Monday, 11 September 2017

CRC Dispute Latest 25

Once again, thanks to the Napo member for forwarding the latest communication relating to the on-going dispute with Working Links:-

To J Wiseman Ceo DDCCRC
SSW Branch Correspondence.

Date 07 September 2017

Dear John

In our recent branch meeting and from wider discussions with NAPO members there have been some concerns raised that leads to this letter. It is important to formally place on record NAPO SSW members’ concerns. Despite the ongoing differences and issues, we remain in dispute over some of the matters noted below. The list is not exhaustive:-

  • Issues arising from the trapped staff. 
  • The failure to observe agreed and contractual obligations. 
  • Offering inappropriate and unfair terms in order to reduce staff by voluntary severance arrangements.
  • The continued failure to implement a realistic workload weighting tool in line with the national and required Workloads employee care agreements. 
  • Failure to harmonise all staff policies upwards regionally and locally. The dispute continues over implementation of the staff transfer arrangements.
  • The cuts to staffing numbers and the continued Trade Union objections to your working model which was claimed to be safe and fit for purpose by your in house company Innovation Wessex team. 
  • Lack of proper staff surveys in both well being and health and safety as requested by the joint trade unions. 
  • The attempts to vary terms and jobs without meaningful consultation and formal agreements. 
  • The continued attempts to reduce staff without their entitlements or agreed procedures, despite recent significant additional public funding of several millions of pounds. 
  • The lack of understanding the national protections of staff transfer arrangements for the life of the contract. 
  • The NNC collective terms and recognition agreements. 
  • The attempts to vary terms of reference and undermine existing entitlements. 
  • Failure to engage in meaningful consultation
  • Failure to provide financial accounts, outcomes of alleged staff surveys, and necessary document materials. 
The SSW branch does not speak for the Gloucestershire area. However, what cannot be ignored is the incredibly damning report released from the HMIP. This report partly covers the DDC area. The model in BGSW is the same in DDC and you have continued an agenda to merge the areas despite the CRCs supposedly being separate entities. Ian Lawrence NAPO General Secretary, and the wider Unions, will be preparing a detailed response to the issues which the report illustrates. No doubt there will be a range of issues that will need further examination. The indications from the report make it clear the Working Links model and what has been implemented is neither fit for purpose and is just not working. This exposes the public to greater risk of harm.

The NAPO branch membership want questions raised as to what the MOJ contract managers are actually doing to have not realised the absolute failures of the working links model in the Gloucester area? What, if anything, did they know about such a situation developing from their contract management assessments? How have their observations and auditing missed such important detail in the first place and what in fact have they been measuring?

NAPO locally and nationally have maintained the current dispute and warned of the obvious failures. These were clear to us that they were inevitable, yet you and your whole team denied any likelihood of failure. You will recall the JNCC meeting NAPO criticized the BRAG introduction and from which your working document had completely omitted to describe the process of Amber caseload management. It was astonishing to us that you had not noticed this until the trade union sides pointed it out.

The Inspection looks at the same operational model that was also imposed within the DDC area. The Union branches have continued to oppose the model. To this date we have still not received the working proposals. Napo are seeking to ensure you are prompted to look beyond the response of the Working Links Spokesperson. These was not a properly constructed response that should have looked to reassure the public and staff in all Working Links contracted areas. We want to encourage you to formulate an action plan of remedial steps and engage appropriately skilled staff and ensure they are equipped and qualified and that support staff are properly and critically trained.

Staff in Gloucester will be concerned in continuing in the current working model, and of those in DDC where the implications impact negatively on our members morale, which is at an incredible low point given the feedback we have been receiving. The report describes high staff sickness absence across all grades. The differentials of staff on reduced terms have led to a two tier working arrangement for new staff on poorer terms. You will be aware as we are of the number of POs leaving for the NPS from the CRCs.

I appreciate you will not welcome any further criticism, however the report is of serious concern to anyone who reads it, especially for those within criminal justice services. Working Links and Aurelius will find the issue impossible to defend with any credibility. The way they have set about deconstructing what was an outstanding performing probation area when we were a trust, under proper care of the public sector ethos. NAPO SSW Branch remain concerned about your continued race to the bottom and must not go unchecked. We require that all remaining working links Aurelius contract areas are inspected to ensure this territory and the model is thoroughly assessed to avoid any further risks to the public and further damage of reputation of the good intention of probation work.

While the authors of the report will have already considered this aspect, we shall call on you as the responsible officer and our General Secretary to invite such an inspection.

Dino Peros Chair Napo SSW Branch
Denice James JNCC Rep

CC Ian Lawrence NAPO General Secretary

All NAPO Members.


In conjunction with the above, I've included the following from early August that somehow was missed in amongst blog posts on a number of other issues:- 

To John Wiseman Re - Open letter


As usual we seem to be at odds with our perspectives about where we are in the process of the implementation of the operational model.

In reference to your open letter about Denice's email to Napo South Western branch members, I feel it is necessary to inform you that I do not agree with everything you have said. I have confirmed my support to Denice about her communications which, in my view, have only been realistic and context based during the ongoing period of the dispute. For your information, prior to drafting this email I have consulted the members of Napo Western branch, who wish to convey that they support South Western branch and exec.

Napo Western Branch members are disappointed that CRC senior management are arranging local meetings in relation to the operational model implementation, when Working Links and the CRC's have yet to resolve the dispute. I have recently explained to the various parties why it is inappropriate that JNCC reps attend these meetings. I have also stated that our absence should not be marked as disinterest of very important matters which should be negotiated through the dispute/ACAS meetings, or that our lack of comments on the matters be seen as reason to for the CRC and Working Links to carry on regardless.

In conjunction to this I have to re-iterate the fact that sending JNCC reps important documents at short notice is not acceptable. In this case I am referring to the 2 week time slot the union reps were given to respond to the Workload Management Indicator documents. This was hardly sufficient time for the reps to view the contents and give a professional opinion, due to the fact that there was no WLM tool in use at the time, the JNCC reps are practitioners and our caseloads are ever increasing. The latter is my valid reason for not responding sooner as the workload indicator, which the joint unions have not agreed to, fails to represent the work load weighting of our caseloads and duties.

Kind regards

Ceris Handley PSO
Napo Western Branch Chair
JNCC rep
Member rep
Vice Chair of The Forum and PSO rep


  1. 2 weeks to view documents is reasonable.

  2. Nothing will matter soon as Tories & collaborators have just voted themselves a significant step closer to becoming Sovereign: 326 v. 290.

    "It was the best £1bn I've ever spent" said Treeza.

    From Guardian coverage tonight...

    "Ken Clarke votes against government on programme motion

    And here are the figures showing how MPs voted by party on the programme motion.

    For the progamme motion

    Conservatives: 308

    DUP: 10

    Against the programme motion

    Labour: 248

    SNP: 34

    Lib Dem: 12

    Plaid Cymru: 4

    Green: 1

    Conservative: 1 (Ken Clarke)

    Independent: 1 (Lady Hernon)

    Ken Clarke, the Conservative former chancellor, voted against the government on the programme motion. He was the only Conservative to vote against the government in any of the three votes on the bill tonight. On the main second reading vote he abstained."

    1. What is your point, very unclear message

  3. Well done Ceris for being one of the few employees to speak out when many senior staff lack the integrity to do so. To whoever said 2 weeks is long enough to view documents I assume you are likely a WL manager! Ceris is a PSO and many PSO's are carrying caseloads of up to 90 offenders! Ceris will likely have 80 plus as well as her NAPO duties and dealing with enquiries/ concerns of NAPO members. WL 3 CRC's are failing and broken so yes, she is likely to be very busy and 2 weeks not long enough. I agree with Ceris that all WL CRC areas need to be inspected urgently and WL should not be able to combine the 3 CRC's into one massively failing area! What a joke! Well done Ceris and just a shame more staff not prepared to speak the truth.

  4. Prison officers 1.7% pay rise.
    Police officers 1% pay rise plus bonus of 1% paid for from existing police budgets.

    Welcome to another winter of discontent.

    1. Is Liz Truss thick?

    2. Yes. And it's so obvious you really didn't need to ask.

    3. Are you leaving? Would like to know how many PO/ PSO's have left over the past 6 months to a year. I have hung on in hope it would start to sort itself out but it gets worse every day so I will be looking to move on if I sad it ever got this bad.

  5. They renationalised the nuclear industry...

    "In 2008 the NDA contracted the management of Sellafield Ltd to Nuclear Management Partners Ltd, a consortium of US company URS, British company AMEC, and Areva of France. The initial contract was for five years, with an extension option for 17 years.

    In 2016, the NDA took Sellafield Ltd back under direct control from Nuclear Management Partners, making the company a subsidiary of HM Government. The NDA owns the Sellafield site and its liabilities, and owns all of the shares in Sellafield Ltd, which is responsible for the safe and secure operation and management of the site."

  6. Yep, and how many banks were also taken into government ownership when they failed and then sold back again? Capitalism at its very best. Making money out of old rope.

    1. Correct. Failed 'experiments' at massive public expense while the privateers & their ministerial chums fill their pockets to overflowing. New Scientist 2015:

      "Last week, the UK government sacked the private consortium running the £80-billion-programme to clean up Sellafield, and gave the job back to its own agency, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The clean-up operation, scheduled to end by 2120, costs the government £1.9 billion a year.

      The private consortium, Nuclear Management Partners, was meant to “bring in world-class expertise” and allow the government to “get to grips with the legacy after decades of inaction”, according to a 2008 statement by Mike O’Brien, energy minister at the time. But six years on, the privatisation experiment has been abandoned."

    2. The spooky parallels continue... Construction News reported on a contract tender that was challenged & deemed flawed:

      "The government dropped its appeal against a High Court ruling from July 2016, which said the NDA had “manipulated” and “fudged” a tender for the clean-up of the UK’s nuclear power plants, and had wrongly decided the outcome of the procurement process.

      According to a ministerial statement, the NDA has agreed settlement payments of £76.5m to Energy Solutions, plus £8.5m in costs, and $14.8m (£11.8m) to Bechtel, plus costs of around £462,000."

      So there goes another £97m of public funds, hand-outs to privateers purely due to UK government incompetence.

      No wonder the public sector workers can't get a payrise!

    3. Hey! Here's an idea. Why not build more prisons & nuclear power stations & hand £Billions of UK taxpayer monies for the construction industries of USA, Korea, China & Russia? Russian oligarchs have already met with NDA staff at the proposed nuclear reactor development site at Moorside in Cumbria & the Koreans are in discussions with nigh-on-bankrupt Toshiba.

      The thread is the same whatever the Tories touch - hand out any & all public funds to the profiteers, call it Capitalism & blame the poor for poverty.

  7. Despite the £billion the DUP secured for their supply and demand deal with the Tories, the DUP are set to vote against the government today for a universal lifting of the public sector pay cap!

    1. Brilliant! You couldn't make it up! I am more concerned about working conditions at the moment. Of course I think we all deserve and need it but no amount of pay rise will give me back what I used to have all those years ago: managerial support, reasonable quota of colleages and admin support, an IT system that rarely went down, my own office to interview service users in rather than fighting over a pod shared with other agencies, training, a functioning union etc etc. Those were the days ( appriximately 4 years ago in the so called dark ages before the miracle of TR ) Halleluya..praise TR, saviour of us all.

  8. Can anyone confirm for me that Napo membership no longer provides access to a database of online academic journals? I can access the probation journal through Sage online, but can't seem to get anything else. Cheers.

    1. Napo membership no longer contains access to a database of anything other than an archive of the Dear Leader's blogs.

    2. Reply to 21:08 This info is on Napo website and provides links...
      Further information regarding the Probation Journal can be found on the Sage Publications website here.

      Napo members can access the Probation Journal free of charge by logging into the Napo website and then registering a personal account on the Sage Journals website. Non members can access the Probation Journal but will be required to pay a subscription fee to access the full content. Please follow the instructions below.

      1) Register on the Sage Journals website by clicking here (the Sage Journals website will open in a new window)

      2) Once you have completed the required details on the Sage Journals website an email will be sent to the email address with which you registered. WIthin that email will be a link that you will need to click on to verify your email address. If the address has been verified you will be notified that your account has been created.

      You will then be able to login to Sage Journals using the email address you registered with and the poassword you entered at registration.

      The above registration porocess is a one time process, after which you you will be able to access Sage Journals directly at with your username and password.

    3. Apologies 21:08 I copied the wrong section above! If there is other info you want you would be best off ringing Napo HQ. This following is all I could find...

      Members Area › Journals › ICCJ
      Issues in Community and Criminal Justice (ICCJ) is an established monograph series (9 published between 2002 and 2009) which aims to inform and advance community and criminal justice policy and practice through detailed consideration of important and emerging issues. We are looking to publish contributions that can engage a wide readership in contemporary debates about the causes and consequences of criminal behaviour and the response of the State through criminal justice and wider socio/economic responses. Submissions may be based on empirical research, literature review or consideration of contemporary debates. ICCJ is peer reviewed by academics and professionals who have an established profile (including national and international) in the field of community and criminal justice.

      Click here to view the Call for Papers

      Click here to view the ICCJ Notes for Contributors

      You can buy copies of Issues of Community and Criminal Justice Monographs securely online from here. Each copy costs £5.00, including postage. If you buy 4 copies, the fifth one is free. When you are ready to purchase the items you have selected, click on "Proceed" at the bottom of this page.

      Please note that ICCJ's from No.8 onwards are available electronically only. Previous monographs are still available as hardcopy but will soon be replaced by electronic versions.

      Enter the quantity you desire in the appropriate box.

    4. Thanks for your reply. I have followed those instructions and have no difficulty with probation journal or ICCJ. A few years ago it was possible to read a much more extensive list of Sage publications relates to our field and it looks like that membership benefit has been lost. Shame, as in the absence of any CPD of any description, it's the only benefit I've ever used or been interest in.

    5. Hi I still recommend ringing Napo HQ. There may be a link to archive etc that isnt more apparent to us plebs that they know about and might not realise members are struggling to access. Worth checking. I know Cambridge Uni used to store loads of historic Napo related dox and find it hard to believe Napo would have givenup access to dox that historically we held. Let us know outcome if you ring :)

  9. G4S pocketing profits from the public purse whilst carrying out abusive practices against vulnerable people? No... fucking... way! You'll be telling me that they committed fraud whilst running the MoJ's tagging programme next. Why do you always pick on G4S, Serco, Sodexo, Capita... ?

  10. Someone in court for theft yesterday, learning difficulties, literacy & numeracy problems, no formal qualifications, has had their benefits stopped for not applying for enough jobs. I felt physically sick. Who votes for these psychopathic bullies?

  11. G4S. Corruption, abuse, cover ups, intimidation..