Last week’s meeting of your National Executive Committee included a number of important agenda items, one of which was to receive a report from our Pay negotiators on where HMPPS had got to in respect of the pay remit that we had been told was with HM Treasury for clearance. I am working with the Comms team here to see how we can capture some of the key decisions and get these out to members.
Meanwhile, the exchanges below indicate that while there is a degree of confidence from senior NPS leaders that pay talks will get underway in late June or early July, this will mean little for members who have suffered the most appalling setbacks on pay. These are due to a combination of Government austerity policies and a failure up to now by senior HMPPS leaders to convince Ministers that they should be given the required level of funding to address the systemic failures in the reward structure that since 2008 has been dependent on sufficient funding being available.
As I said in my reply to Sonia Crozier, whose personal integrity I have no reason to doubt in this matter, we must have an indication as to what the so called pay remit package actually contains, or whether in fact it is past its sell by date and will be unfit for consumption before we bother unwrapping it.
That’s why we are making plans to consult with our learned friends on how we can take forward pay equality cases in the NPS and CRCs, its why we are making plans for a possible Parliamentary Lobby alongside UNISON (working to the 11th July as a probable date) and its why we submitted a joint pay claim.
We keep hearing that things are imminent, but in the present political climate we can’t just rely on the decisions going our way as they have not up to now.
The NEC also received a full report on the state of play across the CRC Estate where some providers are doing better on pay than the NPS (who would have thought it?) and some are doing even worse in general than anyone could have imagined.
At the moment all CRC providers are in discussions with the MOJ about their funding position and are under further pressure as a result of the Public Accounts Committee directives issued just before the summer. I also understand that some serious discussions have taken place with a variety of stakeholders around a ‘Plan B’ and a letter has gone in to Rory Stewart’s office to ask if he might mind telling us what’s been going on.
One report indicates that our old friends Working Links are in the ‘very concerned’ category of providers who clearly need cash from somewhere if they are not to be the first to hit the exit button.
I’ll reserve my views on what happens next there when we know more, but perhaps someone somewhere in that particular enterprise will now see the benefits of engagement with the unions and why staff are seriously jarred off at being told that they will soon receive their contractual increment but no more.
Lots happening around the Professional front at the moment and I hope to report shortly on some hugely important outcomes from some Professional Forums that have taken place across the country in my next blog post
Members will by now have received ballot papers for the election for the General Secretary position. This is not the place for engaging in discussion beyond saying that both candidates are accessible via their preferred social media accounts, and that both candidates will be hoping that Napo members take part in this important ballot.