This week’s TUC in Brighton had a definite feel of renewed hope following the unexpected result of the General Election.
Two key issues were hot topics for debate. One was obviously the need to break the public sector pay cap (click here to read the statement from myself and Yvonne Pattison issued to all Napo members), the other being the impact of the current Brexit ‘negotiations’ for want of a better word, that are going on between the UK government and the EU. I intend to give this latter and very important issue some coverage in the next Napo Quarterly (NQ) and given the seriousness of developments, I would not be surprised to see an emergency motion appear from somewhere into our upcoming AGM.
The pay cap is an insult
On pay, it’s absolutely clear that the important work that Napo has been doing on re-modernising the probation pay system has now been relegated to the ‘Jam tomorrow’ section of the Ministers to-do list.
Instead, came a pathetic and patronising announcement from the self-styled ‘Workers Party’ about the need to do more for public service staff followed by insulting pay offers to different groups of workers with a clear intention to divide and rule.
As can be seen from the Napo statement above, I will shortly be setting out plans to the Officers Group for a series of ballots on pay across all of the 24 Employers where Napo are represented. These will be indicative ballots to reflect the strength of feeling amongst our members about the attitude of their employers to decent pay both now and going forward. The ballots will be specifically tailored to ensure that any formal process down the track will clearly spell out the particular trade dispute that we may have to register with the NPS, PBNI, Cafcass or a CRC.
More details will follow shortly, but if these plans are approved we could do with a big turn out and a big ‘yes’ to the prospect of industrial action should this become necessary.
Congress gives probation campaign a big boost
Both Yvonne and I engaged with a lot more delegation members than usual at the various fringes and networking events and received many compliments for the way in which we spelled out the problems in the few minutes that are afforded to all speakers.
The good run of media coverage that we have had in recent weeks has been added to by today’s excellent article by Hardeep Matharu a talented young journalist who has followed the probation crisis since Grayling caused it all in 2014.
Lots more next week, have a great weekend