I have just signed off the last of the letters which I have been sending out to CRC Chief Executives over the last few days. These will be published to members early in the new year. These essentially remind them that the NPS pay settlement needs to be matched in real terms by them as employers and includes the clear directive from our AGM in October to urge them to join with Napo in jointly lobbying the MoJ to adjust the current contracts to enable pay parity with staff working for the NPS.
There has been some recent activity on pay in a number of the CRCs so these letters also reflect the current position.
The team here and the Officer Group are absolutely committed to our #payunity campaign and senior management in the MoJ and HMPPS are aware of our intentions. We are also meeting with the Ministers in January where this will feture highly on our agenda. As I said recently, this will be a difficult campaign and the more membership density we have across the CRC estate the better our prospects of success.
I hope that by the time you read this, the Government will have managed to get their minds off the shambolic Brexit situation long enough to publish the long awaited Domestic Abuse bill.
Even if it gets on to the Parliamentary books, it will not do anything to address the terrible statistics contained in this year’s Femicide Census.
Among the alarming findings is one that shows how 58 deaths of female victims were by the cause of “excessive” violence, or as the authors describe it, the use of more force than would have been necessary to cause death.
This shameful statistic is compounded by figures which reveal that last year 64 women were killed by their current or former partner, with one such case (involving a double murder in Birmingham last August) being widely reported in the media this week.
In addition, the census shows that 24 women died at the hands of men known to them, 30 were murdered by complete strangers and 17 died due to the actions of another member of their family.
In the face of this, I can only describe the response by this Government who has made serious cuts to services for women, especially within the emergency refuge sector, as pathetic.
Our members own experiences of the apparently epidemic rise in DV incidents are borne out by successive HMI Probation reports. These have shown how the supervision of clients is suffering due to excessive workloads in the CRC estate and/or hopelessly ineffective and downright dangerous operational practices.
I intend to ask the Minister at our meeting next month to specifically investigate how many of these recorded incidents have been perpetrated by probation clients and where they happened. Senior politicians have a duty to provide the public with some confidence that they are taking serious action to reduce the possibilities of more lives going to waste.
Any which way you care to look at this, it reveals the hatred that some men demonstrate against women, and how violence has seemingly become normalised in society. It needs those in positions of power to do something now to reverse this unacceptable position.
Christmas cheer for Benny the ‘remainer’
I know how difficult this wish will be given the current political and economic uncertainties but I hope that whether or not you choose to celebrate Christmas, you and your families take such opportunities as you can to enjoy the festive break.
As you will have seen from the Parliamentary exchanges these past couple of weeks, Pantomime season is clearly in full swing. Last Thursday’s, ‘Oh yes he did ‘and ‘Oh no he didn’t’ debate taking things to a whole new level of farce.
When it comes to a personal choice over Brexit and whether you are an ‘outer’ or ‘inner’, a ‘stayer’ or ‘runner’ or whatever, I hope you will join me in congratulating Benny the Beluga. Who he, you may ask? That would be Benny; as in the cute little Whale who, thus far, has stubbornly resisted all attempts to lure him away from the depths of the Thames Estuary back towards his brothers and sisters in his natural Arctic waters.
A heroic remainer and a refugee. He is welcome on both counts as far as I am concerned.