JTU 43-2023                                                                                 24 August 2023


As part of the three-year pay award starting in 2022, the employer insisted on removing Market Forces Supplements, that were in place for certain grades in some areas. The Probation unions warned this was a bad idea that would exacerbate the already high staff shortages in those areas and, not surprisingly, this is exactly what has happened.

As we could see the impact of the loss of market pay supplements on members and the worsening crisis, Napo, UNISON and GMB/Scoop, submitted a claim earlier this year for pay supplements. The claim covers all Probation Service staff working in Kent, Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes), Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Essex, Hampshire / Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

We know how huge increases in the cost of living, with wages that have nowhere near come close to keeping up, have caused a big impact on Probation staff’s living standards.

We have been pleased that the employer has accepted that there is a real issue and has responded positively, in principle, to our claim, although we obviously share our members frustration on the progress being made towards remedial action. 

We all accept that high living costs and staff shortage ‘hot spots’ occur in other parts of the country. We are working with the employer to progress our claim and will provide further evidence as it develops which suggests that additional areas should be considered for receipt of geographical supplements.

As part of the response to our claim, the Probation Service has agreed to set up regional meetings with the unions to hear the views of staff to examine the case for these. We will keep members updated as this work progresses.