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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 August 2015

Probation and courts union Napo needs socialist leadership

Socialist Party member Chas Berry

Socialist Party member Chas Berry   (Click to enlarge)

Chas Berry, National vice-chair, Napo

Members of probation and family courts union Napo are currently voting for national officers. The union is under sustained attack following the break-up and privatisation of over half the probation service.

In this context, a socialist voice linking our struggles with the wider anti-austerity movement has never been more important. That is why I am standing again for national vice-chair.

In the outsourced community rehabilitation companies (CRCs), members face savage cuts. Their new owners want to cash in through wholesale redundancies.

Union-busting Sodexo, which owns six CRCs, is attempting to bully nearly 500 staff into voluntary severance on drastically reduced terms. While this may be an option for some, most will have no alternative but to stick it out. And we cannot stand by while services are downgraded and destroyed.

Those who have rejected the so-called 'offer' of voluntary severance want a fight to maintain current jobs while protecting terms and conditions.

Staffing

The situation for members in the National Probation Service, now run by the civil service, is no better. Current staffing levels are dangerously low in many areas. Flexible and responsive locally run services have been replaced by a bureaucratic dictatorship. It is proving incapable of delivering the complex "rehabilitation revolution" promised by former Tory justice secretary Chris Grayling.

Members are understandably downcast. But the anti-austerity mood exemplified by support for Jeremy Corbyn shows the tide is beginning to turn. By voting for me, Napo members can show that they too will not be browbeaten by the bosses' big business agenda.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 19 August 2015:


Socialist Party features

The Labour Party, Militant and 'infiltration'

Gulf War 'unfinished business' remains today


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Subscribe to the Socialist!

Fascists caged, humiliated and driven out of Liverpool

We won't pay for their crisis!

Anger at bus service cuts in Sheffield

TUSC by-election boost in Grimsby and Cleethorpes


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn stand: A welcome upheaval in British politics

Solidarity with the Polish workers' strike

Government discrimination against EU workers

Kids Company closure

Them & Us


Workplace news and analysis

Socialist challenges right winger for Unison leadership

National Gallery all-out strike goes on as bosses sell off jobs

London tube's summer of strikes joined by First Great Western

Probation and courts union Napo needs socialist leadership

Uni unions ready Manchester jobs fight

Retail union must fight Sunday trading deregulation

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Building a new left alternative after Syriza capitulation

Ireland: drop the prosecutions, scrap the water charges

US: Kshama Sawant leads Seattle primary elections count on 50%


 

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Related links:

Napo:

triangleWorkers celebrate renationalisation

triangleKnife crime - a product of capitalist misery

triangleProbation privatisation failure

triangleTake on probation privatisation with union action

triangleVote Mike Rolfe for Napo general secretary

Union:

triangleEquity union president elections: re-elect Maureen

triangleChange in leadership needed to secure union's future

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

triangleCome to the NSSN conference

Socialist:

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Probation:

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Redundancies:

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Sodexo:

triangleBradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

Privatisation:

triangleNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

Civil Service:

trianglePCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

Jobs:

triangleYoung people fighting back: Jobs and homes, not racism

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