It’s not often that we would send out two separate mailings to members in the space of a few hours but I am sure that you will appreciate the importance of the two issues that I am covering and the need for Napo to make our position absolutely clear.
As I write there will be many members who will have been involved in briefings with their senior managers about the implications of today’s announcement on probation by the justice secretary David Gauke.
You will have seen the robust response from Napo to the proposals in our earlier media release and some members may have been up early enough to see the work I did live on BBC News and Sky this morning. At what is again a massively uncertain climate for our members (especially for those working in the CRC estate), I wanted to make it absolutely clear that Napo’s criticism of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme and the latest proposed reforms do not in any way imply criticism of probation staff and managers who have worked incredibly hard to maintain service levels in an operational environment not of their choosing.
There are obviously a number of immediate challenges for Napo following the government’s decision to press ahead with their ‘Marketisation’ strategy for probation. The first will be to submit our evidence to the eight-week consultation exercise and the second is to take up the invitation I have received from the Labour Leadership to engage with their review into the future of probation. Beyond that we will be stepping up our campaign via the TUC, party conferences and parliament when it reconvenes.
While we remain implacably opposed to the government’s plans and the further bail out for existing CRCs over the next two years, we have a duty to continue our engagement with senior HMPPS leaders and ministers to urge a rethink and to ensure that our members interests are protected.
I will of course ensure that relevant communications are issued at every opportunity and we will be analysing the minister’s proposals and will be issuing an invite to members to feed into our response to the consultation.