COVID-19 BULLETIN 20

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Napo - working for our members

It was made very clear in Monday’s member mail out that as far as Napo are concerned, we have no intention of seeing our members rushed back to unsafe workplaces. This report provides an overview of many, but not all, of the wide range of discussions that have been taking place with employers. Our Cafcass members should also have seen the progress report issued by the Napo Family Court Section Executive on Tuesday.

CRCs

Our Officials have been meeting with CRC owners and Napo activists as we jointly ensure that there is no relaxation of the Exceptional Delivery Models (EDMs) that have been put in place to protect staff and service users in the efforts to control the C19 infection rate. We are also consulting with members in some CRC areas to explore the scope to put further pressure on a number of CRC employers to take some meaningful action on pay. So far we have seen encouraging progress from Seetec and DTV in particular, and Sodexo. But sadly other CRCs have been offering the same excuses as they have been doing for some time about affordability. This hardly augurs well for their future ability to pay staff properly, especially if they are serious about bidding for the proposed Probation Provider Contacts which are scheduled to commence in June 2021.
 
Probation Programme

As to the reform programme itself, we continue our regular meetings with the HMPPS/MoJ team to work through the staff transfer agreement that will underpin the return of Sentence Management (formerly known as OM) functions to the NPS in just over 12-months time. These are complex discussions, and we are still not yet in a position to ballot members as we intend to get this right. We are maintaining our view that employment protections must be in place for all staff who transfer either to the NPS or to other providers. At the same time, we press on with our campaign in and outside of Parliament, to see the return of all Probation work back into public control and ownership.

Members' safety

In the last few days we have been involved in dialogue with employers and the TUC as we all try and make sense of the impact of the Government’s mixed messages on easing Lockdown. This is one of the reasons why we issued our survey on Homeworking which we are asking you to assist us with. SURVEY

So far nothing has been agreed which will change any element of the EDMs and we are expecting to receive a letter next week from HMPPS explaining their commitment to working together on recovery. This will include agreement that HMPPS will give the unions at least 2 weeks’ notice of any proposed changes to operations.

Napo Officers and Officials have also been working flat out in helping to turn around important communications relating to individual risk assessments with a strong emphasis on how the employer should offer further support to its staff. This exercise will also include special guidance for managers in their engagement with Black/BAME staff who have been belatedly recognised by Government as being especially vulnerable to the C19 virus

Discussions have also been taking place with senior leaders in the Approved Premises Estate and a separate report will be issued to members early next week.

Despite our non-agreement with the Special Payments Scheme, we continue to feed in the views from members about its inadequacies, and press for equality of recognition for all of our members during these hugely difficult times.

The current Pandemic has further highlighted the importance of trade unions sharing their experiences and bargaining successes and Napo has been represented at a series of meetings with the TUC and GFTU where our approach to safety for union employees and external employer relations issues was very well received. Napo has been invited to provide some specific background material to TUC negotiators for their meetings with Government Ministers.

Unacceptable and avoidable

At these events there has also been an opportunity to register the collective grief that we all feel following the tragic loss of so many workers to C19.

This week’s news of the death of TSSA member Belly Mujinga, after having been spat upon by a member of the public whilst she was on duty at London Victoria, was both heart rending and a blemish on our society. Here is a link to a petition that explains how Belly was left exposed to danger and which members may wish to sign. PETITION

Napo’s new National Official

Many Napo members will have met or spoken with Annoesjka Valent in recent years. You will no doubt join us in congratulating Annoesjka on being appointed to the role of temporary National Official for the next 12 months following an internal process.

Annoesjka will have a portfolio including Trade Union Organisation and bargaining responsibility for Seetec KSSCRC (West ) and the two MTC CRC’s wef 1st June.

Coming up in future mailouts…

News following the scheduled meeting with the Justice Minister; HMIP issue thematic inspection of SFOs; our work in relation to safety in AP’s; PBNI pay talks to commence soon.