On 14 June 2017, the fire at Grenfell Tower claimed the lives of 72 people and devastated a close-knit community in the heart of London.
Two years on, the bereaved, survivors and residents are still waiting for justice and two years on we are still waiting for the lessons from that day to be learned, and acted upon to safeguard all our communities.
Working with the Daily Mirror and Grenfell campaigners, the Fire Brigades Union are calling on Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to take five key steps:
1. Remove remaining inflammable cladding from 2,000 tower blocks and public buildings. 2. Retrofit sprinklers in high rises and schools. 3. Ensure tenants get a real voice in the running and upkeep of their buildings. 4. Reverse cuts to firefighter numbers and Fire Safety Officers. 5. Create a new independent body to oversee standards in fire service across the country.
Hopefully the attached documents are self explanatory. Unison has made representations to the NPS that we want a range of roles, changed/introduced via E3, to be re-evaluated as allowed under the JE scheme. We are beginning with the AP Residential Officer Worker role (Band 2) so would ask that if this is your role you follow the instruction to review the JD attached and submit any evidence in terms of enhanced/changed responsiblities. You can submit this either via return email or hard copy to the branch office below. We will collate your reponses and sumbit to our national office Other AP members will be communicated with in due course in respect of their roles
Admin Officer (Part Time – T/W/T) UNISON NW Probation & CAFCASS Branch C/o Moss Side Probation Office 87 Moss Lane West Moss Side Manchester M15 5PE
Today the government has announced that all offender management work currently carried out by the CRCs will return to the public sector when the CRC contracts come to an end in the spring of 2021. The CRC contracts were due to come to an end in December 2020, but have been extended to allow for the government’s plans for probation to be put in place.
But unpaid work, accredited programmes and other rehabilitative interventions and resettlement services, currently provided by the CRCs, will not transfer to the NPS. They will be offered to the private and voluntary sector in a new bidding process.
This is the same model of delivery which has already been proposed for Wales and which is already being put into place in that country.
Today’s announcement is an admission at last from the government that Chris Grayling’s botched TR reforms have failed. No one in the world of probation believed that TR would ever work, and so it proved right from the start. It is shameful that it took four and half years of pain, aggravation and heartbreak before Ministers acted. Probation has been broken and it will take a long time, and a lot of money, to fix.
The plans are a step in the right direction, because they do bring most CRC work back into the public sector, but they are also flawed in a number of key respects:
Unpaid work, programmes and interventions are to stay out in the private/voluntary sector. Many CRCs have struggled to provide these services and there is little evidence that a market exists to deliver them. UNISON wants all this work to come into the NPS. Probation needs to be re-unified; it cannot work if the split in delivery carries on into the future. We will campaign for full re-unification.
The National Probation Service has yet to prove itself. Working for the NPS has not always been a happy experience for many staff and Probation has been the poor relation to the Prison Service inside HMPPS. In particular the NPS has:
forced a one-size fits all probation model across England and Wales
downgraded key occupations such as victim liaison officers, residential workers, business managers, enforcement officers etc
suffered from on-going big staff shortages in key operational areas
1,000 agency staff to deliver work it cannot recruit into
privatised night waking cover in approved premises with disastrous consequences
put prison governors in charge of probation officers in prison
not been able to pay staff properly since it was created as a result of its privatised payroll provider getting things wrong on an on-going basis
UNISON has had its work cut out in representing members in the NPS and the organisation is going to have to improve considerably if it is to succeed in taking on all offender management work from the CRCs.
UNISON’s ‘Let’s Fix Probation’ campaign argues that all probation work should be brought back under public ownership, not as part of the NPS, but via the re-creation of Local Probation Services under local democratic control and local management. We will continue to make this case. Probation can only function properly as a unified and local service, delivered and managed in the public sector, free from the interference of the MOJ, or HMPPS.
Chris Grayling’s botched TR reforms show that Probation is just not safe in MoJ hands.
For our members, dedicated and hard working staff, today’s announcement means even more change on top of what have been the most difficult years in Probation history. More than anything UNISON hopes that the government has learnt that there is a real human cost to their experimenting. Listening to practitioners and service users will be more important than ever as we move to the next set of reforms.
Today’s announcement means that there is going to be further upheaval and change in the Probation Service. At a time like this you need a strong union to look after your job security and pay and conditions.
UNISON has already submitted a new Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement to the NPS to protect both CRC and NPS staff interests in the big changes to come. UNISON’s aim is to protect your job and your livelihood in the transfer processes which will result from the government announcement. If you are not already a trade union member in the CRCs or in the NPS, now is the time to join UNISON.
Families living on low incomes with children struggle constantly to make ends meet – and this can be particularly acute before the new school year begins when the extra costs hit hard.
But it’s not all bad news – help IS available. The union’s welfare charity There for You has once more set up a limited fund to help members on low incomes towards the costs of school uniform through a one-off payment of £40.
The process is very similar to previous years and an amount of money has been ring-fenced to support this initiative. However, once it’s gone it’s gone!
So don’t miss out. Apply early and send your form and supporting paperwork in as soon as possible. All the information you need can be found below. Alternatively, contact UNISON Direct on 0800 0857 857 for a form to be sent to you.
Just one more thing please don’t keep details of this grant a secret. Help us to help even more members and let your work colleagues know that help is at hand. There will be many, like you, worrying about how they will be able to afford uniforms to send their children back to school in the Autumn.
Completed applications need to be sent to There for You, UNISON Centre, 130 Euston Road, London, NW1 2AY by Friday 19 July 2019 at the latest.
Events are taking place across the region to celebrate and mark the day, with opportunities to hear from fantastic speakers and important campaigns
Merseyside – Monday 6th May 2019, 12noon at The Bombed Out Church, Berry Street. Marching to St George’s Hall. Speakers include Dan Carden MP and Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary. More info here
Manchester – Sunday 5th May 2019. March from All Saints Park, starting at 11am. Rally at The Mechanics Institute from 12noon, with speakers including Len McCluskey. Further events are taking place in The Mechanics Institute throughout the afternoon. More info here
Salford – Saturday 4th May 2019. Assemble 1pm at Bexley Square. Speakers include Steve Turner, Unite the Union AGS, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP and Mayor Paul Dennett. More info here
Burnley – Monday 6th May 2019. Parade and Festival. March from 12noon, starting at Burnley Town Hall. Finishing at Towneley Park, with events and activities planned. More info here