Saturday, 4 March 2017

Napo Pay and Reward

One of the exciting aspects of the internet revolution is the democratisation of publishing via a growing number of platforms, such as Linked-in. I notice Napo Assistant General Secretary Dean Rogers has used the facility to publish a number of articles, including three on pay and reward. This is the first from November 2016:-   

TIME FOR A RADICALLY NEW APPROACH TO PUBLIC SECTOR PAY & REWARD

I’m currently involved in negotiations for a new pay and reward system for the probation service. It’s easy to see why reform’s needed but much more difficult to see how a sustainable model could work given the complex and competitive challenges facing probation, like much of the public sector. As we start to test models I’m increasingly asking if, in a radically new operating environment, we don’t need radically different solutions to some of the big public sector pay challenges – involving an holistic, strategic, whole-career approach which incentivises working in public service in new ways.

In a series of three articles I look at how the unique circumstances behind the mess that probation finds itself in can hold the clues to how we can recover the lost ground on pay; then I look at the acute challenge of paying public sector staff in expensive areas like London; and then at how probation could be a testing ground for exploring radical ideas to recruit and retain staff in expensive areas without inflating the local market and entrenching the problem even further for generations to come.

If you look up and allow yourself to view things from a different perspective an interesting picture begins to form where pensions, savings, professional development and welfare incentives start to make public service look much more interesting.

Grayling’s Probation Earthquake

Chris Grayling’s Transforming Rehabilitation Revolution was an earthquake across probation. Massive organisational upheaval has undermined staff morale and increased workloads – a public sector legacy even in the newly privatised parts of the business. Many have left and more and more still want to escape. In London and the South-East the new internal market is amplifying recruitment and retention problems up to deafening levels. Huge sums are needed to put right years of pay problems at exactly the moment the service is under greatest scrutiny to deliver more for less on the back of Grayling’s catastrophic revolution.

All parties, including unions and multiple new employers recognise that the current probation wide pay system isn’t working. Only the degree of emphasis varies between parties when stressing the model’s lack of transparency, competitiveness, flexibility, fairness or measurable equitability. Designed almost a decade ago around funding assumptions to facilitate ‘progression’ up ludicrously long broad scales, the model is a dinosaur who’s aspirations were endangered as soon as the government’s public sector Pay Ice Age kicked in. Progression was replaced by stagnation. Now, this mess provides a barrier to all and any efforts to rebuild across the new probation landscape - efforts to reform how probation works in general are undermined by a redundant pay system and underinvestment that makes choosing probation an uncompetitive option. The risk that new competitors start looking for their own short term solutions risks, in the medium to long term, only making things more complicated for the service as a whole.

Who controls the market?

Most public sector pay reform over the last two decades has involved addressing some combination of external competition (e.g. Why teach when society places a value on trainees accountants usually about x4 a newly qualified teacher?) with internal fairness issues (e.g. equal pay claims from women school cleaners earning less than male bin men). In almost all cases there were three other commonalities impacting negotiations – 1. Most staff had reached a rate for the job which may or may not have been seen as competitive to the private sector; 2. the negotiations were timed against a recruitment or retention crisis in some critical areas of service delivery; and 3. The employers control of these factors had been (or was being) reduced by greater market competition (e.g. agencies emerging in the health and social work).

Arguably there is 4th common factor – the negotiators didn’t have the freedom to really make a big difference to headline pay or to develop different approaches or ‘think outside the box’, usually because of funding restraint from their governors, meaning their ‘competitors’ could respond and react to any outcomes and immediately unpick any solution, especially market competitors with greater flexibility. No real lasting solution was found, even if some heat was taken out of a specific recruitment and retention crisis.

Probation finds itself in a slightly different position – ironically the catastrophic failure of Grayling’s revolution combined with the particularly acute failings of the current pay model means some of this pressure is dissipated. The vast majority of staff in most of the broad pay ranges, some of whom have been in post since before the current pay model was adopted around a decade ago, are still nowhere near their anticipated pay band maxima – the point that someone somewhere in the Treasury must have at some point used in their budget calculations. In theory, this gives negotiators extra flexibility, although any contractual progression would still need to be bought out.

Alongside this, new contract owners have neither the confidence nor the capacity to innovate as yet. The ideological rush to sell the contracts before the last election means they didn’t know what they were buying because the MoJ didn’t really know what they were selling and so now nothing works or adds up. Trust is minimal and promised profits haven’t materialised. This goes some way to neutralising the threat that contractors do their own thing or quickly react to any centralised change – government has more control of at least the local probation the market.

What’s the cost of reform?

The unique probation perspective doesn’t mean that pay reform can wait indefinitely. The service is now running on goodwill and the rotten pay system is getting up people’s noses. Highly skilled staff are getting a closer sight of alternative career options as they work closer to better paid colleagues in parts of the prison service, or see old friends with greater flexibility and less stress earning similarly in charities or other social work related roles they’d be qualified to do. Agencies are circling seeing an opportunity.

Alongside these retention pressures are increasing difficulties attracting people into probation. Starting salaries especially for a fully qualified post-graduate probation officer of around £26,000 or £29,000 in London just don’t cut it when they see the workloads, pressures and low morale, especially when progression is so slow and advertised maxima look like mis-selling. Why opt for probation when social work or teaching pay more and more quickly?

So a solution must be found and could be found with some controlled de-frosting of government pay restraint. Quite large increases could be offered and pay scales radically shortened to unfairness without significantly increasing the potential long-term pay bill if most staff reached their current contractual maxima (as is the case in most public sector professions). Using the review to address the existing grade boundaries could promote greater flexibility and provide a win-win – especially in entry level management grades who are the ‘Engagement Gatekeepers’.

The biggest problem with any solution may be selling it. Staff are still traumatised and reeling from the revolution so trust in any change may be a hard sell but not as challenging for unions as convincing MoJ paymasters to be brave and adopt something radical. I’d happily sell a deal with double digit % increases but won’t get a chance if Ministers think teachers, nurses and doctors may notice and ask for the same. One suggested way around this is setting increases in hard numbers not percentages, which also may help increase transparency and value in an award.

A deal can be done that gets probation pay back to where it should be and improves transparency, fairness and morale whilst making probation more competitive. However, that’ll just be catch-up. What would be really interesting is if, for once, probation was a testing ground for something more radical and positive.

Dean Rogers

61 comments:

  1. There is no way that private companies will raise wages, they are looking to cut cost due to hemorrhaging money

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  2. Wordy crap what's the matter with guy write properly.

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    1. One of the problems in discussing topics relevant to probation recently has been a dumbing down of debate in response to ill informed heckling and attacks on the person rather than the ideas. Your comment epitomises the problem. Rogers writes well and is articulate. That is not to say he wouldn't benefit from editing to bring greater clarity to his ideas that are both pertinent and timely.

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    2. Dean Rogers takes with one hand (our collective bargaining) and promises us better pay. An unachievable demand, reality or dream.

      This is clearly a classic case of provincialism. He will run for Ian (has anyone seen or heard of him lately) Lawrence's job. Be careful what he will take with his other hand. Nasty nasty little man.

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    3. Anon 11:02

      Unfortunately the problem at times lay with the individual. Look how lamentable Napo have become. Look deep and hard at national.

      Ian Lawrance has disappeared. Dean Rogers is a sly and contemptible recreant.

      Locally we have a piteous David Raho. Whom only speaks in management speak. I hear it is the dernier cri at mtc head quarters. We have an invisible vice chair.

      Is there anyone good left? Anyone strong and tenacious that can lead us nationally or locally? Because I see no one.

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    4. Who is the vice chair of London branch? What is their name and position within the community rehabilitation company?

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    5. Dont ask me I have never seen him. Is it me or does it feel like branch meetings are more nps focused.

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    6. Just like this email from Deen Rogers TIME FOR A RADICALLY NEW APPROACH TO PUBLIC SECTOR PAY & REWARD so yet again crcs get screwed over time and time again.

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    7. The quality of the comments of this blog seem to have hit rock bottom. That's me done and outta here.

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    8. Anonymous 4 March 2017 at 20:33
      Although I do not fully agree with personal unfair attacks on individuals. I do support fair criticism when it is brandished. Remember Napo's own website had such heavy censorship people left in their droves to come here. It does bother me when people start complaining persistently about comments and threaten to leave. Come on we are probation officers we have heard, seen and felt far worse. Also is this how we tackle disagreement. Threaten to leave and have a cheap dig before one parts? What happened to challenging or persuading people with differing views. No wonder we lost the TR battle if this is the outcome of disagreement.

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    9. Totally agree debate is good and healthy this is usually a cheap tactic often used online to shut debate and discussion down. I think they call it being a snowflake.

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    10. I think the vice chair for london works as a trainer in Hannibal House Karen Mulang I think she was a pso before that.

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    11. Don't kid yourselves it is debate. Having a go at elected local union reps who volunteer to spend their time representing union members and trying to get a fair deal in the current environment and who are not paid and largely perform a thankless task is both cowardly and a cheap shot. You should be ashamed of yourselves and if you are not then you should be.

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    12. The London Branch CRC Co Chair and Vice Co Chair both sit within Mtcnovo HQ. They do not nor have they practised front line probation work for several years. They do not know the sufferance of hot desking, being at the bottom end of robust policy processes and procedures, the constant change in management, movement across boroughs cohort model back to non cohort model on top of staff sickness or lack of retention. Nor do they understand current social problems and the impact this has on membership personally or our clientele who suffer the worst.

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    13. Branch chair too busy supping capucino's with Helga by the coffee machine. You know MTC head office has an instant coffee maker and Raho is often heard bragging about the powerful and influencial ears he has at head office. What do you have in your office? Lucky to have a working kettle. No free coffee for us minions.

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    14. Anon 21:12

      I'll deconstruct your post.

      Don't kid yourselves it is debate. Having a go at elected local union reps who volunteer to spend their time.

      It is a debate. David Raho was often on here pontificating when others were being decimated. Just because he no longer wants to offend Helga and can't come on here to defend the indefensible does not mean this is not a debate.

      Also he is unelected and by law has facility time so does not volunteer his time. Let's get things into perpesrcive.
      We want a chair that supports industrial action that is willing to fight and put his own head above the parapet. We do not need hot hair and senior management collusion as one poster stated already name one thing he has achieved since being chair? What are his politics his aims and ambitions for Napo? At worse he is a management stooge at best an empty vessel.

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    15. 21:16 You are aware that being the Chair of Napo in London at the moment is a thankless task. Strangely enough you sound like a very bitter person who doesn't know London CRC very well. Where David is based it's the HQ of London CRC. MTCnovo have their HQ elsewhere. I know David Raho well and he does not need to brag and he certainly doesn't deserve the sort of crap being doled out on here by a pack of union bashing hyenas.

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    16. 21:38 If you are a member of Napo London Branch then you are free to bring a motion to the next branch meeting calling for a vote of no confidence in the crc chair. I am certain that if a challenger who thought they were up for it put it to a vote and won then David would step aside and resign from all his other posts also. That person if successful would then quickly realise what a mistake they have made. The thing is that being the Chair of London is a poison chalice that no one but the brave, those nearing retirement, or the stupid would take on if they knew half of what it entails. If the employers don't get you, then branch members will including ex-branch exec. The work is relentless, difficult, and thankless. Easy to call names and make silly ill informed comments but much harder to do the job and keep going.

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    17. Thanks Mr Raho

      Anonymous4 March 2017 at 22:12

      I will hold you to it when I stand for Co Chair at the next branch meeting.

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    18. I'm sure he will be personally relieved if you took over but concerned that you and London branch would be f***ed big time.

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    19. Anon at 22:12 so Mr Raho you regret being chair and believe representing your members is a poison chalice? I am lost for words.

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    20. 22:55 I would have thought it is highly unlikely that Raho is speaking to you or you to him.

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    21. 21:38 Admit you are Raho

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  3. I would not return to a CRC PO role even with a double digit pay rise. I could earn £28 per hour through an agency and work local but won't touch it. Would rather earn less in a role I can take satisfaction and pride in. To put it crudely my view of CRC PO role is akin to being a sweated computer jockey. Pay review overdue certainly but a wider review also I would say.

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    1. I agree a wider review is required of which pay should be an important element. Probation as a profession is under attack as we know. We have failed as a profession to either maintain or a achieve a mechanism by which pay and terms and conditions of employment. The opportunity and proposal to do this independently by the now much diminished Probation Institute via professional registration and continuing professional development(CPD)has been consistently shot down in flames. The NPS and what was NOMS has recently made noises about performing a similar function. Meanwhile CRCs, the majority of whom don't give a rats tiddle about probation as a profession, are now exploring modern apprenticeships. At least this offers a glimmer of hope of gaining a transferable qualification and a possible pathway for career progression. The design of training programs however has long been recognised as political as performance criteria are designed to reflect what skills are required to to the job which requires there to be a consistent idea of what the job consists of. The NPS (or whatever they might be called after April) may have an idea a about this but other probation service providers, Mayors etc may have other ideas about the skills they require from probation professionals and what they are prepared to pay for them.

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    2. Its been a cruel twist of fate for all those that got shafted into CRC's. I know that NPS had have some problems but nothing compared to what officers are facing in the CRC's. Its been career/life changing and has damaged many colleagues health and is totally unfair. We did not ask to be shafted and now we are being treated as second rate professionals and discarded at will.

      How can people with the same qualifications and roles be treated so differently.

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  4. Because we let them.

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    1. Yes in part but no wonder membership is weak, look at our leaders. National have a general secretary hitching to retire, an assistant general secretary who is devious and looking to replace Ian Lawrence (must be drooling at the prospect of a 100k a year stress free career and having to do little to earn his wage) I wonder if the press secretary comes at part of the many perks). Imagine if these corrupt useless bastards were on payment by results. You have a heavily unbalanced and equally unavailing chairs and vice chair none of whom represent the crcs. Here in London we have a branch crc chair that waffles more about what he is doing then what he has done. I do not believe he has achieved anything for london since taking post unopposed last year and a vice chair whom I have never heard of. How on earth can one attend branch meetings or read napo (local or national) missives and feel inspired or empowered.

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    2. And if they were to resign what would you have instead?

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    3. An empty chair looks better from where I sit.

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    4. Yes I too find it much easier to troll from a comfortable armchair

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    5. Not every disagreement comment is a troll. Right now I am an armchair poster. But usually I am a very able activists and Napo member. I support the democratic process that Napo have abandoned under the current management cannot call them leaders, they have been lost a long while now. No point in critiquing the lay official they are all having a go but not able trade unionists and all of them NPS. Often aggressive towards members who ask questions intolerant of anything PSO or CRC poor show. London have been by virtue of many things great at electing their own but giving Napo the worst people. All London seem to do is set the wrong trend that wrong foots the rest of the Country who tray and take the big branch lead on the wrong way. Raho out of the NNC terms is a mistake of magnitude that sent them all to pull out. Why because Raho and London crony's with Mr Rogers took a chance and sold it to the members at the meeting. What they really had to do was get the matter formally objected raise the dispute (They wont because they would rather pedal a false picture to you) Tell members what that dispute is about in meetings reports and get it tabled through the process up to the joint secretaries. From there get to the lawyers and then make a claim for the total breach of the National terms on staff protections agreement. Leader test run cases and fight all the way London all talk always have been never talk well never deliver and collusion is easier as members let them. To 844 not very united as you refer to POs only this is supposed to be an all members union and it is that disenfranchisement why all POs are screwed and lost in CRCs.

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  5. 2 years since the split and still chaos. Why can't this government admit it got it wrong.

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    1. It has not got it wrong it has sacked 50 % of the public sector privatised a few more and will shaft the contractors in the long run then they will have no one left in the pensions scheme then they would achieved what they set out to do.

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  6. I genuinely feel for those who got shafted in the Grayling CRC Omnishambles. I'm not going to waste my energy even speaking about that complete waste of space - good luck transport sector, I wish you all the best. Some heartfelt and good officers were forced across to CRC at the detriment of Probation as a whole. All is not good in the NPS either. I can only speak from NPS perspective and it is a complete shambles. Our profession (and this goes for NPS and CRC) has been dampened down. I am now an overpaid secretary who doesn't carry out risk assessments as I was trained to do but instead have to justify to the parole board why a service user has not completed his targets. It seems that everyone and their dog are running around saying "me, me, me" and nothing is getting achieved but no end product as too many agencies involved and eating at the core aspect of our work. A complete pile of dogsh*t and the politicians need to be held to account for not only putting the public at risk and covering up SFOs in the corporate Tory world we live in but also for the absolute waste of public finances that is now more and more evident. This is not all about Prisons as the media would lead you to believe. Whilst there are big problems within the prisons (cue Grayling with blood on his hands), the wider issue stretches to Probation as well. Without a strong and robust Probation Service, the prisons are and always will be a failure.

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  7. Dean Rogers narrative sounds good but does anyone know what his achievements have been since his inception to NAPO ? He has been banging on about our pay system but achieved nothing but hot air. Like Ian he too has sold out members, every year he babbles on about a broken pay system as if we don't know already yet he advises members to accept a pay award that gives us in real terms a reduction in our wages. He has the audacity and ignorance to tell members to accept what the government offers us because he says they wont offer us any more so what is the point of Dean Rogers, he needs to go with Ian. We need leaders with courage and intelligence not hot air and gusto. We need to down tools, enough is enough.

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    1. Anonymous 4 March at 20:31 best comment on here today by far. Not a personal or unfair attack but an honest observation. It is quite clear Dean spouts hot air with no substance, I am currently focused on Dean because Ian appears to be on a long holiday. I guess Deans blog from November 2016 is simply to keep his job options open. On line lookers will see this and think he would make a good general secretary he cares about pay. When in fact he has rattled on about crap pay whilst being paid far more than he is worth to an audience that are experiencing real poverty. Yet every year he tells us to accept our crap pay rises. You could not make this up. I remember when napo were fierce. Now we are just paltry in size and vigour.

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    2. Down tools don't have a laugh we had an indicative ballot which was totally ignored by National Napo. Sainsburys has taste the finest Napo is Value No Frills.

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    3. Speculating that Ian Larence may go ? He will want to put his pal in his place. What we need is a genuine outside candidate to run in the next election. They could be total rubbish but they will win because nothing can be worse than what we have. Anyone know of anyone ? Lets get an alternative campaign running any old book any other candidate

      EG Current GS odds on favourite ?
      Dean Roger 50 \ 50
      Outsider in the running Non runner the chairs will see to that !

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  8. I believe NAPO did a deal behind closed doors a long time ago. For a union,some of the things they say are absolutely unbelievable, extraordinary.

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    1. Yes both nationally and currently locally have you seen David Raho's instructions to staff. I mean messages to members.

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    2. I'm sure a treacherous backstabber like you will not keep us in suspense long if you can do some damage.

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  9. Anonymous4 March 2017 at 21:19
    have you been to a london meeting lately minus the retired and nps members you are left with about 3 crc members do you want to know why. members in the crc are disgusted with the lack of support they are receiving his emails or lack of are managerial in style when he speaks apart from being dull as ditch water he really isnt saying anything of value or relevance usually about how hard he is working. come on name one thing he has achieved since becoming chair unopposed.

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    1. Then oppose him and be done with your tiresome cackling.

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    2. Can only oppose at an election which is not for another year but I will repeat the question please answer. Name one thing he has achieved? Answer or move on with your tiresome cackling.

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    3. One must remember he does not brag. Or is it one cannot brag because one has done f all for the members.

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    4. You seem to have an unusually good knowledge of the London Branch Constitution. Simply let David know you want to run as crc chair and I am sure when made aware of your considerable skills he would resign immediately and let members decide if you can do a better job. That is unless you are not eligible......

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    5. He has achieved something following on from the other London Fiasco chairs he has made the gross error of leading a branch out of national collective bargaining . This makes your London chair anti union and complete stooge for Rogers and swingeybank.

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  10. Having read some of these posts I am aghast. David Raho is no champion of the people nor is he the villain portrayed on here. However I am interested in running for Co Chair I am a retired member and feel unlike David Raho as I have no pay master I would not be compromised by mtcnovo, I am not suggesting in anyway David Raho is compromised but it clearly could be seen as a conflict of interest in this new world we live in. If not now, potentially in the future. Firstly would anyone be willing to support me? Would it be constitutional? I think we should have this as a separate topic Jim there are so many vacant posts all over the countires and so many able and willing retiree members. David Raho could step down and focus on his career being Co Chair cannot be easy and someone with time and freedom could step up.

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    1. Yes please as long as it isn't Mike Guilfoyle. Haven't we suffered enough.

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    2. Mike would be better than David he is admired and widely respected unlike David whom is loathed far and wide.

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    3. Sack Raho immediately. David Masterson would make an excellent Co-Chair. He doesn't give a damn about who he upsets and i never heard him talk management once. He has already served as Vice Chair and will tell MTCnovo where to go in no uncertain terms. Masterson will register a dispute and take us all out for as long as it takes. Let's do it. Support Masterson to teach the privateering c**** a lesson.

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    4. 23:08 great talk love it. Mike G is a good guy he lest his heart rule and writes passionately. He could lead but his gifts in my opinion at least are his gently style of politic wont threaten the management they like their new knee length boots. I heard all the CRCs leaders are meeting shortly and they are being taught how to goose step in time, while marching to 40s band music. They are all up for it I hear and they have had a fair bit of practice already. Any objecting they have solution.

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    5. If not Mikey G then who? I mean london is complex right. Lots of policies and negotiations and shit. loads of stuff to do and not a lot of people volunteering orar sed. . Like you need someone who knows wha t thei r doing. if we do away with Raho then we need someone better right? So who is lining up to take it on?

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  11. In other news ... The Transforming Rehabilitation Revolution continues to live up to expectations and the authors of its design are left hidden behind squabbling aftermath.

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    1. Classic. I'd be surprised if any players are actually reading this or participating. These are just the regulars trying to wind each other up. Demonising leaders is a great armchair sport for those incapable of doing anything constructive. Leave them to it and they'll conclude that Napo went down hill after Bill Beaumont was chair and that London is in fact always wrong because London cannot by definition be right.

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    2. To call criticism of weak union leaders an armchair sport is folly. I hope those being criticised do not shrug this off as trolling. Membership is down activism is down attendance at AGM and branch meetings is down. Look at the motions oops there arent any. Membership are battered from TR and no one locally or nationally has the wow factor. I'll stick with napo despite this being in the NPS in London I know we have good reps and unfortunately that is all napo is an insurance policy for when your manager wants to screw you over. But if these criticisms with all the other falling numbers and participation are ignored. Then napo is doomed.

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  12. Well London are wrong most of the time look at the national chairs it spawned, it votes anti agm motions and as these comments clearly demonstrate it dominates the topic London London London. London need to grow up and shut up. Your bickering is not required on here.

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  13. Yes London take your petty disputes somewhere else. All the action happens in Rutland.

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  14. Do you guys seriously want David Raho to stand down as CRC Co-Chair of Napo London Branch and replace him with a well meaning retired member? No doubt such a member may presently feel well motivated up to the job and ready to commit themselves fully to the challenge but inevitably within days of taking it on reality will hit them hard and firmly in the cahoonies. Just for starters They will find themselves travelling from one end of London to the other to attend meetings and representations daily having to cope with frequent rescheduling at short notice that makes it near impossible to plan anything. They will find themselves having to attend two hour plus often heated and unpleasant meetings twice a week that they will not be briefed for (maybe ten plus documents to read and digest in detail) full of corporate people who have no idea of what probation practice is about and who are blatantly hostile to union input. They will find themselves being contacted 24 hours a day by desperate members, some suicidal, who want their problems solved immediately and for resolutions to be found to their satisfaction however unrealistic. There will be no let up or time off at weekends. They will find their every word whether spoken or written scrutinised like they were public property. That’s just the local business and then they have all the national things and politics to attend to and as the biggest branch in Napo the must take a lead on things there too or be criticised. For no good reason, they will find their professional reputation, their personality traits, their habits, their appearance, their sexuality and even their leisure interests being subjected to scrutiny and snide comments by anonymous people who may face to face pretend to be their friends and/or supporters. What may have seemed like an interesting retirement project may soon seem like project nightmare as everyone will look to them to make decisions and lead but as soon as they do so then those same people will turn on them accusing them of collusion, treachery and dishonesty. So good luck with the coup because anyone taking on that job with their eyes wide open has got to be either be phenomenally talented and thick skinned or a socio path with a taste for self-abuse or simply incredibly naïve and stupid. So be careful what you wish for because you may not get what you want but you may well get what you deserve. I wouldn't do it if you paid me.

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    1. Perfectly summed-up Anon 10:42. Please stick to the arguments and lay-off personal abuse.

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