Friday 29 July 2016

Latest From Napo 112

Today's blog post by the General Secretary:- 

Unions secure EVR agreement in Purple Futures CRCs

After several months of hard work and considerable input from Napo negotiators supported by our local reps, an agreement has been reached with the employers across the Purple Futures owned CRC's. This covers Early Voluntary Retirement and Pay and employment protection for staff who are to be seconded into the Interserve Professional service centre.

Commenting on the news of the agreement Napo General Secretary Ian Lawrence said: "Whilst not achieving everything that the unions wanted, this agreement represents a significant achievement, reflecting the hard work of full-time negotiators and Napo's elected Officials at National and local level."

The agreement also sends a signal to other CRC providers of the benefits of meaningful engagement with the trades unions to avoid compulsory redundancies. It also stresses the importance of why CRC staff should belong to a trade union.


Purple Futures Joint Union Bulletin No. 3 

Purple Futures Restructuring

Napo and UNISON appreciate that this restructure has been extremely stressful for you and your colleagues, but please remember you are not alone. If you have any questions, please contact your local Napo or UNISON representative.

Napo and UNISON reps have worked hard to raise your workplace concerns with the employers at local meetings and at the Cross CRC Trade Union Forum meetings, which bring Napo and UNISON representatives together with management from all five PF CRCs.

At national level we will continue to work with Purple Futures to get the best possible outcomes for all our members. We hope to meet with Purple Futures in the near future to discuss how the Cross CRC Trade Union Forum work best for members and the employers into the future.

At our request Purple Futures has set up employer/trade union working groups to look at issues such as assistive technology, stress, violence at work and workloads. We have also raised concerns about how the new ways of working will work and impact our members, particularly in regards to the flex teams, estates and health and safety.

Napo and UNISON can’t do the work we do without the help of our local representatives. Please contact your union if you are interested in becoming a union representative, or if you want to help out your union in any other way.

Protecting You During Organisational Change

UNISON and Napo have been working closely together to protect and promote our members’ interests in the organisational change process which is likely to see about 200 staff made redundant and another 70 or so staff seconded to the Professional Service Centre sites run by Interserve Justice. Here’s what we have done:

  • Represented members who have been unhappy with their redeployment options
  • Improved the Organisational Change Policy and Procedure to give better pay protection, as follows, to staff who suffer a loss of income as a result of redeployment:
  • Improved the voluntary exit payment for staff who are made redundant and who sign a settlement agreement, to give 4.5 weeks pay for each year of service. This is one of the best deals achieved by the unions in any CRC to date. Full details of the package can be found below.
  • Negotiated better safeguards for staff who sign a secondment agreement to work for the Professional Service Centre, including rights to continuing trade union representation in Interserve Justice and clearer/fairer procedures in a number of key respects. See below for more details.
Enhanced Compulsory Redundancy Package

UNISON and Napo are pleased to report that Interserve has agreed to pay an enhanced compulsory redundancy package to staff who are made redundant, and who agree to sign a settlement agreement to leave their CRC. Purple Futures has made clear that this enhanced redundancy package applies to this particular restructure only and should not be seen as applying to any future restructures or redundancies. No doubt Napo and UNISON will return to discuss this issue with Purple Futures in due course.

We have been in talks with the Company for many months to secure this package and, although it does not match the National Negotiating Council (NNC) Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy terms in all respects*, it will provide significant additional benefit, over and above statutory terms, to members who are now facing redundancy. Staff over 55, who are made redundant, are also entitled to immediate payment of their benefits under the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Here are the full details of the exit payments:

  •  All Interserve/Purple Futures CRC permanent employees with two years or more qualifying service (service that counts as continuous service) that are redundant will be entitled to a redundancy payment based on actual basic weekly pay at the time of termination, and not the statutory rate. 
  • Redundancy for those under the age of 55 (Subject to a signed Settlement Agreement)
  • The redundancy payment will be paid, subject to a maximum of 67.5 weeks’ pay and reckonable service of 15 complete years, as follows:
  • Four and a half weeks’ pay for each year of completed service (any statutory redundancy payment is included in the compensation payable).
  • Redundancy for those aged 55 or over (Subject to a signed Settlement Agreement) The redundancy payment will be paid, subject to a maximum of 67.5 weeks’ pay in accordance with the above, together with immediate payment of the standard retirement pension and a standard retirement grant (i.e. pension lump sum).
  • Notice periods: The general position is that permanent employees that exit the organisation with an enhanced redundancy package will be expected to work out their full notice period and there will be no additional pay in lieu of notice for anybody 
  • leaving with this enhanced package. Where it has been pre-arranged that people leave before their contractual notice period has expired, statutory deductions for tax and National Insurance Contributions will be made in respect of the period of unexpired notice and this will be reflected in the illustrative figures. However, under these exceptional circumstances the organisation will make an additional payment to meet those statutory deductions due to ensure that the employee is not in any worse position than they would have been if they had worked their notice.
  • Untaken Holiday: It is expected that all holiday will be taken before the last day of service, however exceptionally, where this is not possible, untaken holiday will be paid.
[*The Purple Futures redundancy offer does not match the NNC Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy deal insofar as it:
  • Does not apply to staff with less than 2 years service
  • Does not reckon all regular earnings in the calculation of the lump sum redundancy payment, i.e. the calculation will be based on basic pay only and will not include regular contractual payments such as: unsocial hours, standby and sleep-in, contractual overtime etc..]
Settlement Agreements

UNISON and Napo advise members who are offered a settlement agreement in order to access the above redundancy package to use the services of our legal advisors Thompsons Solicitors, who have a dedicated Settlement Agreement Unit which can provide the legal advice which you need before signing your agreement.

In order to use this service, you will need to:
  • Phone Thompsons on 01752 521850 and advise you are an Interserve employee
  •  Provide your name, address, contact telephone number
  • E-mail the proposed settlement agreement to Thompsons
  • Confirm any deadline you have been asked to comply with, by your CRC
Thompsons will invoice Interserve directly for the cost of the legal advice, so there is no need for you to be out of pocket.

NB: If you choose not to use Thompsons Solicitors and instruct alternative legal representation in relation to your settlement agreement, it might have consequences for the assistance that Napo and UNISON may be able give you with your case going forward in any matter relating to your settlement.

Secondment Agreement

About 70 CRC staff will be offered the option of secondment to the Professional Service Centre (PSC). Secondment means that the staff will work at the PSC, and be managed by the PSC manager, but remain employees of their CRC for the duration of the Purple Futures contract with the MOJ, subject to the caveats set out below.

Napo and UNISON understand from Interserve that this option will allow the staff to retain all their CRC terms and conditions, as well as continuing membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme. These benefits would potentially be at risk if staff were required to transfer employment to Interserve Justice, which will run the PSC.

Members who are considering the secondment option are advised as follows:
  • It is your personal decision as to whether to accept a secondment to work for the Interserve Justice PSC, but, as this is the only option being offered to you, refusal to accept will make you vulnerable to potential dismissal from your CRC , or compulsory transfer to Interserve Justice, once your work moves to Interserve Justice. 
  • The secondment agreement seeks in good faith to protect your current CRC employment status for the duration of the Purple Futures/MOJ contract, including your terms and conditions and pension rights, but with the following qualifications:
  • Your terms and conditions are liable to change in line with any changes to the terms and conditions of staff working for your CRC at any time during the secondmento You will have no greater, or lesser, employment security than staff who remain working for your CRC, insofar as you may be:
§ Dismissed during your secondment for gross misconduct or incapability, in line with your CRC’s policies and procedures

§ Dismissed by way of redundancy if your CRC or Purple Futures reorganises the seconded workforce as part of organisational change at any point during the secondment

§ Subject to redeployment procedures at the end of your secondment if there is no suitable alternative post available for you back in your CRC

UNISON and Napo will continue to provide representation to members who are seconded to the PSC.


  1. How come purple futures staff pay into local gov. Pension when i have to pay into working links pension and my local gov. One with 20 years of service in probation and social services is frozen and i can't contribute to it?

  2. You pay into Greater Manchester Pension Fund now which is a local government pension scheme (all WL areas were moved to put all under one roof). The reason you can't pay into the previous pension is that the scheme changed for all probation employees . Basically The previous pension was based on final salary the new one is based on your average earnings over the period you work (from the start of the new scheme until you leave/retire)

  3. We can only hope that NPS will be able to access similar options instead of terms, conditions and salary all dwindled away in an attempt to keep vast numbers of staff who don't want to stay. Fingers crossed for us ...

  4. I have learned that should voluntary exits be offered to NPS staff, only service post TR will be recognised! I believe this is unlawful, yet another shafting. Is this yet another thing that NAPO has agreed to? If not, what are they doing about it? Yet something else that has come in by stealth

    1. I've queried this but yet to receive a reply from napo (about 3 weeks now). I know they have a lot on, but this really needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
      For those in Nps who aren't aware, E3 states whilst evr not being considered, if it was, then it is a civil service scheme so only available from date you became civil servants - ie the split.
      My letter when moved to nps says continuation of service carried over, but that employer will be civil service. All seemed ok and straight forward enough when I read that, at no point did I think that meant any future redundancy would see me lose so many years service.
      C'mon napo, get onto this asap.

    2. 07:00 is correct. The e3 guidance says no eve plan is envisaged but if it does come to pass then only post split service will count. How NAPO and unison could have failed to flag this up as an outrage is beyond me. Maybe I Shouldn't be surprised as the top table ineptitude thus far has been well evidenced. The self congratulatory tone of the latest gs blog is evidence of that. Being pleased to get a better redundancy deal is not a victory. Stopping redundancies in the first place is. I hear that one CRC who paid po's significantly less to go has mow realised they've cut too deep and are considering replacing permanent staff with much more expensive temps. You couldn't make it up. I have zero faith that the new ministerial team will provide any help. Judging by a recent performance on question time by our new minister he is a grinning idiot who deals in meaningless platitudes. Mind you so was the last one and the one before that and the one before that etc etc. Btw, watch out for more news on the shambles that is workforce planning in the NPS. No one at divisional level has a clue as the centre is providing so many mixed messages. I actually feel sorry for div directors and ldu heads who are left unable to manage there own fiefdoms whilst policy wonks at the centre who know Fuck all about frontline delivery tell them to do stupid things or take an age to come up with unworkable nonsense any po could've told them was nonsense. Watch this space as the chaos continues.

  5. I have learned that should voluntary exits be offered to NPS staff, only service post TR will be recognised! I believe this is unlawful, yet another shafting. Is this yet another thing that NAPO has agreed to? If not, what are they doing about it? Yet something else that has come in by stealth

  6. So under union advice (not once were we advised to resist the transformation from sifting onwards) we've moved from a single unified workforce into a two-tier probation service (nps & crc) and thence into a three-tier service, i.e. nps, crc without evr & crc with evr. Divide & rule, the dream scenario. Maybe those tag-teamed by the unions & Sodexo (& others) could consider action against an ineffectual union strategy? But probably not... As ever, frontline troops take the hit whilst generals move bits of paper around; no doubt binning any evidence of incompetence as they go & ensuring their pockets are stuffed before they disappear.

  7. How the hell did we end up with different terms and conditions post split, when we was all one organisation with the same terms and conditions. I was never asked if I wanted my terms and conditions changed. 1 test case was all it would have taken.

    1. Agreed, but napo wouldn't take it on; and so here we are, divided, stranded, shafted.

      Collusive Trust change management teams who subsequently morphed into CRC & NPS management have largely cashed in & fucked off to enjoy their ill gotten gains. MoJ/NOMS as an organisation don't give a flying fox, while the CRC owners are simply asset-stripping their recent acquisitions. So while the perpetrators revel in their own self-styled glory what's left of Probation is on its last legs - stripped naked, massively undernourished & on the brink of extinction as the last few plugs are pulled.

      "What are you doing, Dave?"

  8. My understanding from the E3 documents -

    a VED scheme(Voluntary Early Departure) is not redundancy and would only take civil service years into account

    a redundancy scheme, whether EVR or other, does take all probation years into account.

    As noted by others, E3 says they're not planning either scheme. Sad for those who may want a way out.

    1. The Civil Service will never offer redundancy as a way out. If roles become redundant then it'll be 3 years on the surplus list and possible redeployment to DWP, Home Office, etc. If people want a way out then they need to find another job and resign from NPS.

    2. Which is why the unions should have ensured nps had access to ved at their total years service. We were moved over. What happened to HMCS when they went into the civil service a few years ago. Bet they weren't shafted as nps staff have been.
      Napo/unison you dropped the ball on this one. Napo hq will no doubt be more careful with regards their pay offs when it comes. And before anyone questions it, yes I am a union member and attend meetings. But I pay my subs for people who I expect will have the expertise to deal with employment laws/negotiations.

    3. As with many members you/they/we pay our subs for pay-offs to perverts, for salaries to incompetents, for collusive deals with our employers & to uplift the profits of the union's legal advisors. There's been not a single benefit for members since, well since when? When was the last benefit members received from napo action?

  9. There are no jobs going in crc's! Still waiting for what is dubbed by WL as 'end state'. I think at this rate that will mean no staff at all apart from WL managers of course. Maybe they would like to manage my caseload?