For the attention of Napo members working in Cafcass - Cafcass Pay Campaign 2022-2023 update.

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Cafcass Pay Campaign 2022-2023 update

Dear Colleagues

Unions urge Cafcass to secure a meeting with the Minister  -  Pay dispute is not over!

This bulletin brings members up to speed with the unions efforts to continue pay negotiations following the discussions that have taken place with your employer under the agreed Dispute Procedure. Although the employer intends to impose the derisory 2.51% offer, the unions do not agree that the pay dispute is over.


During December the unions were in formal negotiations with senior Cafcass management to try and make meaningful progress against our pay claim which had been lodged in May. The delay in starting negotiations was solely down to the Government who only released authority for these talks to start in November and placed a 3% pay cap on Cafcass (2.51% pay and 0.49% pay progression). Following a consultation exercise and indicative ballot which produced a resounding rejection of this insulting offer, the employer misled the trade unions by firstly claiming that the ballot result missed the cut off date for January pay and then sought our agreement to make an ‘interim wellbeing award’ 2 days after that deadline!

Once it was clear that negotiations were going nowhere, it was agreed to invoke the jointly agreed Dispute Procedure to try and find a way through. Three stages of further talks then took place including a meeting between the parties and ACAS at stage 4. This again produced no resolution, but before engaging with us further, the employer declared that negotiations were concluded and moved to impose what they have now described as a ‘full and final’ offer.

We have now sent a reply to senior management pointing out that we do not agree to their interpretation and that there are in fact two existing trade disputes, both of which give the unions a mandate to hold ballots for Industrial Action.   

Where next?

Throughout the pay talks we have been urging the employer to help us to secure Ministerial intervention with Lord Bellamy KC in the negotiating process, but this has been flatly rejected. Members will be hugely disappointed to hear this, and asking why? Especially when we are seeing daily reports of other Ministers directly intervening in other pay disputes.

We continue to seek a reply from Lord Bellamy and we have also sent a letter to the Cafcass Chief Executive this week seeking the information referred to above and urging the employer to work with us to continue pay negotiations.

Further all members meeting on Thursday 19th January at 5.00pm – link below

The unions agree that we should seek to offer members a further opportunity to receive an update on the pay campaign, Meanwhile, it is clear from the increase in Cafcass employees who have recently joined a trade union that existing members are playing their part in spreading the word about what we are trying to do to. We will also welcome your views on the type of pay claim that you think we should be submitting for the 2023-2024 pay year.

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Breaking news *****

The statement by the Chief Executive this week that there is soon to be a meeting between Cafcass and the Moj on 2023-2024 pay is welcomed. It’s hoped that the employer will now reflect on their refusal to help us meet directly with the Minister.




Ian Lawrence                         Sue Glithero
General Secretary                  Regional Organiser
Napo                                       UNISON

Nicola Taylor- Ebong             Lynsey Robertson
National Vice-Chair               UNISON
Napo Family Court Section