. The management have now been morphed into a corporate identity. If it doesn't fit the "business plan" then can't be done. Unfortunately, we deal with vulnerable and dangerous people who can't 'tick boxes'. Risk is dynamic and was never destined to 'tick boxes'. Some of the decent managers realise this and tow the line! However, there are many that don't. The Probation world we live in now

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    15. We're told that all that matters is meeting service levels and metrics. Everything else is secondary and should only be done if it adds no further cost. My manager won't recall at all. Even when someone was arrested for a s.18 GBH

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    16. Had a busy week with staff whinging about this and that. Come onto the blog and more of the same. Let's be happy. It's xmas!!

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    17. The circumstances leading to the arrest for a section 18 recall need to be considered. If charged the issue of liberty can be a matter for the courts. If RIC then recall perhaps not necessary.

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    18. Yea then gets bail a few days later and back on the street. 13.42 must be a manager

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  10. Oh dear.

    Up to 240 prisoners are to moved out of HMP Birmingham following a 12-hour riot at the jail.

    Inmates took over four wings, started fires and gained access to medical supplies as they rampaged in the prison. One man was taken to hospital.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-38350970

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    1. Truss says those responsible will face the full force of the law. Have you just scored an own goal Liz?

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  11. It's not time to leave it's time to fight through legal channels. Stump up Napo. What are the legalities around leaving the Service at the bottom of the pay scale and 're-joining a decade later in the same role, at the top of the pay scale. It's true, outrageous, but true.

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  12. MOJ have announced they are putting up for sale a building shared by CRC/nps and the building is the Women's Centre in Kirkdale. Staff didn't have an inking and goodness knows where female offenders will be seen now.

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  13. Liz Truss says the prisoners involved in yesterdays riot will 'face the full force of the law'. Lol, no irony there then! Does she mean a few more months locked in a cell smoking spice with no education or rehabilitation and then booted out onto the street? What an ass.

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  14. I would urge every Napo member to vote in this ballot .. we need to keep NNC going to safeguard terms and conditions. We have just seen the new draconian attendance management policy that nps say is going live in Jan despite the unions not agreeing it. Watch out if you have an underlying medical health condition or disability. Instead of making redundancies they will get rid of staff with a civil service attendance management policy . Crc and nps both need the NNC otherwise it could mean staff Getting sacked then rehired on less pay less leave . No sick leave and it will be easier to sack staff . If one crc or nps has pay rise , it would only be in that area .
    The nps is on a pso recruitment drive and the salary offered is lower than what psos get now.

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  15. 18.22 explains collective bargaining perfectly and the legal obligations of the employers. NAPO have to go to the lawyers for legal challenge. What the employers are doing is illegal - there is protection in place. Protect my pension Ian Lawrence - take the evidence to Court! Enforce The protection we were given at handover!

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  16. Napo .... Call in the solicitors!17 December 2016 at 20:40

    Read the below. If all Napo member indicate they oppose the NPS withdrawal then Napo HAS TO fight this. Not by strikes and industrial action NO, NO,NO. This MUST be fought simply by Napo calling in its legal team to take the NPS/NOMS to Court for breach of contract.

    National Collective Bargaining

    21. It is agreed that the existing national collective bargaining arrangements will continue in the CRCs and NPS on 1 June 2014 by means of the Staff Transfer Scheme. The NNC and SCCOG machinery will also continue to apply to new staff.

    22. The MoJ has confirmed that the sale of shares in the CRC to the new provider does not constitute a TUPE transfer of undertakings as there is no change of employer, merely a change of ownership of the shares in the employer company. Following the share sale, the employer will continue to be the CRC and the relationship between the employer, recognised trade unions and employees is unchanged. Existing NNC and SCCOG National Agreements on Pay and Conditions of Service will therefore continue to be the terms and conditions for all staff.

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    1. I paid for independent legal advice when Napo ignored any and all of my requests for information & guidance during the Sodexo debacle. The independent advice was that I had a case to win in respect of my full entitlement to EVR and the makings of a case for constructive dismissal but... was I prepared and able to survive for any number of years until the corporate lawyers had finished playing games? The advice also expressed surprise that the unions had not pursued any form of legal challenge about the employer's behaviour towards employees. Not being able to face further years of rage & distress I took what I'm not allowed to disclose & left. Whilst doing so I used the union legal scheme (some might say scam) & during one exchange asked the union's legal advisers about the advice I'd been given regarding the NNC agreements, the promised protections, etc. "No comment" was the best I could get.

      As has been previously asked on this blog, do the union/s have a case to answer for not protecting their members' interests, contrary to the promises and claims made repeatedly over recent years? It seems there have been very ready capitulations, convenient silences, lengthy periods of inaction and numerous lost battles.

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    2. already posted 1822 and 3

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    3. 21:08 Napo runs on elected members who don't really have much of clue what they need to do they hide behind committee deceions and we all know you cannot get a committee to manage anything correctly especially when you look at the skill sets of most of them therein lies our problem we elect the wrong people to do an important job and that's why no pay deals no job evaluation outcomes and a split service now looking very dire both sides. In the north with the reps you had no wonder.

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    4. Sodexo are not exclusively based or linked to "the north", although north of M25 is probably "north" to Londoncentrics.

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    5. Agreed, 22:11. "On 1 February 2015 the ownership of The Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Community Rehabilitation Company (BeNCH CRC) transferred to Sodexo as part of the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme."

      Its tough up north.

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    6. It is all the same we got stuffed no one did a thing. Its all sodexo areas no difference in the reps either .

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    7. All those SHAFTED into the CRC's got stuffed not just those owned by Sodexo. Is it not odd that most of the comments on the blog are from CRC Officers, those allocated to NPS did not do a thing to help when the split was happening, don't expect anything from them now.

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    8. 21:13 + 23:07 - its been said a number of times already but I'll say it again, the Sodexo area reps were left high & dry by HQ. The full responsibility for the debacle lies squarely with (1) the employers [noms, moj, sodexo] & (2) the fulltime paid union staff, e.g. Napo GS has always paraded himself as a professional union operator & was heralded as an experienced union official on appointment. Equally, neither Unison nor GMB were very helpful. Not sure what that was about other than maybe probation staff numbers must be a teeny-wee fraction of their memberships & they left it to Napo to lead the challenge.

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    9. Local reps did not have a clue.

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    10. The Napo leader is one man who needs the support and talented reps locally to drive a proper dispute. No local imitation no out a hope of an outcome stop bleating sodexo reps.

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  17. The Probation Service(s) are to be reviewed by Ms Truss following, amongst other things, the dreadfully adverse report on London CRC by HM Inspectors. Should the result of the review be further "reorganization" with possibly the CRC's and the NPS being combined again now does not appear to be a sensible time to even contemplate doing away with collective bargaining. As stated by others there is a very clear agreement in place protecting all staff (CRC and NPS) and Ms Crozier is totally out of order if she thinks she can just simply ignore it. NAPO, UNISON and GMB get the lawyers involved NOW to oppose this potential breach of contract. Between you all you can surely afford the best lawyers and let us finally show MoJ and NOMS that we are fighting back and enough is enough. Each time we are walked over gives the MoJ more reason to believe they can just do what they want. Stop it now with a proper legal challenge - no need to strike or go slow or work to rule as right is on our side. If the unions do not take this up then they do not deserve a penny more in subs and their general secretaries and others should be so ashamed they should crawl away and hide for the rest of their lives.

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