Pay Ballot produces a surge in Napo membership

While the team here do their best to respond to incoming enquiries about the NPS pay offer, we had cause to issue some further clarification following reports we have received from members who were confused or angry (or both), following contact with UNISON members or having seen other non-Napo literature. It’s here again if by any chance you have not seen it.

Our approach to this offer has been one of honesty about what it provides and what it does not. I trust in our member’s judgement to make their individual decision in the ballot based on what it means to you personally, but also I hope, what it means for your pay going forward. Let me be perfectly clear: the quantum amount of money available for this deal could never be enough to redress all of the injustices suffered by our members. Nevertheless, when I compare this to the scores upon scores of pay deals in which members of your negotiating team have been previously involved, this is undoubtedly the best offer that we could have achieved in the current climate.

I never assume anything, but a good pointer to how Napo members are viewing this deal and how they are engaging with non-members, is the surge in membership applications to join us (and have a say in the pay ballot) that have come in over the past week.

I think this vindicates our decision to recommend the offer and say why; rather than the easier option of just putting it out there and relinquishing responsibility.

Government publishes Hate Crime Action plan

In a week where I heard a TV journalist who ought to have known better, defend the right of Tommy Robinson to say what he wanted whenever he wanted. They forgot the fact that the recent contempt charges and subsequent prison sentence served by Mr Robison were because of comments that the Judiciary believed might have caused a collapse of the trial that led to this week’s convictions for child abuse in Huddersfield.

A timely point then to capture the link to the progress report by Government to its 2016-2020 hate crime action plan Hate crime action plan 2016 to 2020 where you can judge delivery against intention for yourself.

As trade unionists and citizens, I have always believed we have a duty to call out racism in our society. That belief was epitomised by a report I saw on the TV this morning featuring an appalling incident of the racial abuse of a black woman by a white male passenger on a Ryanair flight, then being vigorously challenged by a young white man sitting a couple of rows back while staff were reportedly very slow to intervene.

While the full facts of what happened are being investigated, it brought home the fact that whilst the UK is in many respects far more enlightened in terms of multi-culturalism than when I was growing up in South London, we still have a way to go.

That is why I hope Napo members will be able to play a part in events such as the National Unity demonstration against Fascism and Racism in Central London on November 17th.

We will publish a rally point for Napo members in due course.

That week also features an interesting event in Leeds being fronted by the excellent Jeremy Crook OBE who was part of that absorbing and powerful Professional session at our own AGM earlier this month.

Attendance at a free seminar at Leeds Beckett University on overcoming the barriers to change for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young offenders takes place on Wednesday, 14 November 17.00 to 19.00

The event flyer can be found here event flyer and you will need to be a member of the Academy for Social Justice Commissioning to book a place (membership and events are free)  register to join the Academy here. Once registered you can book here book here.

Serious Further Offences in the headlines again

If you had a read of my AGM speech last week, you will have seen that I made our position very clear in terms of our approach to assisting members following an SFO.

The figures quoted by the Guardian’s Jamie Grierson in the attached article make for some especially grim reading .

The article and my quoted comments highlight the unpalatable truth to the supporters of gung-ho privatisation that the ‘marketisation’ of Probation has seriously jeopardised community safety. The comment from the HMPPS spokesperson that ‘SFO’s represent just 1% and are extremely rare,’ when compared with the extra 40,000 offenders crossing Probation’s door than before Transforming Rehabilitation is not only old news but a blatant denial of the inescapable fact. This is that the infrastructure designed to protect the public has crumbled beyond repair under this fragmented delivery model.

PCS wins ‘checkoff’ victory - and yes, we are looking at this too

The brilliant news of sister union PCS winning a major victory on the removal of ‘check off’ over the government at the High Court, has understandably led to a flurry of enquiries asking whether we are going to look at the possibility of a similar claim.

The short answer is yes. In so far as we obviously need to consult with our learned friends and examine the specific details of the judgement, and whether there are any similarities with the position that we were put in when the deduction of Napo subscriptions from our NPS members was also withdrawn by Ministers.

Experience suggests that it’s unwise to simply believe that someone else’s victory should automatically have a read across, but I will report to members as soon as possible once we have undertaken our enquiries.

Solidarity with the POA

A positive result that also emanated from the High Court last week compared to what has usually gone before. This impacted on our Sisters and Brothers in the POA, where the latest attempt by the Government to force the POA to withdraw its Health and Safety demonstrations saw the Judges rule in favour of maintaining the injunction. However, they determined that the circumstances surrounding the near death by strangulation of a Prison Officer at HMP Lindholme warranted a full trial. Word is that the MoJ hierarchy are not best pleased; but yet again it takes a victims suffering to capture the attention.

As you would expect, I have sent a strong message of solidarity to Steve Gillan on behalf of Napo members everywhere. 


Blog type: 
General Secretary's Blog