Friday, 31 March 2017

Latest From Napo 142

Here we have the usual Friday blog post from Napo General Secretary:-


To say it’s been an interesting and full on week for Napo is a bit of an understatement. We have some important news to announce for NPS members shortly about the conclusion of the negotiations on the Maternity policy and harmonisation package which are now with the Probation Negotiating Committee for their views.

On Tuesday I gave oral evidence to the Justice Select Committee (JSC) hearing into Transforming Rehabilitation along with Unison, which was the second slot in a session which also featured the Probation Institute and witnesses from the DTV and Thames Valley CRCs.

Here is the link: (you can skip to the union slot at about 10:11 in the stream).

As I have found during previous appearances before this and other Committees such as the Treasury Select and Public Accounts, you can prepare all that you want but there are always ‘curve ball’ questions waiting to happen.

Our members will judge for yourselves as to how effective the unions were in getting the key points across, but the feedback has been extremely positive, and of course I will be writing to Committee Chair Bob Neill to follow up on our contribution which was the culmination of our considerable efforts to engage with as many of the individual JSC members as possible over the past few months.

We now await the publication of the Probation Service Review and it’s hoped that the JSC will want to delve into the recommendations that will come with this. More news about this soon.

Given that Brexit and the aftermath of last week’s atrocity in Westminster dominated the news it was welcome to see the Daily Mirror manage to give the JSC some coverage along with yet another story about G4S and their dodgy electronic tags.

Here is the link to that and the Ministerial statement

Statement to Parliament: Justice update

Goodbye NOMS

It will take some time for the new HMPPS logo to become established but as from next week NOMS will officially no longer exist.

All conventional wisdom suggests that the original concept of NOMS has failed to bring about the wholesale reform to the prisons and probation components of the criminal justice system that it was created for. We all live in hope that the Ministerial commitments to do something about the prisons crisis and the state that Grayling has left Probation in are real, and don’t just join the pile of meaningless waffle that have come from countless former Secretaries of State.

Pay problem in MTC Novo

Dean Rogers and Yvonne Pattison responded quickly to a number of enquiries from worried members this morning Friday that they had not been paid this month.

I am assured that the issue is being addressed with some urgency by senior MTC management who have assured us that they will be contacting all staff to update them and that support will be offered.

Napo’s experience from supporting members in similar situations elsewhere has been that banks and building societies are much more understanding if organisations fail to pay staff than may have historically been the case, nevertheless we expect the situation to be resolved quickly.

What’s Napo doing?

Another excellent edition of our online Journal Napo Quarterly can be accessed through this link

If our current members and those who are thinking about joining or re-joining want to see a comprehensive digest of the various things we are trying to do across the 24 employers then this is as good a summary as it gets.

Lots going on even as I write this so do look out for more news on a host of issues over the course of next week.


  1. Probation Officer31 March 2017 at 16:27

    Salaries are paid every month using the same process. An organisation cannot fail to pay everyone due to a "glitch". Either this is due to a wider payment/process/IT problem they knew about well in advance, or because they just don't have the money, or a ploy to steal a few days interest, or just plain laziness by the London CRC payroll dept. Pick which excuse you like, but London CRC has a legal obligation to pay its staff on time. This is simply not good enough, and nor is the union response.

    1. From a previous Napo GS blog:

      "It couldn’t get any worse as these things go.’ That was my opening line in the full and frank meeting yesterday between the trade unions, MTC Novo and the Director of Probation."

      Wrong again, Ian. It just has. People aren't getting paid!

  2. I've never been a GS of a union, or in receipt of £70K+ a year, but rather than write jolly drivel about being "assured" by those who have a history of lying I think I'd be meeting with whoever ain't paying my members' wages, banging on tables & rattling cages.

    Looking at the posts on the earlier blog it seems evident that no-one had contacted staff.

    Come on, Ian Lawrence, how many more opportunities do you need to be presented with to show you CAN do it?

    1. "MTC management who have assured us that they will be contacting all staff to update them and that support will be offered."
      Well it's 5o'clock,so what's the updated position on pay? Have all staff been contacted?

    2. I guess they have until 11:59 pm tonight to honour the "last day of the month" pay date. But what's the likelihood MTC payroll dept is working past 5pm to fix this?

    3. Its just one more disgraceful act of contempt by the privateers. Thoughts are with those who have been placed in a really shitty position by their incompetent employer. Wonder how far up the tree this pay "glitch" reaches?

  3. Working links have paid for swanky smartphones for CRC staff who haven't asked for them and were quite happy with the old ones! Taxpayers are being fleeced! On a positive note there is mpre money to spend on toys when you have cut 40% of your workforce and they continue to leave in droves. Lone working policy needs an overhaul because that is the reality in some operational offices ( by that I mean offices designed to supervise offenders..not admin hubs or remote management.)

  4. Unpaid Work Supervisors in DDC CRC have been given the new smart phones and are also under pressure to accept laptops, most CPS are not engaging as seems to be a sly way of imposing new working practices. Re lone working, Supervisors have been asking for an up to date policy (current one is a generic one, generally covering lone working in office environments etc not lone supervisors working outside in sometimes remote locations) Plus would love to see a risk assesment for the same!!!!

  5. Talking of wages Ian; how much does a Probation Officer get paid? You looked like an idiot when asked by Keith Vaz as you floundered like a stranded fish and eventually made up a figure off the top of your head which was miles away from reality. You are meant to be negotiating with employers on our behalf and you don't even know what we get paid! I'd also like to know what the "curve ball" questions you were asked were. As far as I could see all the questions were easily predictable. Your UNISON counterpart, who was fully across his brief, didn't seem to have any problem. Face facts Ian, you are rubbish at this sort of thing and are not capable of leading Napo forward. Do the decent thing and go now so someone else can try to restore Napo's credibility in the eyes of politicians, employers and front line staff. In the offices that I frequent it's seen as an irrelevance. Much of that is down to you.

  6. Not about probation, but anyone involved in doing oasys, risk assessments, or involved in the sentencing process (or lots of other areas of the CJS) may find this article as thought provoking and as fascinating as I do.


  7. In the Mail on Sunday the big revelation was that the CRCs were throwing in the towel. Correct me if I'm wrong - I'm not - but didn't Blunt and Grayling factor in penalties that would ruin the MOJ if it tried to go back to the former organisation?. What's the chances that their outsourcing future employers had the same booby traps on their side of the bargain. Nil. I should care less, I went 2 years ago but I can't help experiencing schadenfreude at the whole debacle.