Probation Union conference
Napo represents Probation and Family Court staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Often at union conferences, there is a lot of agreement on the motions as someone has articulated what many feel. So you watch out for that motion that generates opposition. This year that was a Constitutional Amendment (CA) 1. This sought to reorganise branches again. The last time was only 7 years ago. The need was prompted by the reunification of the Private and Public side of Probation which is scheduled to occur in June.
I had been asked my view on CA1 the previous day via the messager facility which allowed delegates to interact during the conference. I was aware of it but had yet to fully acquaint myself with it.
I began to make notes as to why I thought it was neither the right time now the right move. For my branch which went from two to four counties only seven years ago, this proposed change would leap us into a seven-county branch which is the East of England.
I decided to speak against which meant I had to email into the conference and then receive a link to a zoom room. As the proposer of the motion began I was to access the zoom room. Great was my delight to see about 8 others in the zoom room. They were veterans of the union, people who have held position and deeply care about it. I was intrigued by this zoom room as we were out of view of the online viewers in what in the TV world they call the green room. We were able to use the chat facility while we waited and listen to the conference. When we were called suddenly our zoom screen appeared to the online conference. You will get an idea from the photos that follow.
Napo conferences are organised by the members and the only place I know where you get the whole range from former clients to Government ministers. If you want to hear the other side of the story listen to the voices at Napo conference.
Below are snippets from speeches.
Lucy Fraser MP, minister for Probation addressed Napo online conference.
“I heard two stories recently how when a PO went to a doorstep visit under COVID 19 they came across an unattended child in the house. The other was a client who after taking an overdose didn’t know what to do but walk to their local Probation office.”
Members also addressed the conference.
“What we have learnt is that HS and wellbeing is essential when working from home and it does not suit everyone” TW
“When the pendulum has swung too far in one direction it will move back. I implore us all to get behind it and start pushing. We need to be the change we want to see” MK
“Micromanagement is resulting in the reduction of POs being able to use professional judgement and this is causing staff becoming despondent and leaving the profession and will not allow Pquips to develop their professional judgement ability.” NB
For the full list of motions click below.