Napo has submitted two motions to be debated at the TUC Congress this year.
The first motion titled: Defending the Integrity of the Justice System, reads:
This Congress views with serious concern the major changes (or current proposals) which are detrimental to the application of natural justice in the Parole Board system and Family Courts.
The introduction of the single intervention by the Secretary of State for Justice in Parole Board hearings was imposed in July despite all expert advice to the contrary. The impact of this authoritarian and ill-considered policy has meant that highly skilled Probation Practitioners are now forbidden to make recommendations to the Parole Board as to the suitability or otherwise of the release of a Prisoner into the community. This has resulted in the de-professionalisation of Probation practitioners who view this change as a further attack on their integrity. Moreover, the proposal to allow Public access to Parole Board Hearings presents a further risk to practitioners. Congress condemns both of these initiatives as being politically motivated and cynically populist.
In Family Courts, proposals are also at an advanced stage to allow media access to Private and Public Law hearings. This threatens to make Family Court Advisers employed by Cafcass the focus of harassment, smear campaigns or trolling by social media.
Congress notes the potential impact of these deeply flawed proposals on families, children and the highly skilled professionals who do their best to provide crucially important and impartial advice to the judiciary.
The second motion Working in Partnership to Defeat Racism, says:
Congress applauds the work of the TUC Anti-Racism Task Force which has been supported by trade union members during its work over the last two years.
Congress further notes the work of affiliates to engage with employers in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination.
Examples of this include
- The creation of Black members networks in unions:
- The appointment of Anti-Racism representatives in all Branches of a union
- The launch of Anti-Racism Roadshows across regional or bargaining networks with input from senior management to explain the actions they are taking in the fight against racism at the workplace
- The creation of Joint Race Action Plan’s with employers such as that within the Probation Service (Napo/UNISON/HMPPS), this particular project was developed following a joint union/employer survey on the experiences of Black staff working in Probation.
- Joint Race surveys across staffing groups to inform joint initiatives to tackle racism.
Congress agrees that any further work identified by the ARTF in its report to Congress can be enhanced by more affiliates seeking to adopt and benchmark the above initiatives in their engagement with senior leaders across the public and private sectors.
Members will be updated on the outcome of these motions in due course.