Probation Service Pay Freeze 2021

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Probation staff face a cruel and unnecessary government pay freeze this year. Despite your efforts keeping communities safe during the pandemic, and the risks which you and your colleagues took in coming to work during the lockdowns, the government wants to freeze your pay.

With RPI inflation running at 3.8% (July), and forecast to be higher, the government is only allowing your employer to offer the following derisory pay award this year:

  • A £250 increase in the pay of all probation staff earning up to £24,000 (basic pay)
  • Nothing for all other probation staff
  • No increase on any allowances

That means the majority of probation staff will get no pay rise at all this year while probation pay continues to go backwards. Whilst the cost of living has risen by 27.6% in the last 10 years, your pay has gone up by only 1%.

Just to remind you, the unions’ pay claim for this year was for an above inflation rise on all pay points, and allowances, in addition to pay progression.

To avoid any doubt, the contractual pay progression that most members are waiting to receive, backdated from 1st April this year, is not a pay rise. The pay progression arrangements are designed to ensure that staff receive the rate for the job within 5 years. Therefore, pay progression is not a pay award to compensate you for rises in living costs.

Just think how much buying power your salary has lost in the last 10 years. Your earnings are falling further and further behind and we need to do something about it, or it will just continue. That is why we need to hear from you in this consultative ballot for all trade union members working in the Probation service.

Click here to see the Pay Offer


We need to send a strong message to the government, and to the Probation Service, that we will not accept the pay freeze. This is why the unions are now recommending that you vote to reject the pay freeze and to indicate that you would be prepared to vote for industrial action to seek a decent pay offer and to defend your salary from further erosion.

This is not an industrial action ballot, and you will not be asked to undertake any action as a consequence of this vote. The result will be indicative only and a further statutory postal ballot would be needed before members were called upon to take part in industrial action.

Each union will be running the consultative ballot separately under their own arrangements, but on the same timetable.

The vote will open on 25th August and close at mid-day on 22nd September.

Please read the offer from the employer and vote using the form below to reject the 2021 Probation Service Pay Freeze. You deserve more.

Ian Lawrence                   Ben Priestley
General Secretary            National Officer
Napo                                 UNISON


The Probation Service Employer wants to impose the government’s public sector pay freeze on probation staff in 2021. This would mean:

  • £250 increase for probation staff earning up to £24,000 (basic pay)
  • No increase for probation staff earning over £24,000 (basic pay)
  • No increase on any allowances

Please read the above Joint Probation Unions Pay Bulletin before you vote.

Napo’s Probation Negotiating Committee strongly recommend that members vote to REJECT the pay freeze and show that you would be prepared to vote for industrial action in a future ballot to support our claim for an above inflation rise for probation staff this year.

Please note:

  • THIS IS NOT AN INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOT.   You will not be asked to take any industrial action unless you have voted again in a formal industrial action ballot which Napo may call in the future as a result of this consultation.
  • Your response will remain completely anonymous.
  • You must select one option before you will be able to submit your response.

Please ensure that you place your vote by Mid-day on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.