I am blogging today from De Montfort University in Leicester where the Probation Institute Trainees Conference (the first for QIP 2 and 2a Trainees in NPS and CRCs) has just finished. I was speaking at the conference along with NPS Executive director Sonia Crozier, and took the opportunity to set out Napo’s prespective of the post-TR landscape as well as to outline our view on the future direction of probation.
Briefly, I spoke about the desperate need for Probation pay reform, ending gender discrimination, delivering decent pay rises for all and quicker movement up the pay scales. (This must also apply to our members in Cafcass and PBNI).
I also called for a return to genuine collective bargaining across the NPS and CRCs so that we have common standards of employment across the two arms of the service which will bring stability and certainty for staff and more scope for movement of staff across both parts of the service.
With regard to the future: I made it clear that, while Napo’s stated position is that we want to see Probation back in public ownership, we will (as we told the Justice Select Committee in March), work with all politicians to achieve a community focused, desistance driven probation model.
We must also strengthen the Professional aspects of your work and, which is why, Napo along with the Probation Institute is campaigning for a Licence to Practice across probation and prisons.
On the issue of probation pay. Napo’s joint pay claim 2018/19 was submitted to the NPS and CRC employers at the end of last week. A big well done to all our members, and Unison members, who took to the streets with placards and leaflets on Friday 18th May to mark the launch of our pay campaign and to high light the fact that those working in probation have been treated more harshly than other public sector workers, and received just a single 1% pay increase since 2009.
The Edridge Fund for Napo, which does vital work providing money and support to people in need in the Probation Service and Family Courts Service, has recently appointed two new Trustees. Ian Hankinson (Mercia Branch) was elected at the March NEC and David Raho (from London Branch) was co-opted as a Trustee. Ian contacted me this week to say that he had been surprised to find that there are on average 10 applications for assistance to the Fund pe month. This is a real indicator of need. At the same time the funds available to meet this need have veen declining over the last few years. So, Edridge really needs Napo members to help it to help our colleagues in need.
One simple way to help is to join the excellent 50/50 Club that Edridge runs which gives you a chance of winning a monthly cash prize while at the same time supporting Edridge. The Edridge website at www.edridgefund.org has lots of information about the charity and ways to support it, as well as an application form for the 50/50 Club. Please have a look and support Edridge if you can..
I'll be blogging more later in the week so do keep checking out the website.