I expect that everyone who was at Napo's AGM in Southport will have a little less in the tank than is usual for a Monday today.
Feedback has been great, with many members telling me that they have returned from a long journey home highly motivated by the breakthrough on pay in the NPS, but also because they are determined to get four square behind our campaign for pay parity across the CRCs as well.
I was also delighted that our members in Cafcass have drawn together a set of campaigning priorities that are very much focused on the unique professional and operational issues that they are facing and intend to engage in some challenging discussions with their employer. They have our full support.
NPS pay offer endorsed by reps
As promised, we held what turned out to be a packed special briefing on the 2018-2020 NPS pay offer on Friday evening of AGM. This was attended by two reps per Branch (one each from the NPS and CRCs) where the Napo pay team explained the key elements of the 2-year offer. This includes a minimum 6% pensionable increase across these two years for everyone, and achieves headroom at long last for staff stuck at their pay band maxima. The proposed new deal will also see the introduction of a revised and vastly improved pay progression formula, which will result in staff reaching the top of their pay band in less than 6 years as opposed to 25.
There will also be an additional one off recognition payment in lieu of the difficulties that we encountered in the pay talks at the end of 2017. There is also a plan to work in partnership with the employer to agree a new Competency Based Pay Progression Framework.
Reps who attended the AGM briefing will shortly be sent a presentation pack that will assist them in conducting members meetings on the pay reform package. We are now working on the detailed communications that will go to NPS and CRC members so please be patient for just a bit longer and avoid calling HQ while we are busy undertaking this task.
How do I vote on it?
All existing NPS members will at the same time as receiving their own literature, also receive a unique ballot PIN number to enable them to cast their vote in the online ballot which we will launch next week (15th October to 5th November). As I made clear at the AGM, who wisely agreed the required constitutional amendment to make this possible, this is a historic first for Napo and we have no hesitation in recommending the offer, as does the GMB, with UNISON deciding to make no recommendation to accompany their ballot.
What about CRC members?
Members of the pay team set out our strategy at the reps briefing and a further lunchtime briefing exclusive to CRC reps on Saturday. I also made our position abundantly clear in my speech to the AGM on Saturday which will be available on the website and through social media tomorrow.
In short, our starting point with the CRC providers is that they should pay up now or work with us in common cause to secure the necessary funding from the MoJ to allow CRCs to match this offer. If they refuse then we will ratchet up our campaign for equal treatment through politicians and the media and we will positively promote all NPS vacancies in their areas, and let our members take a considered view about who is paying what and where. Nor have we ruled out the possibility of industrial action if that becomes a last resort.
We will have good deal to say about this over the coming days and weeks but as I said to our members at Southport, it’s Napo’s efforts supported by our members hard earned subscriptions that have won this offer and which if accepted will put money in the pay packets of all NPS staff. Please do take the opportunity to remind your colleagues of this fact.
It is also a fact that density equals strength, and if pressure is to be applied to reluctant CRC providers to stand up for their staff then nothing will catch their attention than hearing that more and more people are joining Napo.
More news on pay this week in the Friday mail out and the AGM special news feature in the Napo Magazine.
Goodbye and Hello!
As is usual at AGM I announced the appointment of National Officers and I am sure that all members will join me in wishing our very best to outgoing National Co-Chairs, Chris Winters and Yvonne Pattison and extending them our massive appreciation for their sterling efforts on behalf of our members over the last four years. We also give a warm farewell to Tina Williams for her work with the Officer Group over these last two years.
Our incoming National Officers Siobhan Foreman and Ikki Bhogal have a testing agenda to help us deal with and I know they will provide us with all of their energy and commitment.
Our new National Chair, Katie Lomas, who served as National Vice-Chair for the last four years, needs no introduction and I know that she will hit the floor running and apply her commitment and energy in the interests of all our members.