MPs to probe misleading answer to PQ on Probation Pay

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MPs to probe misleading answer to PQ on Probation Pay

Liz Saville Roberts MP

A Parliamentary Question put down by Liz Saville Roberts MP, Chair of the JUPG, was answered by Justice Minister, Lucy Frazer, last week.

The MP asked what the Secretary of State for Justice would be taking to ensure that National Probation Service staff are paid their contractual increments on time.

The misleading answer was:

“In 2018 agreement was reached with National Probation Service (NPS) Trade Unions on pay modernisation. This replaces automatic pay progression with a new scheme that will link pay to professional development. Development of this scheme has been delayed. Clearly, this is a scheme that all parties want to get right and therefore we are working with Trade Union colleagues to implement it as soon as possible. We are committed to ensuring that NPS staff receive their annual pay award at the earliest possible point during 2020/21. When the pay award is made, it will be backdated to 1 April 2020.”

This is disingenuous to say the least. The reference to professional development is not only inaccurate, it masks the fact that the Treasury have intervened and not authorised payment.

Napo has briefed the parliamentary group and will be putting down a series of further PQs to draw out the deception including:

  • why development of the new scheme has been delayed.
  • in what ways probation pay will be linked to professional development.
  • what evidence exists to support his assertion that NPS Trade Unions have agreed to link pay to professional development.
  • what discussions he has had with Treasury colleagues over the delay to the development of the new scheme.
  • and what assessment he has made of the impact on probation staff morale of the delay to their contractual pay increments.

Tania Bassett, National Official (Press, Parliament and Campaigns)

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