tburke@napo.org.uk's blog


Joint Unions in Prison Alliance wants to hear from you

The Joint Union in Prison Alliance is surveying staff in the prisons in England and Wales to find out about their recent experiences of working in the prison environment.

Napo has been part of this trade union alliance since it was set up last summer. It is formed of nine unions, all of whom have members working in prisons. This is the first time these unions have come together in this way - and this came about as a result of the real and significant concerns we have as to the safety of our members working in prisons.

NY Times ponders the curious case of Failing Grayling

For years, Napo members have known what a catastrophe Chris Grayling is. Dubbed "Failing Grayling", the Tory secretary of state seems to have the reverse Midas Touch with an uncanny ability to corrode everything he gets his hands on. The probation service was left in pieces after his stint as justice secretary, and now he has his mitts on transport, we wait in trepidation for the wheels to come off in similar fashion.

HMIP says NPS North West "good" but needs more staff

NPS North West got a thumbs up from the probation inspectorate who said the division had "a clear vision and strategy for high-quality services" but warned there was not enough staff to deliver them.

Dame Glenys said: “The division is delivering a good overall standard of service, despite being under strain, and I hope that our findings and recommendations help the division to improve further. We note that staff shortages and poor facilities have featured in each of our recent NPS inspections, and our recommendations also reflect these wider concerns.”

Probation staff "scapegoated"

Probation staff are being scapegoated for mistakes caused by Grayling's failed privatisation experiment Napo's GS told Byline magazine.

In his interview with Hardeep Mathura, Ian revealed the union’s caseload of probation officers involved in disciplinary actions or required to provide evidence at inquests following SFOs has increased markedly over the past two to three years.

Napo disppointed by ministerial response

Napo is disappointed that the minister did not make a verbal statement to the House yesterday. A number of questions had been prepared for MPs that had indicated they would like to speak and we had hoped to glean more information from the session. Unfortunately Richard Burgon's Urgent Question was also not chosen. Although he will try to get another one in today off the back of yesterday's speech given by David Gauke. Napo will continue to push for a meeting with the Minister as well.

Frenetic day of media coverage


Napo's GS, Ian Lawrence, described yesterday as "absolutely frenetic" as he was pulled into one media interview after another when the press got whiff of the latest issues plaguing probation.

The NPS IT chaos kicked things off, with Live Sport Radio and The Times running stories on the failures that could impact on the delivery of justice.

Hacking rumours quashed amid NPS and CRC IT chaos

Napo members in the NPS and CRCs have been left feeling more than frustrated since chaos gripped IT systems this week.

Napo GS Ian Lawrence and National Chair Katie Lomas tackled the employer at yesterday's Trade Union Engagement Meeting, who quickly put to bed any rumours that the system had fallen victim to external attacks. Instead it seems that a glitch resulting from a system upgrade of 45,000 members is to blame.


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