C19 Bulletin 24 - 23-06-20

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Napo and POA agree joint approach to prison recovery

Ian Lawrence and Katie Lomas met with colleagues from POA yesterday to agree an approach to prison recovery work. We have built a positive working relationship with our sister union in connection to the implementation of OMiC and we believe there is real value in continuing to work together in the interests of members who are based in prisons. We will continue to keep in contact at national level to share information and support each other’s efforts to raise and resolve issues. POA health and safety reps will be working on risk assessments and safe systems of work for the OMUs in prisons and they will seek input from Napo members and reps in doing so. If you are based in a prison please make sure the POA H&S rep is in touch with your branch H&S rep and support the joint work on this.

If you have any concerns about this please contact your branch reps initially so that they can be raised with the relevant divisional/regional managers. Katie Lomas is Napo’s lead for OMiC if you need further support and advice klomas@napo.org.uk

Health and Safety - no room for a complacent recovery

If moving into the Exceptional Delivery Model regime was tough, and trust us it was, then the planning and implementation of the Recovery Phase is going to be a difficult ask.
Napo has spent many a long day engaging with the 23 employers where we are represented to acknowledge the valuable contribution that the unions have made in response to the unprecedented emergency that we are nowhere near the end of.

Front and centre has been the essential requirement that all employers have a legal obligation to consult the trade unions on their plans to reinstate services, and that’s why Napo has held a series of events for members and their representatives by way of two seminars for Probation and Cafcass members and on line Health and Safety training.
Napo has today submitted a list of our accredited Health and Safety representatives to HMPPS where we are claiming that additional workload relief must be provided to them so that we can take part in the critical risk assessments that must be in place before any activity is resumed be it returning to a workplace, increasing face to face contact with clients and also within the Approved Premises and Prison estate which present especially difficult challenges for staff.

Problems emerge and they need sorting quickly.

At the time of writing we have just finally received some risk assessment model templates from HMPPS which as we understand it, have been used to start shaping the recovery plans across NPS Divisions. We are analysing these to make sure that they have taken on board our National input but that’s not the end of the matter.

Unfortunately, we have also learned that Divisional Directors were themselves given a ridiculous timetable to work with and that in some cases have submitted plans to HMPPS Gold Command to reopen offices which have not been discussed with local trade union representatives at all, and this needs rectifying.

Putting it succinctly this is totally unacceptable; and we will be taking this up directly with Probation Director General Amy Rees. We don’t want to have expend vital energy in drawing up a public shortlist of unsafe workplaces across employers but it’s an option we will keep in reserve. Meanwhile, we are reminding senior leaders of Napo’s key demands for the recovery process:  

  • No work should start in offices/courts/ family visits before an up to date risk assessment and individual RA is in place.
  • All risk assessments, at local and national level to be subject to consultation with Napo
  • Napo reps to be given sufficient paid time and accompanying workload relief to allow them to work with their employer on this consultation process
  • That this and other Covid19 risk assessments should be reviewed and revised as necessary in line with changes in current advice and this is to be done involving staff and their Napo reps.
  • That the work place will need a deep clean before opening.
  • Equalities issues such as the impact on disabled staff, pregnant women and maternity and the now recognised factors relating to BAME staff in relation to Covid19 should be factored into this risk assessment.

Our work benefits everyone

The foregoing provides a snapshot of Napo’s work on behalf of our members which benefits all staff and those who are not at this stage members of a trade union.
The remarkable developments in Probation and the hugely successful member focussed events that we have organised on Health and Safety in the last week, is further evidence that our campaigning and professional work is a cut above the rest.