Norwich probation staff hold one-day strike as part of national protest

NAPO members working for the probation service picketing Centenary House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith NAPO members working for the probation service picketing Centenary House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Monday, March 31, 2014
1:34 PM

Probation staff are holding a one-day strike as part of a dispute with the government over outsourcing.

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The strike started at noon today, when members of Napo, the trade union for probation and family court staff, formed a picket line outside Norwich Probation Office in Centenary House in Palace Street, Norwich.

The strike will last until noon tomorrow.

Ian Lawrence, general secretary of the union, said: “The government plans to outsource 70% of the probation service is untried and untested. It is a dangerous social experiment that we believe will lead to a reduction in rehabilitation and fragment risk management placing the public at risk”.

Justice minister Jeremy Wright said: “It is very disappointing that Napo has chosen to strike when we are making positive progress towards the implementation of these vital reforms.

“We are pleased that Napo, along with the other probation trade unions, has recently ratified a National Agreement on staff transfer that will provide a series of protections for probation staff. We are therefore surprised that they have now chosen to adopt this unhelpful course of action.

“Probation trusts have well established contingency arrangements to deal with any potential action and we will continue to support staff and engage with unions as our reforms move forward.”

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