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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2016

Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination

Napo members striking against privatisation in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson

Napo members striking against privatisation in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party reporters

Probation and family court workers left Napo's annual general meeting in a significantly more buoyant mood to the one in which they arrived. Increased attendance and key debates about the strategy of the union served to energise the conference in a way that hasn't happened since probation services were part-privatised in 2014.

The central debate was over national collective bargaining in the probation service, where a number of employers are threatening to break away from national agreements.

National Vice-Chair Chas Berry said proposals to set up single employer bargaining would set a precedent making it impossible to return to a fully integrated public service. "Why are we trying to make deals with the devil", he said, "It may look tempting, but once you've sold your soul, you won't be getting it back!"

The motion committing Napo to resist any attempt by employers to break away was passed overwhelmingly and this was carried over into support for the Corbyn-led Labour Party in any campaign to reinstate probation as a national amalgamated public service.

Significantly, over 50 people attended an unofficial fringe meeting under the banner of 'Napo4Corbyn' where a new left platform within the union was established.

It seems clear the enthusiasm generated by the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader can be used as a powerful tool for reinvigorating our union at the grassroots.

This will be vital if we are to put flesh on the bones of the important decisions made at this conference.

Perspective

Putting things into perspective, the most vital motion passed all week was the final one brought by members in the family court section opposing the government's Children and Social Work Bill. This bill proposes to exempt local councils from their legal duties affecting social care, including child protection services.

The motion illustrates why we cannot wait until 2020 for a change of policy. Lives are quite literally at risk if we do not organise the resistance now.

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In The Socialist 5 October 2016:


What we think

Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories out!

Come to Socialism 2016!

Sam Allardyce corruption shame: reclaim the game!

Asos workers fear taking toilet breaks, sacked for panic attacks

UK workers born in early 1980s half as wealthy as those born in 1970s

Millions have less than £100 savings

Them & Us

What we saw


Black History Month

Fighting racism today


Workplace news and analysis

RMT president Sean Hoyle speaks to the Socialist

Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike

Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination

London Met strike against job cuts and victimisation

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Corbyn's praise for Cardiff Labour is mistaken

Review: where you live can kill you

Review: international jazz protest storytelling

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Students

Socialist ideas - winning a new generation of students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march against Tory conference

Protests against children's centre closures in Bolton

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fighting fund record smashed again!

Leeds: Solidarity demo with Irish abortion fight

London: Socialism Today milestone celebration

Worcester: Public meeting discusses Corbyn


International socialist news and analysis

Poland: Fighting back against anti-abortion law

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment!

Joint declaration by Izquierda Revolucionaria and the CWI


 

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