NAO report reflects reality

Today’s publication of the National Audit Office Report into Transforming Rehabilitation has mirrored everything that our members have been saying about life post-TR.

We will be studying this carefully in terms of how we engage with Michael Gove on a range of issues and we have already served notice that we would welcome an invitation to appear before the Public Accounts Committee scheduled for July.

The essence of the report is that there are now a number of clearly identifiable areas, where the NAO agree with Napo’s analysis, that need serious attention from Ministers and NOMS. These include: service delivery and performance data, staff well-being, ICT and workloads.

It was also interesting to note that two CRC providers have been pulled up by the MOJ contact compliance team and been handed down some £78k in fines (service credits). Somehow I don’t think they will be the last.

We will issue more news once we have had a good look at what the NAO have said, but meanwhile I would welcome any observations that you may have about their findings especially in advance of our meeting with the Secretary of State later next month


VLO and AP Job Evaluation – Important clarification

I have issued the following self-explanatory Branch Briefing today.

It has come to Napo’s attention today that many members are expressing confusion about the appeals process due to some erroneous communications that are circulating (these were not seen or issued by Napo). In light of this we feel that we need to clarify exactly what is happening and where we are in this process.

At the moment the NOMS unions are involved in a brief and specific consultation with the employers about the process we should use to help individuals move forward with appeals following the above Job Evaluations. This consultation is NOT the appeal process itself, but a discussion as part of the wider E3 negotiations, about how to moderate the system following Napo and the probation unions having secured a halt to the appeals system after the unsatisfactory outcomes from these and other Job Evaluations.

Do not submit an Appeal!

The deadline of the 10th May which appears in these communications is the date by which the Unions have been asked to respond collectively to the employers about this consultation. No individual appeal process has started, and Napo members are not required to lodge individual appeals.

Napo are working to ensure that the views of our  VLO and AP members are incorporated into the response, and we are currently seeking 3 Napo volunteers from each group to work closely with us to ensure that all of the issues helpfully raised by members are properly covered and incorporated into our response to NOMS.

Please be reassured that you do not need to take any action at this point unless you have been specifically approached by Ian Lawrence or Katie Lomas.

This situation is not of Napo’s making but we felt it important to issue this clarification.

Napo tells the TUC - this ‘deal’ is just unacceptable!

The heat has been turned up a few degrees in the ‘in or out’ Euro referendum debate following the joint article by former TUC Chief Brendan Barber and David Cameron in yesterday’s Guardian. This promoted the cause of the ‘remain’ camp and among other things proffered a view on how the rights of working people would be better served by staying in the EU.

Napo has adopted a neutral position on Europe absent any debate by our members - although staying in is actually TUC policy. Nevertheless, an alliance of this nature was always going to create controversy and the situation has become more complicated following extremely well informed speculation that it was part of a ‘Faustian’ like deal which has led to some late concessions on the wretched Trade Union Bill, this now being the subject of ‘ping pong’  between the Lords and Commons.

Two issues here for me. One being the legitimacy of engaging with the leader of a government whose policies have created such societal division and even if that could be at all justified as the basis for concessions on the TU bill, it hardly presents as the greatest bit of backroom negotiation since what is supposedly on offer in return for the obvious leg up for ‘remain’ falls woefully short of being anywhere near acceptable.

Here’s what we have said to Frances O’Grady following views expressed by the FBU

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary


Congress House

Great Russell Street

London WC1B 3LS


28 April 2016

Dear Frances,

Guardian Article and the EU debate

I am writing to you with regards to the letter that Matt Wrack sent to you yesterday. Napo would like to join the FBU in expressing our concerns about the Guardian article and to have those concerns formally placed on record. Napo is not mandated either way in the EU referendum but we feel it is deeply inappropriate for Brendan Barber to use his previous position as TUC General Secretary to promote an alliance with David Cameron's 'Remain' campaign.

At a time when the media are already speculating that a "deal" has been done with the Trade Unions in order to secure so called concessions to the Trade Union Bill, this publicity, in our view, damages our campaign. No real concessions have been made to the Bill which is still currently being debated, and those which have been signalled as possibilities, are of little help to Napo who have incurred substantial expenditure to prepare for our current Direct Debit switch campaign as a result of the cessation of 'checkoff'. Aligning ourselves with a Conservative driven 'Remain' campaign undermines further the work that affiliates are doing to stop the Bill and to the wider fight to protect the rights of working people.

The implication in the Guardian article to the effect that the TUC supports Cameron's EU campaign as a 'quid pro quo' for some minor concessions, implies that the movement supports their continuing systemic assault on workers and trade union rights. Napo urges the TUC to publically distance itself from this article and the views expressed by Brendan as a matter of urgency and to reinforce the view that trade unions have not "done a deal" nor will we with this Conservative government.

As always I am happy to discuss the situation at your convenience

Yours sincerely,



General Secretary









Blog type: 
General Secretary's Blog