Probation strike

UNISON members took part in a two-hour strike  14 July 2015, in support of our campaign for fair pay.

Find out more about this campaign

UNISON members working in probation in England and Wales are taking five weeks of action short of strike action from Friday 12 June after a 24-hour stoppage on Thursday 11 June. 

In the ballot 73 per cent of members voted yes for industrial action and 88 per cent for action short of strike action.

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Going on strike is never an easy decision but probation workers have been treated badly by this government. It is no wonder they are furious and ready to go on picket lines to fight for fair pay.

“But there is still time for more negotiations and for the employers to come up with a real pay offer.”

UNISON balloted its members because of the employers’ failure to improve their zero per cent pay offer to probation staff for 2014.

UNISON represents 4,300 probation workers in England and Wales.

Details of the 2014 probation staff pay offer:
Zero per cent pay increase and a one-off/non-pensionable cash payment for staff at the top of their pay scale, as follows:

Pay Band 1 £300
Pay Band 2 £300
Pay Band 3 £300
Pay Band 4 £330
Pay Band 5 £345
Pay Band 6 £385

All staff received their contractual entitlement to one increment on their salary scale.

About 20 per cent of the probation workforce are at the top of their pay scale.


National Association of Probation Officers strike action: 31 March to 1 April 2014

At Napo’s Special General Meeting, held in Birmingham Town Hall,  General Secretary Ian Lawrence announced further strike action from 31 March to 1 April against plans to privatise 70% of the services work.  

Making the announcement he told attendees: ‘The Coalition’s plans to sell off the management of offenders to private providers so that they can make a profit from the justice system is a recklessly dangerous social experiment that presents massive risks to the safety of communities.’

When: 12.00 pm on Monday 31 March until 11.59 pm on Tuesday 1 April

Please support the striking probation officers. See the NAPO website for more information:


following its ballot result showing overwhelming support from its members for industrial action, NAPO –  the trade union for Probation and Family Court Staff,  members in England and Wales walked out of offices at 12 noon on 5th November until 12 noon 6th November 2013. 

It coincided with a day of demonstration planned by the People’s Assembly on the 5th November that saw events and peaceful demonstrations across the country. This is only the fourth time in NAPO’s 101 year history that the union has announced industrial action. The action affected all Probation Trusts in England and Wales.

more info…The Ministry of Jusitce announced its plans to privatise up to 70% of probation’s core work  on 9 May 2013. Napo belives that the true motivation behind this is to drive down costs and an ideological commitment on the part of the government to the private sector being the preferred bidder as opposed to state run services.

If these plans proceed it will lead to fragmentation of the service, staff cuts (that is how the government will make its savings and the companies their profit) and will compromise public protection.

Ian Lawrence General Secretary said: “Our members don’t take the decision to strike lightly, but they feel so strongly about the privatisation of the Probation Service and the impact this will have on community safety, that they feel they have no choice. The public need to be aware of how the Secretary of State’s plans will impact on their safety and their communities.”

The Labour Party has secured an opposition debate on the future of the Probation Service due to take place in the House of Commons on Wednesday 30th October. A number of MPs have said they will speak in the debate in support of Napo’s campaign. 

Ian Lawrence said: “There is growing support in and outside of parliament for our campaign as MPs begin to realise just how Grayling’s agenda to let privateers such as G4S and Serco undertake Offender Management will impact on their constituents. Napo has said all along that we want a full parliamentary debate on the huge reforms that will decimate the Probation Service and undermine public protection.”

Whilst Napo is still in negotiations with the MOJ the union feels that at this stage it must highlight the dangers of privatising the Service to the public, stakeholders and parliamentarians. Napo is seeking a full review of the proposals and meanwhile is calling for a halt to the unrealistic timetable for implementation of the reforms. 

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