Protecting UNISON members in the Community Rehabilitation Companies

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2015 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
18 June 2015

Conference notes that on 1 June 2014, 8,000 former Probation Trust staff were transferred from the outgoing Probation Trusts to one of the 21 new Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) as a result of the government’s misguided Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. On 1 February 2015, the CRCs were sold into private ownership by the Ministry of Justice. Five large private companies/private-sector led consortia now own 18 of the 21 CRCs.

These new owners are now starting to put the proposed future operating models for their CRCs into the public domain. Although the full details of these models are not yet fully disclosed, we have already seen:

• CRCs proposing job cuts of up to 40% of their workforces

• The use of biometric reporting machines replacing the work of employees

• Closure of corporate service departments and the transfer of these functions to parent company shared service centres

• Attempts to worsen the terms of the national enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme

• The use of private sector and voluntary sector sub-contractors to provide CRC services, thereby fragmenting the probation workforce further

• A two-tier pension system coming into being, as CRCs offer new starters inferior defined contribution pension schemes

Conference believes that these and other changes are going to fundamentally change the delivery of probation services to communities and service users for the worse, and place CRC staff in an increasingly vulnerable position in relation to workloads and stress.

Conference therefore calls upon the Service Group Executive to work with the National Probation Committee, Regional Police and Justice Committees and branches:

Monitor and review the CRC operating models as they emerge

1)Campaign against any CRC operating models which UNISON believe to be unworkable or unsafe, including press and publicity work as necessary

2)Seek to ensure that the health and safety of UNISON members working for the CRCs is protected

3)Campaign for each CRC to have a proper workload management tool which protects staff interests

4)Defend the terms and conditions of CRC staff

5)Recruit and organise effectively in the CRCs to seek to ensure that UNISON is highly visible in CRC workplaces

6)Support UNISON representatives in the CRCs