National Alignment of Terms and Conditions in Approved Premises

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2014 Police & Justice Conference
25 June 2014

The Probation Service has just been split into 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) and one National Probation Service (NPS). All the Approved Premises (AP) in England and Cymru Wales have been assigned to the NPS and along with the 21 CRCs will be subject to a single table national collective bargaining agreement.

The APs are no longer the bail hostels of old, they now primarily accommodate high risk offenders on release from custody as part of a licence requirement.

Previously probation staff were employed by 35 separate Probation Trusts that were also subject to national collective bargaining. Unfortunately, not all the Trusts acted within the spirit of the National Negotiating Framework and sought ways to undermine the most fundamental aspect of national collective bargaining, an agreed price for the job.

Some Trusts brought in outside contractors at cheaper rates of pay to work shifts that would have attracted enhanced payments for our staff. They employed staff on zero hour contracts, created relief contracts on lesser rates of pay, and failed to recognise the very real responsibilities of the role within their local attempts at job evaluation.

This however did not happen in all areas, South Yorkshire does not have any member of staff in APs on less than pay band 3, all relief staff are on band 3, all staff, including relief, get sick pay, annual leave, incremental progression, enhanced payments and unsocial hours payments applied to all staff.

However, when probation staff who worked in the APs transferred from the Probation Trust to the NPS, they transferred under the terms and conditions that they were employed on by that Trust. Because some Trusts chose not to adhere to the spirit of the National Negotiating Framework, staff transferring to the NPS from these Trusts transferred on lesser terms and conditions than those staff from Trusts that did adhere to the National Negotiating Framework. This has created, effectively, a two tier workforce of probation staff working in APs, but now employed by the same employer, the NPS.

Conference, we would like to see all probation staff working in APs for the NPS to be employed on the best terms and conditions as agreed by the National Negotiating Framework, which many Trusts adhered to. We do not wish to see a move to rationalise pay and terms and conditions within the new single national employer, the NPS, which would drag our members’ pay and conditions down.

Conference calls on the SGE via the auspices of the National Probation Committee to:

1)Use information previously gathered at a national level from APs to campaign and publicise the unfairness and vast disparity of pay and terms and conditions across England and Cymru Wales.

2)To highlight the very difficult role our members play in the rehabilitation of some of the most dangerous and risky offenders at large in the community.

3)Work at national, regional and branch levels to seek to rationalise pay and terms and conditions in APs up to equal those of the previous Trust employers that have recognised and appreciated the importance of a well paid and well trained work force.

4)Support the branches and officials at a local level where pay and terms and conditions are the worst.