Sunday, 29 January 2017

That Transfer Agreement

Following on from the obvious mess Napo has got itself into regarding the National Negotiating Council (NNC), this from UNISON published in May 2014 might be worth reflecting on:-  


The Ministry of Justice has published the Staff Transfer Scheme which is the legal document by which your employment will be transferred from your current Probation Trust to either the NPS or the CRC. Its full title is ‘The Offender Management Act 2007 (Probation Services) Staff Transfer Scheme 2014’. UNISON has been closely involved in scrutinising the Scheme and we have taken legal advice on it to ensure that members’ interests are protected. We have also secured some positive changes in the Scheme to further protect your interests. But the Transfer Scheme is not a collective agreement and UNISON has not agreed the scheme, which remains the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice alone. 

The Transfer Scheme is required, so the Ministry of Justice states, because the transfer of probation staff is not a TUPE transfer, but an administrative transfer. This means that the TUPE regulations (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations), which would normally protect your terms and conditions on transfer, do not apply. So it has been necessary for the Secretary of State to draw up a Transfer Scheme to give you these same protections. The Transfer Scheme provides you with the following protections, which are in line with the National Negotiating Council (NNC) Staff Transfer and Protections

Agreement which UNISON members voted to accept earlier this year: 
  • Your Probation Trust contract of employment transfers to the NPS or a CRC, without change. 
  • Your terms and conditions, as set out in the NNC National Agreement on Pay and Conditions, will continue to apply in the NPS and CRCs 
  • All Trust liabilities and duties to staff, including liabilities arising from any claims against the Trust, transfer to either the NPS or the CRC 
  • Your continuity of employment is not broken by the transfer 
  • Staff who move voluntarily between CRCs or between the NPS and a CRC within 7 years of the original transfer date will retain their continuity of employment, and the employment rights that go with this (e.g. entitlement to annual leave/sick leave) 
  • Staff who move voluntarily between CRCs or between NPS and a CRC within 12 months of the original transfer date will retain their eligibility to remain in the local government pension schemes 
  • The existing probation trade unions will continue to be recognised by the NPS and CRCs 
  • Existing funding for trade union facility time, as well as any additional time necessary for dealing with the transfer, will continue to apply after the transfer 
  • Existing national collective agreements covering your terms and conditions will continue to apply following the transfer 
  • The National Negotiating Council negotiating machinery will continue to exist following the transfer in both NPS and the CRCs 
  • The National Negotiating Council job evaluation scheme will continue to apply after the transfer in both NPS and the CRCs 
  • Where CRCs decide to harmonise local terms and conditions – like car mileage allowances – they will have to do so to the most advantageous rate applying in the Trusts which are merging to form the CRC 
  • Any employee who loses pay as a direct result of the transfer will have their pay protected on a stand-still basis (i.e. no pay rises) for three years.

This is from a similar Napo document from December 2013:-

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.


  1. Scheme and we have taken legal advice on it to ensure that members’ interests are protected.

    Can we all the see this legal advice now then please? If the employers are wanting to disband the NNC agreed machinery this is a breach of the staff protection scheme. Lets take them to court or individuals a s single breach of contracts. Also the method by which we are to be recognised. Incompetence might this point so it has been spelt out here for you.

  2. How many times do the union have to be reminded of this legal agreement. Why isn't anybody taking the challenge to Court. Surely the unions themselves are breaching their contact with paying members by doing nothing. This will go down as the worst negligence by union officials in history. Maybe the General Secretary is in the pocket of snr civil servants. Struggling to rationalise this apathy otherwise.

  3. I suspect that Sodexo & WL & probably most other CRC owners have access to far sharper legal brains acutely attuned to dismantling pre-existing agreements. They have resources beyond the dreams of the unions & the capacity to sit on or delay proceedings until challengers (unions or individuals) collapse, exhausted & destitute.

    What I asked my union to do in 2015 was to go for the SoS directly (e.g. breach of contract, constructive dismissal) as the SoS designed & imposed the transfer outwith TUPE arrangements, thus they are (1) responsible for the transfer agreement & (2) the golden shareholder in every CRC, i.e. they have influence, authority & power of veto over the actions of each of the CRCs. The SoS could have insisted (and still can) that the CRCs honoured the agreements. But... My union refused to do this preferring to procrastinate, somehow believing they could out-manoeuvre a global bully, consequently perpetuating fear & anxiety amongst members who eventually said "enough is enough", left the union (which obviously weakened the union - own goal) then took the voluntary package out of despair.

    I felt the union chose to protect the government minister (it was Gove at the time) over protecting their members' interests.

    "The point about the CRC's being the employer is also a reasonable and interesting one but unfortunately one that we fear will mostly provide profit for lawyers as in reality if the shareholders are nearly all in one place and the golden share holder (ie the SoS) is playing the part of absentee landlord then it makes little practical difference on a day to day basis" - uh???

    In the meantime Sodexo bullied & cajoled enough staff - union & non-union members alike - into taking their voluntary package.

    IF the focus had been on the SoS as the lynchpin to TR, staff transfers & the key role of the golden shareholder then there wouldn't have been difficulties about different employers' practices, it would simply have been CRC-wide.

    I'm certain someone has previously raised the question about scrutiny of the unions involved in what some believe to have been the sacrifice of members' jobs & careers at the altar of privatisation. I think it was suggested the TUC assumed such a role.

    1. "Golden Shares: These shares were most popular during the 1980s with governments who wanted to maintain control over privatized companies. Golden shares are used mainly in the United Kingdom. In the European Union however, golden shares have been deemed illegal by the government. This type of share controls at least 51% of voting rights."

    2. From generic MoJ PR in Oct 2014:

      "However, each of the country’s 21 CRCs are up for share sale and the Government is due to decide by the end of the year which bidder will take on each organisation.

      Mr Grayling will retain a ‘golden’ share against any future possible reductions in service by any privately-owned CRC"

    3. "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.'
      To change or alter any legal agreement of staff transfer the contractor would require ratification by the employer (MOJ).
      I really can't understand why the MOJ have not been served with notice of intent of legal action if they do not take action to resolve the issue with haste. They are as stated the employer not the contractor.

  4. Donald Trump is president of the USA, my sources close to MTCNovo tell me this is great news. MTCNovo Management are fans of President Donald Trump not sure if this is to akin ideals but can tell you that is to do with Trump being a supporter of MTCNovo. Can things get any worse?

    1. It will do if MTCNovo do a 'Trump' and ban muslims from working in or visiting its offices!!

    2. Our multi cultural country would grind to a halt!

  5. Most recently published (26 jan 2017) performance data available here:

    1. Unfortunately no data is available for those pesky RARs or, for that matter, a number of other "metrics". Still, its early days as CRCs have only been in existence since June 2014 (in MoJ ownership) and in the hands of new owners since Feb 2015, so we're only a couple of years into the guaranteed six yearly jackpots.

      Just a thought - who is the independent auditor of this data (given that the government is NOT independent or without vested interest in the 'success' of these new TR structures)?

  6. Crime increases in Avon and Somerset with 30,000 more committed in 2016 than in 2014

    There's also a short piece in the Plymouth Express today claiming that released prisoners are being 'recommended' to go and live in the Devon and South West upon their release.
    Wondering if there's a correlation to be made there,or maybe it's just CRCs stockpiling it's 'stock'?
    Either way, it's quite a significant rise in crime!

    ' Getafix

    1. Nice area, nice weather - might be worth a short sentence to be relocated to Devon or Cornwall?!

    2. BBC Local News:-

      The elected Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, believes the area's homeless problem is being made worse by jails advising ex-prisoners to move to the Bay on release.

      Conservative Mr Oliver said he was so worried about it that he'd written to the prisons minister and the Home Secretary.

      The council recently won a £400,000 grant from the government to help deal with the issue, and Mr Oliver said he wanted to tackle the problem head on. But he said the issue may not be a purely local one.

      The Ministry of Justice said it did not advise offenders on where to go on release from prison.

    3. Usual Tory scaremongering bullshit & clearly an effective means of pocketing an extra £400,000. This from Shelter:

      "Prisoners and ex-offenders treated as intentionally homeless -

      The council's homelessness department may decide that you are intentionally homeless if you were evicted from your previous home because of criminal or antisocial behaviour or because of rent arrears resulting from your time in prison.

      If the council decides you are intentionally homeless, it only offers you limited help with finding housing. If you are in priority need, you may be offered temporary accommodation for a short period only.

      The council may take the view that you could be expected to know that your criminal activity could result in you being sent to prison, and that this could lead to the loss of your home.

      The council is less likely to decide this if the loss of your home didn't directly follow on from you being sent to prison, for example, if you made an arrangement for another person to pay the rent while you were away but that arrangement broke down.

      A council could also decide that you are intentionally homeless if you gave up your tenancy because your entitlement to housing benefit ended during a period in prison.

      It is very important to seek advice from a housing adviser, particularly in cases where it could be argued you were sent to prison for a crime that was not premeditated, or was not deliberate because you were not able to understand the consequences of your own actions.

      This could be the case because of:

      having limited mental capacity
      mental illness
      an assessed substance abuse problem"

      And only if you can show a local connection.

    4. Trust me, the weather ain't great either!

    5. It was ever thus - as a Liverpool poo in 1970s there were always clients working or seeking work, in fact I suspect unemployed and unattached folk have been seeking accommodation & occupation there since before the Great Western Railway produced this poster in 1927!

    6. Liverpool poo - what a fine typo - with apologies to God's Holy City!