The current halt to Parliamentary proceedings means that we must await the installation of a new Government to discover when the recommendations from the Probation Service review will see the light of day.
One area that has clearly been acted upon already is that funding for CRCs to get through this current financial year has largely been put in place. There is still a huge issue over future funding against delivery of course, and talks on that continue. Meanwhile, and as far as Napo are concerned, this means that CRC employers should pay up now on the incremental progression that has already been received by NPS staff and start engaging with us on their plans for pay going forward.
What is increasingly clear is that some jittery CRC owners are now planning for further staffing cuts and/or changes to operational practice in desperate attempts to drive down their overheads. This is no surprise of course, and is one of those things that featured very high on our massive ‘we told you so’ list even before the ink had dried on the CRC share sale contracts.
Whilst we can happily say: more the fool you, to any number of CRC owners for buying into the whole shambolic TR experiment, the fact is that operational models are becoming more unsafe by the day and our members are at breaking point in a number of areas. It’s also significant that I am seeing signs that people are fast recognising that whatever we try to do by way of negotiation it may take industrial action to make something happen.
As always I will be directed by our members on this, but I have made it known not only in the 3 CRCs where I am working alongside Napo reps to try and bring the employer to account, that I will be more than happy to attend meetings to listen to our members views about their willingness to ballot for action.
Meanwhile, we know that a number of CRCs have been holding talks with outside agencies or individuals to discuss their ‘what if’ strategy. Only time will tell whether this is the precursor to some dramatic developments but the fact that it is happening indicates that jumping ship is looking like an option for some of them.
I will say what I have said to a number of CRC owners over the last three years: that if Probation is not really for you then why not hand in the keys and save everyone further grief?
NPS not doing that much better either
Tales of woe across the NPS continue to reach my inbox. Among the examples are telephones being down for 3 weeks in one location, meaning clients, victims and external agencies not being able to get in touch. I am told that there is reportedly just one mobile phone available for the team.
Elsewhere I also hear that some PQIP cohort 2 members are experiencing serious pay problems at the end of their first month in the job, with some not actually being paid. Nothing like feeling valued is there?
One Probation Officer has told their Napo rep that despite moving from a Market Forces Supplement Area some time ago, they have inexplicably received a whopping extra £*** backdated MFS in their pay. This has impacted on their tax, pension and NI position. The response via SOP is that it will now take 10-12 weeks to sort out.
Issues with Protected Pay
I should not have been surprised then to hear that this week a number of members have experienced huge problems having not received their expected protected pay entitlements. Of course we are alerting senior NPS management to this problem, one of a very long list concerning Shared Services (sic) (SSCL). Once we ascertain a better picture of the issues we hope to issue some guidance to members early next week.
It would be helpful also if Napo reps could keep their National Link Officers in the loop about what is happening here so that we can more effectively gather the necessary intelligence.
Family Court Professional Conference
Thanks to those Cafcass and Probation members who have stepped up to the plate and are attending the Family Court Professional Conference at Yarnfield on June 15th. I really look forward to seeing you all there.
The Women in Napo (WIN) Conference takes place the next day, and any enquiries about possible remaining vacancies for both these events should be directed to Jacqui here at Falcon Road: firstname.lastname@example.org
AGM 2017 - how to have your say
We have this week issued the registration material for this year’s Napo Annual General Meeting in Nottingham October 13/14
We have also issued guidance on how motions can be submitted and the rules for doing so, which say that notice in writing of any motions from a National Committee, Branch, the PSO Forum or two individual full or professional associate members of Napo must be received by the General Secretary at head office by 12 noon on Friday 18 August.
It’s also important to note that constitutional amendments may be submitted only by the NEC this year.
Motions (strictly limited to 200 words) should be sent to Napo head office on the appropriate form, BR23/2017 Motions should have a short descriptive title and please remember to complete the contact details for any queries that might arise. Forms can be emailed to email@example.com putting ‘Motion for AGM 2017’ as the subject of the email.
They will not divide us
Last week’s terrorist atrocity in Manchester has been followed by this week’s atrocity in a Kabul market resulting in the deaths of over 80 people.
I was sent this link into ‘Just Yorkshire’, a charity which seeks to promote racial and community harmony across the North East of England and thought that you might want to see what they have to say. It’s especially relevant during these turbulent times. Please share it around.