Thursday, 3 August 2017

Napo At Work in the South West 9

Following on from yesterday's demands to bring Probation in Wales back into public control, here we have some recent email exchanges from another part of the Working Links empire that indicates all is not well. As always, thanks go to the Napo member and reader for keeping us informed:-

South South Western Branch

CRC Members - WORKLOAD INDICATOR 26/07/2017

By now you will have read the WL Justice News 24/07/2017 and mention of the Workload Indicator tool.

Please note that the statement within this newsletter "This has been approved by the Operations Board following a period for review by managers and Unions." is construed to be somewhat misleading. The facts are that at no time have NAPO Representatives had sight of their management resources allocator prior to its release . There has been no short sides dialogue or setting out of timings and nothing under the duty of care from health and safety or what should be organised under our terms in the WPEC agreements that WL have so far refused point blank to actually look at to honour.

Some reps from BGSW and Wales may have had some cursory conversations in this but the fact remains that DDC Napo SSW branch have previously reminded Mr Wiseman during the last ACAS meeting that we are three seperate organisations and three seperate Napo Branches. You have not elected Representatives from Wales and BGSW to act on your behalf and yet again this reference to Unions within the Justce News is distorted and UNISON do not represent us . So often we hear the coments from Managers that the Unions have been involved therby misrepresenting to encourage an assumption that the Unions have agreed. This is not neccessarily the fault of the Line Management as they are most likley passing on what they have been told, although we are aware that some do blatantly mislead and directly claim agreements knowing these are just not true.

The important thing to note is that you have elected local reps to deal with all matters relating to your terms. By deliberately failing to consult properly with your representatives from all three branches they bypass the agreed collective bargaining arrangements to consultation with your local Branch.

We are likely to see more propoganda and misleading material as such misleading statements are nothing new in the history of Justice News. Next time you do see or hear such statements ask which Branch it has been agreed with, who the reps were,what date was the official meeting where is a signed agreement and then check with myself or Dino and tell them your going to do that before any acceptance of the position they propose.

Given that DDC SSW branch have not been privy to this consultation nor has any information been passed to us for consideration we advise members not to recognise this porcess until consultation has included DDC Branch Reps.

Denice James


Dear Denice
I was very disappointed, not to say disturbed, to read the message which you sent out yesterday to your members which I have copied below for ease of reference:

For the avoidance of all doubt and in order to set the record straight, I attach, below, a copy of the e mail that was sent to yourself and all the official NAPO and Unison representatives across both BGSW and DDC by Elaine Berk on my behalf on 12 June, 2017, inviting comments in writing in relation to the Workload Indicator Tool and Guidance, copies of which were issued with that e mail.

You were, yourself, party to the early discussions re the development of a workload measurement tool and you will know very well from the discussions that we have had with the Unions over recent months that there has been an open invitation to the Unions across all 3 CRCs to participate in the working group developing the Workload Indicator.

To suggest, therefore, that the process to date has not included DDC Branch reps is not only disingenuous but it is simply not true.

The fact that neither you nor your colleagues chose to submit any comments in writing or otherwise during the consultation period does not negate the process of consultation and having followed that process we are now entirely within our rights to implement the Workload Indicator Tool as indeed we are now doing.

You also make reference to the WPEC Agreement, the contents of which have been thoroughly reviewed in the course of the development of the Workload Indicator Tool and incorporated as appropriate, as the e mail below confirms.

Regardless of whatever advice you may give your members, meanwhile, please be under no illusions that this can in any way prevent the legitimate use of the tool which is designed, when all is said and done, to assist managers and staff to ensure that no individual staff member is required to undertake more than a reasonable workload.

To summarise, therefore, the workload indicator tool has been the subject of a consultation process, whether or not you have chosen to participate in that process. This does not require Union agreement and managers will be applying the workload indicator tool with immediate effect, with or without the explicit consent of individual staff members but for the benefit of those individuals and to ensure an equitable and manageable distribution of the work within teams.

I am asking Elaine Berk to issue this e mail to all staff so that they can see for themselves exactly what the process has been and as I say, the tool will be implemented across all case management teams with immediate effect.

PS a separate version of the Workload Indicator is currently in development for staff in interventions and CP and this, too, will be subject to a similar consultation process prior to formal implementation.

Dear colleagues:
We are issuing this Workload Indicator and guidance to managers today. We have asked managers to test this with their teams and give feedback so that we can make adjustments or improvements if required. Your feedback will also be appreciated and should be submitted, in writing to myself by close of play on 28th June.

The tool is an indicator only and cannot be a perfect measure. However what it will do is highlight where workload appears to be excessive, ensure conversations with individuals begin and that steps are taken as appropriate to address excessive workload within the framework of the guidance.

If you need further explanation on how the points have been arrived at we can arrange this for you as we know the union rep was unable to attend all the meetings on the development of the tool.

We have looked at the Devon and Cornwall Probation Area WPEC agreement from 2006 which was based on the old NWMT, including measurements for current NPS activities that are no longer relevant. The work done to develop this new tool will match to the CRC tasks and give a useful indicator for staff and managers on workload. Nevertheless we appreciate the principles contained in the WPEC and aim to have covered these in the new guidance for managers.

Specifically regarding the 6 Criteria in section 3.1. we confirm the WLI and guidance includes that:

1. Managers accept responsibility to ensure staff do not carry excessive workloads and manage resources accordingly.
2. We have developed a new mechanism for monitoring the workload of staff.
3. We have guidance for managers on what they can do where an assessed workload exceeds an acceptable level
4. We have a mechanism where staff can approach managers should their workload become excessive.
5. We have not got a defined list of tasks that can be set aside if a workload is excessive but see 3 above which should address this.
6. Expects managers to ensure workload does not exceed acceptable levels where new tasks are assigned.

John Wiseman
Probation Director

South West Community Rehabilitation Companies (covering Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire(BGSW CRC) and Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (DDC CRC))


South South Western Branch 


Dear Members,
You may have seen Mr. Wiseman’s response to my previous Branch Message issued 26th July 2017. Despite his statements we remain in dispute and the matter of Workload Management is one of the many topics included. The Workload Indicator Tool is a workload resource allocation tool and NOT a workload weighting calculator for staff. Requests for shortsides discussion on such matters were originally ignored prior to the dispute and now in dispute it has not gone through the national dispute process. Let me assure you that myself and your Branch Chair Dino Peros would not agree any matter outside of that process. We are currently waiting for the date of the next meeting to be confirmed.

Members can draw their own conclusions but WPEC was raised as far back as February 2015 by us. We raised it formally in dispute at ACAS on November 22 2016 and this has become a dominant H&S issue raised again at the last dispute meeting at ACAS on 5 June 2017. This issue remains in dispute and there has been no real or genuine attempt to form working proposals.

To claim I am disingenuous is laughable yet then to state the meaning of the word illustrates a desperate and harsh stance.

I can confirm that I have received support for my comments from a UNISON colleague who reports a similar message will be issued to their members in DDC as there has been no agreement from them either on this issue.

John Wiseman states that he is disappointed and disturbed by my statement. Well the SSW Branch have been disturbed since the start of this whole process and the mention of potential redundancies. We were disturbed and disappointed when WL decided to ignore the EVR process and offered VS. They were well aware that so many staff were desperate to leave that they could let people go on the cheap. We continue to be disturbed and disappointed on an almost daily basis when listening to member’s reports of bullying from management, excessive workloads and inappropriately allocated cases.

Members we will continue to reject these failing policies and will keep you posted. This message has been sent openly to all members given John’s choice to do so.

If you have read this and not a member then come and join your local Branch. We are stronger together.

Denice James
JNCC / Staff Rep


On the subject of consultation generally, this looks interesting:-
UNISON in Court of Appeal victory over employers who fail to consult unions

UNISON has won a landmark court victory today (Friday) that makes it much harder for employers to ignore staff when making major changes in the workplace. The Court of Appeal ruling means that for the first time employers will be obliged to consult with unions around any workplace issues that affect their members.

Until now, unions only had the right to be consulted where the law required this, for example in TUPE regulations where employees transfer from one employer to another, and in redundancy cases. The ruling means employers will also have to involve unions in issues such as those around working hours and holiday pay. It will benefit thousands of employees whose rights at work are under threat and means that employers will face greater scrutiny over their treatment of staff, says UNISON.

The victory came about after the union took up a case involving parks police who were made redundant by the London Borough of Wandsworth. The Court of Appeal ruled that UNISON had the right to be consulted by Wandsworth over the job losses.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: 

“This is the second major legal victory in a week for working people. It means that employees in any workplace where there’s a union will now benefit from greater protection at work. The message to bosses is they will have to treat their staff more fairly over pay and working conditions. If they fail to consult unions then they will be acting unlawfully and could be taken to court.”


  1. Denice James a Napo rep is accused by her CEO of being a liar. He published to a wide audience -

    'To suggest, therefore, that the process to date has not included DDC Branch reps is not only disingenuous but it is simply not true'.

    These are the words of John Wiseman and he is calling her a liar. This may possibly be libelous, but at the very least it's a discreditable assault on her reputation. You can only imagine the uproar if the shoe was on the other foot. In my view Napo nationally should show solidarity with the local Rep and tell The CEO that he has overstepped a line.

    1. It all depends on who is telling lies and from what we have seen the examples to behave in such ways are manifestly in the corporate game

      It looks like lies from the top in Aurelius

    2. Interswereve lie all the time.

    3. Interswerve and the nodding dogs they've employed as managers couldn't lie straight in bed if their lives depended on it

  2. "Former prisoner and author Alex Cavendish" who was quoted in the Guardian this week is a topic of conversation on Twitter this morning - discussions about his alleged offending history.

    1. "Very quick tweet to all followers. I have a live appeal against conviction based on new evidence. At this stage I can't say anymore. Thanks."