Friday, 8 June 2018

General Secretary Election 14

As ballot papers are in the process of being prepared for posting out to Napo members nationwide, I thought it might be helpful to summarise what I understand the position to be so far:-
  • This is a vital election and the very survival of Napo as an independent union is at stake 
  • There are two candidates
  • Many members feel the selection and election process is deeply flawed and favours the incumbent candidate
  • London, by far the largest branch, decided not to nominate either candidate and were vociferous in criticising the process
  • Branches were prevented from meeting the candidates as both had to be available 
  • Despite the alternative candidate providing dates for possible branch meetings, none proved possible to arrange  
  • In total 8 branches made no nomination
  • 2 branches could not reach a decision to nominate  
  • The NEC was closely divided in making a decision to nominate the incumbent candidate
  • The incumbent candidate was nominated by 10 branches and the NEC
  • The alternative candidate was nominated by 3 branches
  • The incumbent candidate refuses to acknowledge this blog
  • The alternative candidate has sought to engage fully both with the blog and directly with members 
  • Only full members of Napo have a vote, ie not retired or Professional Associate members
  • As the incumbent candidate has served a full contracted 5 year term there would be no financial cost to the union should they fail to win a further term
So, a noticeable deafening silence from large sections of the union; a significant lack of enthusiasm for the current General Secretary and a growing sense that it's time for change?   


  1. Via Twitter the incumbent candidate is pleading for more Followers and in particular to increase the current number to two thousand.

    "So come on ... #probation who’s going to be first to make it 2k followers for your GS and help build on the ongoing debate to reunify the service?
    Victory is in sight you just have to believe it!"

    He currently has 1,992 Followers and is himself Following 1,462 others.

    1. Promoting this candidate then !

  2. London and the other non-nomination branches were wrong. They should have backed Mike Rolfe. A new GS is the only chance for change.

  3. Jim it is important at least to report the facts and your facts should be accurate. There is a lot wrong with the election process and the responsibility for this farce which is bordering fiasco is not the responsibility of the incumbent.

    •As the incumbent candidate has served a full contracted 5 year term there would be no financial cost to the union should they fail to win a further term

    b) If you wish to stand for re-election but are not nominated under the
    rules your employment will end at the completion of the contact (unless
    an alternative date is agreed between yourself and Napo) and you will
    be entitled to six months severance pay from the date employment
    c) If you stand for re-election but are not elected your employment will
    end at the completion of the contract (unless an alternative date is
    agreed between yourself and Napo) and you will be entitled to two
    years severance pay from the date employment ends.

    1. Unbelievable! No severance pay for us in the NPS!!

    2. Well you have your jobs as POs your not at risk of unemployment that is your career get on with it.

  4. It would be extraordinary for the incumbent candidate to be influencing the process. Who is running the process in NAPO? I think we should know.

  5. The incumbent candidate refuses to acknowledge this blog

    The alternative candidate has sought to engage fully both with the blog and directly with members

    I think it a good thing that Mr Rolfe has engaged with this blog.
    I think it good to that this blog has provided him with a platform of oppertunity to engage with people he otherwise would not be able to speak to because of the the union rules already outlined.
    But I personally would feel great disappointment if Mr Rolfe was successful in his election bid and then didn't comment on here again.
    Day after day, year after year the author of this blog has typed away, publishing information and arguing the case for probation. They have done so whilst feeling the same stresses, uncertainty, and work pressures that everyone else must feel. The amount of blog posts is utterly astounding.
    I would like to think that Mr Rolfe would recognise that, and not just use the blog as an oppertunity as a vehicle for campaigning.
    As with everything, time will tell.


    1. Let us not forget that Napo has an online Forum - first established when Judy McKnight was General Secretary.

      At one time some Napo members used it regularly and some officers also contributed - some Napo staff definitely have taken part but Napo has never determinedly used it as a vehicle for encouraging communications with and between members.

      Now it is effectively moribund but does have a big archive going back to at least October 2010. It seems the previous items are no longer accessible as the link to the items "Pre-March 2010
      These are the original forums dating back to the old website." now seems dead.

      So the Napo General Meeting or National Executive could direct that more use is made of that facility or another alternative, if they so decided.

      The Index can be reached here, but I have given up with it, although see one other person does occasionally still post messages.

  6. This election is not catching fire: makes you wonder if there is more apathy than imagined. No figures from Napo on the recent Day of Protest, so likely numbers too embarrassing to report. As for Napo being a member-led union, I note that NEC members are told that they cannot be mandated by their branches to vote in a particular way – they are free to vote as they see fit. In 2008, Napo had almost 9,000 members, by December 2016 registered employees in the union had dropped to near 5000. No idea where is now stands. Given that some branches are nominal, it's beginning to look like active branches are a thing of the past, which will only add to a sense of remoteness from a leadership election. So if turnout reaches 20% it will be a miracle. Napo subscriptions are arguably funding a job creation scheme for union leaders who are unable make much difference in the atomised world of probation.

    1. Do you mean the current leader is unable ?

  7. Saying that change is needed, and saying that Rolfe is the change we need, are two separate things. Personally I think they are both not brilliant (putting it mildly). So vote for whichever, in my view, but then ENGAGE with the Union, not just whinge on this blog

    1. .... there’s not much of a union to ‘engage’ with.

    2. Are you a member? Union membership is falling across the piece. I fear we are forgetting what collectivism actually is: Don't sit on your hands.

    3. ... tell that to the Napo exec. You sound like you’re probably one of them!

  8. Another point is it’s unclear how many of the branches decided on their nominee. I read on a previous thread;

    “I do not understand how Cumbria and Lancashire Branch nominated anyone as it has not met as a Branch to cast any vote on this!I will be querying this with Branch Chair asap.”

    “Likewise I do not know how London Napo made the decision ‘not to nominate’. There was no message or request for views sent from London Napo before or after this apparent decision, and it was not scheduled on the meeting agenda sent 14th May.”

  9. Re Cumbria and Lancs' nomination of Ian L: I have since learnt the Branch Exec voted to support Ian L. Whether this is an acceptable way to "evidence" the Branch view is debateable. I don't think it is but neither do I think our Exec were trying to be manipulative. They are largely exhausted individuals trying to do the day job and fulfil Union responsibilities. Here I believe they made an error of judgement but I suspect clearer guidance from the centre as to what constitutes the "Branch nomination" might have helped. It also does mean one can look at the roll call of "nominations " for each candidate and query their value. Personally I dont know why we bother. The only votes that matter are those from the individual members after all!

    1. I didn't know a branch Exec could vote on behalf of a branch. Nothing member-led about such a vote and quite misleading to have it reported that the 'Branch nominated'.

  10. Please consider wgat has happened... loss of 3 days annual leave 'negotiated' as part of a pay deal we didn't get. Once they'd reduced our leave they reneiged on the deal.

    Privatisation, loss of incremental progression, and now that hasn't been paid. Civil Servant status for NPS but not eligible for Civil Service pension. High workloads for YEARS, crap IT, failure to provide adequate staffing levels, loss of professionalism, poor training for new staff.... need I go on?? What has NAPO done? In my view the current leader has agreed to all of this without putting up much resistance. If you want more of the same, then you know who to vote for. Carry on paying £25 per month for buggar all or give the new dude a chance to reverse the crap that has been rained on us for the past years. He can't be any worse!!

  11. I appreciate that I might be looking in all the wrong places but I have yet to see anything from IL.
    Has he conceded already?

    On the various topics above, I havent been to a napo meeting for years. They always wanted to talk about the things that divided us, race , class and gender. Never what united us, wages, terms and conditions.

    For those of you aspiring to be top of the scale, I understand your motivation but its hardly worth it when you get there.the lack of proper pay accounts for why we have a large number of incompetent SPOs. They cant get a proper rate while they learn their trade, so see promotion as a way of being paid more. It matters not to them that they are telling others to do what they never could. I have been around long enough to have seen the work some of them produced, others have never had a caseload but are authorities on everything.

    To end this rant, what about our senior managers? Do you support your staff or do you support the present system? The silence is deafening