Napo experiences a surge in membership

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Napo experiences a surge in membership

Drowning in paperwork is usually a bad thing; but when that paperwork is over 100 membership application forms amassed during a three week period, it’s cause for celebration.

When the NPS pay ballot was announced, Napo experienced a membership surge that has not been seen since TR dented our figures back in 2014.

Buoyed by the thought of belonging to the union pressing for a better deal for probation staff, 117 new joiners signed up between 15 October and 31 October, pushing Napo membership through the 5k ceiling it had been pressed up against for a significant period of time.

Napo membership has been on a gradual increase – over 260 applications were processed between the September and November NECs. But this spike in membership during the ballot represented a 4% increase in NPS members.

Joining Napo gave over 100 extra NPS staff the ability to stand shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues who were existing members and have their voices heard.

The ability to have your voice heard and effect change is probably one of the biggest and most meaningful reasons to join a trade union. Here at HQ we were happy to see that this desire still exists; despite the unrelenting upheaval at a political and workplace level designed to knock the fight out of even the most resilient of people.

Napo members new and longstanding alike voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer on the table. And while we are happy that the situation for some of our members will be greatly improved, it is time we give a voice to those in the CRC who are also calling for a weightier payslip.

Density matters

Napo has had recent success with recruiting NPS members; and this in part aided a landslide yes vote in the pay e-ballot.

And while we have a decent foothold in the CRCs, we really need to increase our density if we are going to make a similar impact for our members in the private companies.

Having 21 CRCs divided amongst eight major owners presents real difficulty. The challenge for Napo is not just having lots of CRC members. It’s about having lots of CRC members in each of the CRCs which will increase our density.

Union density is an unscrupulous employer’s nightmare. When staff are organised and united in their fight to improve pay and working conditions, employers have a hard time ignoring the swell of voices demanding better.

The need to increase density is not just limited to CRCs. Members in family court section have been buckling under excessive workloads for a long time. If we could get more Cafcass workers to join Napo and become activists, it would be like giving those who want change a megaphone, and forcing all of those who have the power to make changes listen.

Recruitment will continue to be a major priority going forward. But with budget restraints making recruitment resources scarce at Napo HQ, we are hoping that members and branches will be able to take a more hands on approach when it comes to getting new members to join the union.

We are calling on all embers to speak to their non-unionised colleagues and see if they would like to join Napo. If you are able to recruit a colleague, as a token of our appreciation, we will send you a gift when they have remained in membership for three months or more.

To find out more about the recruit a friend initiative, email

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