Protecting UNISON Members in the National Probation Service

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2015 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
18 June 2015

Conference notes that the National Probation Service (NPS) has embarked on its E3 programme to review and reform the delivery of probation services which it inherited from the 35 former Probation Trusts on 1 June 2014. The purpose of E3 is to design a new operating model for the NPS in the following areas of NPS work: courts, community supervision, integrated offender management, prisons, sex offenders, approved premises, commissioned services, youth offending, victims, ICT, HR and estates.

The E3 programme will therefore impact on all areas in which UNISON NPS members work. In the current austerity environment, Conference is concerned that the impact of E3 may result in:

a)fewer staff being employed to deliver more services

b)downward pressure on job evaluation outcomes, as former Probation Trust pay and grading decisions are reviewed, or new posts are designed and evaluated

c)staff being recruited on non-NNC terms and conditions, as has been the case with relief staff working in approved premises

d)more services being outsourced to the private sector

e)staff being forced to redeploy into different areas of work, as is happening with probation service officers who currently work in prisons

f)greater health and safety risks as workloads expand without proper workload measurement and management systems

Conference notes that UNISON is a member of the NPS E3 Forum which provides for engagement between unions and employer on the E3. Conference instructs the Service Group Executive to work with the National Probation Committee to:

1)engage fully with the E3 programme to protect the interests of UNISON members working for the NPS;

2)seek to put UNISON representatives onto all the E3 programme work-streams to seek to maximise UNISON’s influence on outcomes;

3)seek to protect the pay and conditions of UNISON NPS members as part of the E3 programme, particularly in relation to the harmonisation of pay across the NPS and in respect of the creation of new posts which might threaten to undercut rates for existing jobs;

4)oppose any privatisation proposed by the E3 programme;

5)consult members and branches on key issues coming out of the E3 programme;

6)use the E3 programme as an organising tool to recruit more members and activists.