'It is not clear how the private contractors will behave in the next two years, knowing they are to be kicked out of a job...' What about the positive innovations?
It’s a challenge to move towards a new and improved joined up organisation whilst retaining the best of what’s available. It is hard to keep all the plates spinning and dance. I remember the SEEDS roll out in London was a casualty of TR and a lot of staff currently like innovations like OMNIA Jira etc there are good things like RJ that need to be retained. Hopefully retention of some advances can be achieved and some of the previous innovations revived like the Offender Engagement Programme that I thought was excellent.
I always like to give credit where credit is due even if I’m doing so I might take some flack but I’d rather stick to the truth. MTC has in retrospect proven themselves to be one of the more reasonable CRC owners to deal with who have always actively engaged with the unions from day one despite regular lineup changes. There have of course been mistakes made that have been picked up by inspections etc but when things haven’t gone as well as they would have liked they have at the very least acknowledged this and at best attempted to address matters working with the unions and engaging with staff. If they have sought advice I’ve always been willing to tell them honestly what I think - I’m not shy. There are some sensible and well motivated people involved at a senior management level who do not necessarily deserve to be labelled as negatively as they have been. Most have done what is in their gift or at least given reasons when they could not offer complete solutions. That said I will continue to hold them to account and they know that will be the case. There are always a handful of people in any organisation who will be disappointed with how they have conducted themselves at times. I think some people do need to reflect on their negative and dismissive portrayals of probation colleagues who currently work in different organisations and have been under different pressures.
My own experience tells me that when engagement and consultations have proceeded relatively smoothly with briefings and frank exchanges of views (OMNIA etc) and in accordance with our partnership agreement then there have been far fewer issues and vice versa. I’m hopeful we can move towards something that acknowledges the things achieved. David Raho
What about the view there were no positives?
I understand the sentiment ........ and agree in terms of whether probation should have been subjected to TR per se but ...... specifically referring to certain innovative and advanced developments that have been rolled out over the last year that have been generally well received by those working in MTC owned CRCs. Let’s try and think creatively about what we would like a new probation service to look like. Some developments do in some cases constitute a major investment of public money. Some of these initiatives were designed with considerable staff involvement to be used more widely than in a particular CRC and in the case of ICT developments in particular could be transferred and relatively easily scaled up nationally to considerably benefit a new organisation. It would be a backward step for the whole profession if the useful stuff was simply discarded or lost. It would however require decision makers to be committed to retaining the best elements of all organisations when making a new unified one. There is no such commitment at present but I and quite a few others would like to see one. Nothing is set in stone at the moment but we do have a direction of travel. We cannot necessarily go back to the way things were before TR so I hope we can fully use the current opportunity to create a better fully unified probation model from the best elements available that we can all be proud of identifying with and working for. David Raho.
In probation we've always complained about things. There were positives and negatives in the past and will be in the future. The Trusts were fantastic for innovation but many of the systems were stuck in the past. The split has been dreadful but we have to try and remain positive.