Unions meet with new Probation Minister

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The start of this week saw Napo and our sister trade unions attend an introductory meeting with Damien Hinds MP, the new Minister for Prison, Parole and Probation. As is usual in these engagements time was limited, but we were able to demonstrate just how passionate we are in retaining our profession; and our fundamental concerns about the current direction of the Probation Service's  intentions to encapsulate Probation within 'One HMPPS'.  We said that this invokes an overwhelming feeling of being subsumed by our important but very different value based Prison Service.  The very fact that the 'One HMPPS' is the terminology  being used, clearly outlines to those within, that we are not at One, we are different.  We will challenge the 'one size fits all approach' which we know will simply not fit, will not recognise the individuals we work with, will not protect the public, and subsequently not reduce the number of victims - which as many of you continue to tell us, is  core to the work we do and continue to do, day in and day out.  

We heard from the Minister that the employer intends to commence consultation with the Trade Unions in the new year. We will stand firm and tall on behalf of our members, and will continue to implore the employer to recognise that this cost cutting project will result in significant costs to the value of the work you do.  We are not resistant to change, we have continually evolved and reformed especially when the profession has felt that it is under attack.  Yet, we will oppose the 'tick box culture' we are being expected to conform to.

Another main feature of the meeting was the unions combined resistance to the employers future intentions on Programmes and Interventions and the threat to public safety and the pay of our members if the current thinking evolves into final policy. In next week’s mail out we will provide a comprehensive narrative as to why this second big campaign is so vital to our members future, and our developing efforts with the Labour Party to convince them of the dangers around such a move, if they are successful in the next General Election.