Saturday, 15 June 2019

Napo at Work in the South West 24

Thanks go to the reader for sharing the following:-  

10th June 2019

Some progress on improving the dialogue but Unions reject shabby Pay Offer

This bulletin sets out the key outcomes from last weeks’ meeting between KSS CRC and SEETEC senior leadership and the Trade Unions in Reading over 6/7th June.

This engagement followed the recent correspondence from Napo, UNISON and GMB in which we explained our serious disappointment at the lack of tangible progress by KSS CRC and SEETEC senior management following agreed actions from the earlier meetings’ with the unions. Even allowing for the chaos that SEETEC have inherited from Working Links, the employer has so far failed to show that they are that much different when it comes to recognising the role of the unions and entering into negotiations.

It has taken some time, but at least a number of joint objectives on future engagement were agreed. We expect these to help facilitate urgent and long overdue dialogue on a range of very important issues. Many of these are the result of the legacy failures of the incompetent former CRC provider Working Links. Some are existing priorities (such as the transfer of Offender Management work to NPS Wales by December this year and the overall operational plan up until April 2021).

New structures for improved engagement

The unions have agreed to a regional engagement structure. One will cover the former Kent Surrey and Sussex area of the enlarged CRC, and one for the South West, West and Wales. There will be a standardised agenda to ensure consistency and an overarching JNCC comprising of union reps and senior management as has been the case in the meetings at Chippenham, Cardiff and Reading. We need to see a serious improvement from what has happened so far.

There will also be a restoration of localised and more informal ‘short sides’ discussions to try and deal with day-to-day issues that may arise in between the above.

Specific working groups are be established covering:
  • The transition of OM work from Wales
  • Unpaid Work
  • Workloads as a result of the intended Operational Model
More details of dates for these and the names of the respective union reps will follow.

Pay dispute on the cards

Sadly, it did not prove possible to make any progress whatsoever in terms of securing an acceptable position on pay. We were strongly critical of the employer who has not only failed to understand the dreadful position that they have inherited, but have not provided us with information that we are legally entitled to and who also apparently lack the authority to actually negotiate an acceptable outcome.

Moreover, we said that the Probation U-turn has markedly changed the longer-term approach to pay reform that the employer envisaged. The unions are demanding that urgent remedial action be taken NOW to establish pay parity across the whole of the extended CRC, and redress inadequate pay rates following the imposition of a pay award to staff in the original KSS area last year.

The employer has undertaken to reply to the Unions by the middle of the week and we will issue further news as soon as it becomes available. Meanwhile, we have put the employer on notice that in the absence of a positive response we reserve the right to move to a dispute.

Future of Probation

As you would expect, a debate took place at Reading following the news of the Governments policy U-turn which will see an estimated 80% of offender management work move to 11 new NPS regions by the time that the current CRC providers are shown the door by April 2021 (latest) or sooner if there is a Labour Government in power. This means that the National negotiations on the selection and transfer process for Wales will be vital in terms of these being the benchmark for England. The unions have also said that we expect the employer to carry out the instructions it receives from the centre, and that we are not prepared to see this, or any other CRC provider, determine the future placement of staff to the NPS.

We reiterated that while the U-turn is a victory for the probation unions it does not give us all that our members are demanding. We have made it clear to senior KSS and SEETEC as well as Ministers, that we do not see any justification for retaining Intervention and Programme work in a so- called ‘mixed-market’ and we will continue to demand:

  • The total reunification of all probation work to public control
  • The harmonisation of all staff on to NPS Pay rates before the ending of CRC contracts
Join a union now!

In light of the foregoing, we must again emphasize the importance of belonging to a trade union. Please share this bulletin with colleagues who may not be in a trade union.

The unions are campaigning for:

  • Fair pay for all
  • The reunification of all probation work
  • An end to all privatisation
  • A moratorium on formal action against staff caused by inept management and the operational failures identified in previous HMI Probation reports (e.g. Gloucester and Devon, Dorset Cornwall)
  • Restoration of effective collective bargaining across the extended KSS CRC
  • Immediate action to reduce workload pressures
  • Staff to be treated with dignity and respect.
Can you afford to leave the struggle to everyone else?

Ian Lawrence 
General Secretary Napo
Siobhan Brown/Simon Dunn/Debbie Monkfield Regional Organisers UNISON
Helen Coley Regional Officer GMB/SCOOP


  1. Little incentive to pay staff equal rate to NPS as the union point out the contract ending dates. Profit first. Good news the south west and Ian Lawrence of Napo actually makeing a proper fist of it.

    1. it works both ways, now that I know case management returning to public I also have no incentive to hit private companies targets.

    2. Yes a good point and seetec can be seen as they are profit and obscene as they all are. Staff come last everytime.

  2. I do like the report from Russell Webster about UPW . Although he did miss a few things off like
    1 Supervisors taking service users to shops
    2 Allowing them to leave early giving them full hrs
    3 Manager allowing supervisors to work that are unfit to
    Work .

    Yes we all in safe hands

    Apologies to the units that this doesn’t apply to


    1. All applies to unpaid work. The south west Napo dispute has been going a long while and now another ? Why no other areas disputes and why does the general secretary do so much with that area. What is their secret.

    2. The fact it has been going on a long while is not an indicator of effectiveness but of the opposite. The campaign is not focused and just a lot of hot air and whinging enjoying the problems rather than sorting them out. It is like the forever war that is a very outdated form of trade union engagement that is just a drag like. Sniping at your opponent from a distance whilst they slowly reduce your membership through attrition is not success. Employers haven't even bothered to sack the Chair and probably dont really care what he says or does because it makes no difference to them. If it did he would be out on his ear. The collapse of Working Links was purely because of financial pressures. Those employers regarded Deano as an anachronistic irrelavance. The new management also regard him as an irrelevance representing a few hundred employees at most who are not interested and simply delete his ranting communications. Branch meetings could be held around the average pub table. However, Union membership in other areas is growing and productive discussions with employers happening because they engage properly with companies communicating with them in the language they understand rather than with empty threats and resentful rhetoric that doesn't get you anywhere. What they need in the SW is a fresh approach. Less bluster more negotiation and acting strategically pinning the opposition down and making slow but significant progress. Other areas are doing a lot more in reality including the Napo in Wales and most branches sort their disputes out through negotiation as they have proper agreements and arrangements for the resolution of disputes.

      Deano and Ian are old friends and the West Country is always a nice place to visit. Why not go to a meeting on Friday and spend the entire weekend or make a week of it.

    3. What makes you day all that ?

    4. 10:26 you have to be a real fool to believe any of that . In the SSW dispute that Ian Lawrence and the branches have managed very well they have saved many jobs. It is the tenacity and skill of some of that group that had directly saved many more staff from being dismissed by Working links due to the protections of the policies they had already well negotiated prior to TR. Napo sought to protect members Ian Lawrence taking into the fight well. The issues you raise in other areas negotiating new terms is because they had less to begin with. less terms is because they all surrendered prematurely without any argument whatsoever. They must really be ashamed now and your post is possibly one of those losers. Not in the SW they seem to know how to protect all staff on all terms and that is what counts a fight when all the remaining are not in wisdom but retreat fear and lost. Napo support them and they are still protecting their and members who I am told the memberships there has grown under the disputes. The mess is coming to an end with the contracts . However that branch chair demonstrates a clear record of facts and not as you described perhaps you want to have had the chance and lack the real skills losers united there are many.

    5. 10:26 not a trade unionist then, or a member of NAPO I think.

    6. Not at all 14:32 perhaps a bit nasty and disingenuous attack on two hard working Napo unionists. Perhaps and ex authority of the failed Working Links. After all they brought wl down did they not ?

    7. Why must anyone who writes a critical piece be dismissed as a loser or having an ulterior agenda. If you only ever approve of what you agree with and have a kneejerk to all else, then we haven't moved on much from the Spanish Inquisition.

    8. What do you agree with malevolent descriptions of union leaders and active chairs. Calling the unions irrelevant management sympathisers have no idea what motivates the unions actions and the choices they have to make . Half a lie becomes a better story than the truth.

  3. To 1026 jealous or stupid. You have no idea how effective that branch strategy has been. Criticising others when it is a known the position is that of a combined unified coherent branch view.