Last week’s meeting of your NEC was the first to have taken place since last month’s dramatic Government U-turn on Probation. It was an important opportunity to hear from your elected representatives about how this major step forward has been received by Napo members, but it was also about mapping out our priorities for the next stages of our campaign to see the return of all Probation work to full public control and ownership.
I also wanted to say how appreciative we were of the NEC’s warm expression of thanks to the Napo HQ team for all their efforts over the past 4/5 years in helping to achieve this victory alongside our loyal members.
The NEC received a comprehensive breakdown of the activities that we are already working on and agreed to a motion aimed at boosting our campaign to bring all sectors of the CRCs into the NPS by:-
- Convening a meeting of representatives from all the CRCs to discuss and develop the strategy.
- Produce written material for members to use in lobbying MPs and other key stakeholders
- Lobby Parliament regarding the inherent risks to the public and service provision should interventions and UPW remain in the private and non-statutory sector.
- Produce a regular bulletin for members to update them on the progress of the campaign.
More news on all of the above will follow.
Negotiations already underway on a Transfer Agreement
As I reported at the NEC, we have wasted no time in engaging with senior politicians and MoJ/HMPPS Officials on our own ‘red lines’ in terms of the plans to transfer Offender Management work into the NPS by April 2021. Our first priority is the protection of staff and our work in the weeks ahead will be absolutely critical as we seek to reach agreement on how this is going to happen and what the effective date will be to determine which staff will be in scope for the transfer of OM work out of the CRCs.
The equally testing challenge is the project that will see the transfer of staff into the NPS Wales by December this year. This will set the benchmark for the transfer arrangements that will impact on staff in England by April 2021. There are a number of important issues to be considered such as: pay, pension arrangements for non-LGPS members, continuity of service and estates, to name just a few, and we aim to get the best deal possible for members including those who do not come into scope or do not wish to transfer into the NPS.
Campaign far from over, so help us to engage with potential members
All of the above activity is very important, but so is the need to use the momentum from the Probation U-turn to encourage new members into (or back to) Napo. This big step forward still leaves us a lot to do before we achieve total reunification and NEC members agreed to work with Branches and Napo central to start mapping out workplace visits where we can speak with members and potential members about what we are doing across the NPS, CRCs, Cafcass and Probation Northern Ireland. Our membership has been rising steadily since last year's AGM but now is as good a time as any to try and step up our efforts to recruit more members. I will have spoken at 5 Branch AGMs this round and these meetings, along with our successful reps training programme are also showing that new activists are emerging to take our work forward into the next generation. Who said Napo was finished?