The Ministry of Justice made an extremely unhelpful intervention, by trying to claw back a lot of the gains which the unions have managed to achieve in previous talks. This process dominated the whole day, and made it impossible for the trade union negotiators to make any progress on our outstanding issues.
Because of the Ministry of Justice intervention, it was not possible to reach any agreement, despite the best efforts of the unions and the Probation Employers
At the end of the meeting, the Ministry of Justice representatives made it clear that this was the last opportunity for the NNC to reach agreement and it was confirmed that Chris Graylings, Secretary of State, now expects Trusts to begin the staffing split in earnest. We don’t have a clear picture of what elements of the NNC package negotiated to date will survive into the imposed package. In particular there is a big question mark over whether MOJ will now withdraw the voluntary redundancy offer (4.5 weeks pay for each year of service)
Given the failure to agree, UNISON and Napo agreed to refer the dispute to ACAS for conciliation. This process will start this week.
· UNISON will now:
o Register disputes at Trust JNCCs.
o Establish a formal trade dispute
o Urgently consider our position on industrial action
Our branch will attend meetings called by Trusts to consult over the staffing split, but not comment, or enter into any undertakings.
Members are advised that if they receive any communication from their Trust regarding the staffing split process, that they should respond by indicating that they will be referring the matter to UNISON for guidance and that they are unable to respond to the Trust until this has taken place.
Further advice will be available on our website very shortly along with a timetable of Member meetings.