And it’s goodbye from me and ………………

It is with mixed feelings that I have to announce that I am leaving the Probation Service.

I’ve been here for over 22 years now. I thought I would only be here for a couple of years at most!

Many of you will know that trade union roles are under significant threat from this Governments attack on the trade union movement. I have borne that pressure for nearly two years now (I have the original emails!)

Hence the offer of Voluntary Redundancy has been a decisive factor in my decision. I am in some way endeavouring to control my own destiny rather than have something imposed against my will. As i said at the Branch Meeting yesterday I do regret leaving as on several levels I want to remain a public sector worker and to continue to fight for the future of the Probation Service.

I do believe that on leaving that the Branch is stronger than ever. The recent recruitment campaign has seen the Branch increase in membership by around 13% and my message to those of you who have commendably put your names forward as stewards/officers is that the role is rewarding on various levels. We will shortly be arranging training and Unison has established support mechanisms for activists – you will not be on your own.

As for my own future I have been successful in obtaining a role within Unison, albeit temporary in nature, so I will be able to continue to fight for the membership against this Governments policies and also do as much as I can to get rid of them at the next General Election.

On reflection it has been an absolute privilege to be the Branch Secretary. Like any role it has its ups and downs, it has been very demanding and often at times I’ve felt overwhelmed. Ultimately though it has been rewarding.

Trade Unionism is in my blood, even my football team is red!

I am grateful for your support over the years, I will miss you all.






Vance Butterworth

Secretary NW Probation & Cafcass UNISON (20085)

5th Flr, Oakland Hse, Talbot Rd, Old Trafford

Manchester M16 0PQ

Tel 03000479111

Mobile 07595007800