Covid-19 Bulletin 23 - 03-06-20

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Probation Programme developments

Last week’s news that the Justice Minister had ordered the suspension of the proposed Probation Provider bid process until further notice, has obviously caused a number of questions to be raised with us by members.

We met today with Probation Programme leads and understand that a further update on the PDP competition and the wider reform programme can be expected this month.
The pause of the PDP competition provides the unions with another opportunity to again set out our case to the Prisons and Probation Minister Lucy Frazer, that Interventions and Programme work should follow the transfer of Sentence Management functions into the NPS which is still scheduled to take place in June next year. Meanwhile, we want to reassure members that negotiations with HMPPS continue on a new Framework Agreement to underpin the move of staff to new arrangements. It is hoped that these will conclude some time over the summer.
We await further developments and will be in touch again with members as soon as possible.

News from the CRCs


Early engagement has taken place with senior MTC management on their plans for recovering unpaid work services in the first instance and wider operations involving a gradual increase in face to face supervision.

Following an extremely productive first meeting the trade unions were very concerned this week at the apparent gap in communications that have emerged since then, in terms of the Company racing ahead to try and get UPW projects underway despite advice to the contrary from their contracting authority HMPPS.

Napo have made our disappointment very clear and we await sight of the plans and, alongside our sister unions, are insisting that a thorough and transparent risk process must be conducted on each and every plan.

It is clear that a number of MTC leads are doing their best to ensure that trade unions are properly consulted and nobody doubts the veracity of that commitment. Unfortunately, the company has some way to go to in demonstrating a sufficiently joined up approach in this respect and we hope to reach a better level of understanding going forward.

SEETEC Kent Surrey Sussex CRC

In marked contrast, SEETEC KSS CRC have worked extremely hard to ensure that managers and unions are fully sighted on their emerging plans for recovery. This has led to some constructive early engagement across both arms of the expanded KSSCRC which also covers Wales and the South West regions.

Detailed talks will follow on their emerging recovery plans and this represents further evidence of the huge improvement in industrial relations that has been jointly achieved since SEETEC KSS CRC took over the contract held by the failed Working Links CRC.

Sodexo has confirmed to Napo that they will not be operating UPW without first consulting the unions and having in place a fully formed plan that maintains staff  health and wellbeing  and the safety of Service users and Beneficiaries.  Moreover, they have given a commitment that as the organisation moves to develop a whole business recovery plan it will involve national Trade Union representative and consultation with local reps at an early stage.


We have had initial discussion about UPW and its restart. We are due another meeting on 4th June to look into it in more detail. They have committed to engaging with the unions although their track record of doing so has been hit and miss.


The CEO has committed to fully engage with TUs in both risk assessing workplaces and UPW. There huge issues in the area of clients making their own way to site due to a lack of public transport to many of the placements. However, due to the rurality the CRC also has access to large open spaces for placements. They are in the process of risk assessing workplaces to enable staff to go into the office to begin the process of collating staff and clients that are able to attend UPW.


We have had some preliminary discussions around Interserve’s recovery programme – but these discussions begin in earnest at a Covid19 Interserve JNCC which takes place tomorrow (03 06 20).
Early day discussions around the Interserve recovery period have centred around UPW (where there is a push coming from HMPPS level to get this service going before other areas of CRC work).
We haven’t as yet had any discussion at national level with Interserve as regards generic Covid19 risk assessments. But it is anticipated that these talks will begin very soon.
Once these generic risk assessments are agreed, they will then be adapted as necessary for each individual workplace. Napo safety reps have a legal right to be involved in this process and this is recognised by Interserve. The role of the Napo rep is important as each workplace is different and local knowledge is essential in relation to enabling a ‘Covid secure’ workplace.

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