Friday, 2 June 2017

Latest From Napo 150

Here we have edited highlights from the latest blog post by Napo General Secretary:-  


The current halt to Parliamentary proceedings means that we must await the installation of a new Government to discover when the recommendations from the Probation Service review will see the light of day.

One area that has clearly been acted upon already is that funding for CRCs to get through this current financial year has largely been put in place. There is still a huge issue over future funding against delivery of course, and talks on that continue. Meanwhile, and as far as Napo are concerned, this means that CRC employers should pay up now on the incremental progression that has already been received by NPS staff and start engaging with us on their plans for pay going forward.

What is increasingly clear is that some jittery CRC owners are now planning for further staffing cuts and/or changes to operational practice in desperate attempts to drive down their overheads. This is no surprise of course, and is one of those things that featured very high on our massive ‘we told you so’ list even before the ink had dried on the CRC share sale contracts.

Whilst we can happily say: more the fool you, to any number of CRC owners for buying into the whole shambolic TR experiment, the fact is that operational models are becoming more unsafe by the day and our members are at breaking point in a number of areas. It’s also significant that I am seeing signs that people are fast recognising that whatever we try to do by way of negotiation it may take industrial action to make something happen.

As always I will be directed by our members on this, but I have made it known not only in the 3 CRCs where I am working alongside Napo reps to try and bring the employer to account, that I will be more than happy to attend meetings to listen to our members views about their willingness to ballot for action.

Meanwhile, we know that a number of CRCs have been holding talks with outside agencies or individuals to discuss their ‘what if’ strategy. Only time will tell whether this is the precursor to some dramatic developments but the fact that it is happening indicates that jumping ship is looking like an option for some of them.

I will say what I have said to a number of CRC owners over the last three years: that if Probation is not really for you then why not hand in the keys and save everyone further grief?

NPS not doing that much better either

Tales of woe across the NPS continue to reach my inbox. Among the examples are telephones being down for 3 weeks in one location, meaning clients, victims and external agencies not being able to get in touch. I am told that there is reportedly just one mobile phone available for the team.

Elsewhere I also hear that some PQIP cohort 2 members are experiencing serious pay problems at the end of their first month in the job, with some not actually being paid. Nothing like feeling valued is there?

One Probation Officer has told their Napo rep that despite moving from a Market Forces Supplement Area some time ago, they have inexplicably received a whopping extra £*** backdated MFS in their pay. This has impacted on their tax, pension and NI position. The response via SOP is that it will now take 10-12 weeks to sort out.

Issues with Protected Pay

I should not have been surprised then to hear that this week a number of members have experienced huge problems having not received their expected protected pay entitlements. Of course we are alerting senior NPS management to this problem, one of a very long list concerning Shared Services (sic) (SSCL). Once we ascertain a better picture of the issues we hope to issue some guidance to members early next week.

It would be helpful also if Napo reps could keep their National Link Officers in the loop about what is happening here so that we can more effectively gather the necessary intelligence.

AGM 2017 - how to have your say

We have this week issued the registration material for this year’s Napo Annual General Meeting in Nottingham October 13/14

We have also issued guidance on how motions can be submitted and the rules for doing so, which say that notice in writing of any motions from a National Committee, Branch, the PSO Forum or two individual full or professional associate members of Napo must be received by the General Secretary at head office by 12 noon on Friday 18 August.

It’s also important to note that constitutional amendments may be submitted only by the NEC this year.

Motions (strictly limited to 200 words) should be sent to Napo head office on the appropriate form, BR23/2017 Motions should have a short descriptive title and please remember to complete the contact details for any queries that might arise. 


  1. Does the GS of a TRADE UNION really have nothing more to say about the PQIP cohort 2 members not receiving their pay other than 'nothing like feeling valued is there?'How about, 'withholding of pay is a clear breach of contract which Members should be pointing out to their employer immediately and demanding immediate restitution on pain of legal action?' For starters......

    1. It is actually Unlawful Withholding of Wages and can be pursued via an Employment Tribunal. Lodge a grievance is the first step in the process. Napo should not be allowing this to happen. It is illegal. They should be advising members to take action and offering the correct advice and support. Instead they let it happen. Collusion me thinks. Start striking back!!!

  2. I thought Napo ' were at work in the south west'. What work was that exactly?.teetering on the brink is an appropriate metaphor. In fact the teetering is now more of a plunge into the abyss because staff continue to leave in droves. Targets will therefor not be met and more money will be lost in fines from Government. Perhaps the Government need to take a completely different approach and reward good practice by the private companies rather than simply withdrawing funds when they fail to come up with the goods. Let's face it, these private companies are not likely to win the investors in people award any time soon. What is apparent now is that we need more well qualified and experienced staff. Staff who are well valued and looked after are more productive and more likely to is time that the Government, whoever that is next week, take stock and reverse the rot that has set in. Well, here's hoping!

  3. Off topic:

    This is worth a listen and a mention.

    Theresa May protest track, Liar Liar GE2017, number four on Official Singles Chart

  4. With specific regard to CRCs, what impact would,
    a. The threat of industrial have?
    b. Actual industrial action have?
    If they're getting that jittery and thinking of walking away, would either assist them in making their minds up?

  5. Unfortunately ( and this is not a criticism more bore out of frustration ) as is the case with staff within the criminal justice system we have not been known to be militant and anything we've previously done has been planned , which obviously defeats the bloody object of strike action - I totally understand however that people are scared of their jobs etc but WE do have to ask ourselves the question what's the alternative - for those of us within the CRC's I sèe nothing positive - maybe I'm just being negative as is the response I get from management when I voice my concerns !!

    1. I have found and continue to find that the more I talk to my managers about the nonsensical nature of the things they are asking me to do and the badness of no longer doing cerythings on my cases the more they begin to agree with me. Putting pressure on my immediate managers means they are more inclined to put pressure on their own managers. When my manager agrees with me on something I then ask him , well have you told them that upstairs ? When he says, well they won't listen I then ask him if he has talked to his management colleagues about it and if they agree with him. I base every on logic, good economic sense and on preventing further offending. These things are always in contravention of the things we are always being asked to prioritise. I justify everything I do on a case on delius, I don't think we should give up or feel frightened. You can wear systems down by resistance in the nicest possible way and by keep talking to the enemy.

  6. Anon 08:12 I appreciate your comments and support from my post at 00:22 - I have and will continue to speak to managers at ALL levels as I have no fear of them however I very much feel it is they that are ' frightened " of rocking the boat and not towing the party line - I agree that to my face they state to agree with what I say however time after time I and those of us with CGM Interswerve Justice see no evidence of any changes made nor any change to proceedures / policies - that continue to harp on at how we need to save the company money by meeting all out targets no matter what the circumstances ( case loads , actually working effectively with offenders and treating people as individuals ) heaven forbid should we incur service charges that cost Interswerve so much - they really do continue to feather their own nests and tow the party line - sad sorry state of affairs for management that apparently became Probation officers to assist people ( well some of our managers are qualified !! ) , make a difference and protect the public along the way !!

  7. Yes you are right 22.09 that it is hard to discern any changes. The only tangible change we have had in London CRC is abandonment of the "cohort model" which happened only after the inspection declared it unworkable, reservations voiced by others having been consistently ignored before in inspection. YET I have found a slight change in tone by managers lately, much less threatening and more trying to enlist cooperation. Whatever the underlying motives and intentions it is an improvement because it makes it easier for us to be able to establish dialogue. If managers are frightened then we role model to them that stance of being unafraid. If they say they agree we ask them what happens when they try to challenge things with their managers. And we let our manager know we expect them to challenge things. If the target chasing and box ticking is ever presented as "good practice " we challenge that. We challenge the definitions of the "high achievers" and the "well functioning team" when these are based on reaching targets that do not benefit service users and have no impact on the reduction in anyone's risk of harm and reoffending. A lot of this work which we can do is to just hang on to what the truth is, to express it verbally to our colleagues and managers as well as in writing on delius.

  8. Anon 11:11 thank you again in response to my post yesterday of 22:09 - all we can do is continue to question and challenge management and decisions that are not in anyone's interest of than a private companies bank balance - good to hear that you guys in London are hanging on in - many regards to you all