Napo Magazine - The Trade Union, Professional Association and campaigning organisation for Probation and Family Court staff news.

Probation unions submit three-year pay claim

UNISON, Napo, and GMB/SCOOP have submitted the following three year pay claim on behalf of members in the Probation Service

UNISON, Napo, and GMB/SCOOP have submitted the following three-year pay claim on behalf of members in the Probation Service:

  •  A three-year award to cover 2022, 2023 and 2024 pay years
  •  An increase in the value of all pay points of 3% above the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation on 1 April 2022, 1 April 2023, and 1 April 2024
  •  An increase in the value of all Probation Service cash allowances of 3% above the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation on 1 April 2022, 1 April 2023 and 1 April 2024
  • Shorter pay bands allow staff to reach the top of their pay band in a shorter time
  • Removal of pay band overlaps
  • An increase in the HMRC Fixed Profit Car Allowance


While a wage keeping pace with the cost of living each year would have risen by 42.9% (compound) since 2010, pay in Probation has risen by just 1% over the same period, which means that thousands of pounds have been cut from the value of staff wages.

By ‘pay rise’, we mean an actual increase in the value of pay points. It is these values which have only gone up by only 1% in the last 12 years for probation staff.

Do not confuse your annual increment with a pay rise. Your increment is a contractual entitlement, not a pay rise.

Here is how probation staff compare with their police staff, local government and health service colleagues in relation to actual increases in the value of their pay since 2010:

  • Probation Staff:               1%
  • Police Staff:                  15.8%
  • Local Government Staff: 14.6%
  • NHS Staff:                        14.2%


Remember, staff in the police, local government and the health service have had their increments in addition to the pay rises above. It is no wonder that leaving probation for a job in a different part of the public sector has become so attractive.


“Staff have experienced an enormous surge in costs over the last year”


Inflation is currently running at 9% (March 2022) which is the highest level in three decades. For the value of probation staff salaries not to fall back even further, they must at least keep pace with predicted rises in the cost of living, which Treasury forecasts put at 7.4% in 2022[1].

Staff have experienced an enormous surge in costs over the last year, including:

  • A 29% increase in gas bills;
  • A 21% increase in petrol prices;
  • A 19% increase in electricity bills;
  • A 10% rise in the price of buying a house and a 9% jump in rent for a new rental property.


These demands on pay packets will be even greater against the background of the 1.25% increase to National Insurance contributions over 2022/23.


UNISON, Napo and GMB/SCOOP are holding another online pay briefing to introduce the pay claim and to answer any questions which members may have on their pay at 12.30 on Friday 13 May. Please join us via this link

Here you will have an opportunity to hear more from Napo, UNISON and GMB about the pay claim and the joint campaigning work that you can get involved in to help strengthen our negotiating efforts.

[1] HM Treasury, Forecasts for the UK Economy, February 2022

35 Responses

  1. Unfortunately I am unable to attend on Friday 13th. Is there any way you could send me the pay proposal please?

  2. What happens regarding any pay increases for staff at the top of their pay band? Do we just remain static with no further pay increases?

    1. Hi Nicole that’s absolutely not acceptable and our Pay Claim makes it clear that we are demanding a revalorisation of all pay points, we have an all members pay webinar this Friday which we have just mailed out details of hope to see you there!

  3. I am on leave for the online pay briefing, will this be recorded/transcribed?

    Thank you for all your work.

    1. Hi Lynsey
      We do not record these as we want people to speak freely, but we will issue a summary of what is covered
      Hope that helps
      Best wishes

  4. It’s a joke we are pushed to the absolute limit we work just as hard as the other sectors and get paid the least. If things do not change I myself will be leaving to. I have bills to pay and I know my worth and it is definitely not appreciated in probation

    1. Many thanks and this is implicit in the claim and its why we lodged a trade dispute some months back. Essentially if negotiations do not produce the results we are seeking we are committed to balloting members on industrial action.

  5. That is a very clear and well argued basis for a pay rise and explanation staff are leaving, stressed and demoralised!

    I think it’s worth hammering home to senior managers that their most experienced staff whether Admin, PSOs, POs and SPOs at the top of their increment scales haven’t even had an increment rise let alone pay rise except for 2 of the last 12 years. My low morale has changed to anger over that period!

    1. Thanks Paul

      See above and its that anger shared by many of our members that we may need to tap into. We as negotiators will do all we can but ultimately it will be for members to decide how far they will go to push our campaign. Again hope you can make the pay webinar this Friday

  6. Where does this leave those at the top of their pay band, of which there is an increasing number.

  7. In 2010 the minimum hourly wage was £5.93. Today in 2022 this has risen to £9.50. I am not saying it should not increase,however probation wage has had no where this increase. I work in Approved Premises, we manage the highest risk. I have worked in the Probation Service for 21 years as a PSO and my hourly rate is £14.64.

    1. Hi Angie

      Yes it is and that’s why we have lodged a pay claim which sets out the appalling real term reduction in Probation Pay

  8. There is incentive or motivation for most staff to keep working for probation . It’s in crisis of its own doing . Bullying, low pay , workloads That Are criminal and now pushing people back to normal delivery despite Covid infection risk . Criminal . Get this pay increase as quickly as possible

    1. Hi Nik will do our absolute best. The real barrier of course is a Government that is still under investing in Probation Staff and who thinks that more Electronic Tags are the answer to all the problems.

      That shy we need a collective member led response to the Pay offer when it emerges.

  9. I think that will have affected our work pension contributions also. It is scandalous

    1. Yes Lynda all of this has a knock on effect as well as the increasing costs of food, fuel and utilities hence the objectives contained in the pay claim which we mailed out last week

  10. I’m constantly stressed about how I will afford everything. It really does get you down. 1% rise since 2010 explains why I’m struggling so much. I cannot carry on like this. It really is unfair and pushing us to struggle financially.

  11. I hope that the pay agreement can be backed by the government and implemented as soon as possible. I received nothing for the year 2021-2022. I have been employed for 19 years for The Probation Service and felt that I was punished for being a loyal, long-term employee. Those who have worked here for less time, with far less experience were rewarded.

    I feel that the last pay agreement for 2021-2022 was the most unfair one of them all.

    1. Maria

      It wasn’t just unfair it was downright insulting; and there is the rub. We have a Government that treats public service workers with contempt and, as I said at last years AGM, believes that Probation staff are not prepared to stand up for themselves on pay. We may need to prove them wrong.

  12. Its just outrageous that Probation staff are underpaid and under appreciated. The public don’t have a clue how many dangerous offenders are being managed either in custody or on licence and without us the streets would be a much more dangerous place.

    1. Thanks Jenny

      One of the reasons why Napo members made a massive contribution to the campaign to reunify Probation was because of the way you helped us to highlight Public Safety as a key issue during our extensive contact with the media over 7 years.

      Unfortunately, the media does not show as much interest when it comes to your pay unless there is the possibility of industrial action on the horizon.

  13. I sincerely hope we get this pay rise as it’s much needed and well deserved. I am feeling increasingly stressed about my finances. My partner is on minimum wage and we have two daughters at uni. What with supporting them and rising cost of living I’m not sure we’re going to manage.

  14. And today they announce that they want to cut 90k Civil Servants. What chance do we have of getting a pay rise against that background?

  15. As a 10 years retired probation officer I have felt guilty to receive the modest increase in pension each year knowing my dear former colleagues have received a reduction in income in real terms as pay has fallen further behind other comparable professional workers. Whilst we know that the feeble implications associated with those labelled as occupying employment in a so-called vocation has been exploited particularly by those Home Office Ministers of a Tory persuasion. The time has come for a working party to re-examinin the extent of the value Probation staff bring to public protection reducing reoffending and successfully managing young offenders, young adults and adult and older offenders. We provided Youth, Magistrates and Crown Courts with skilled assessments and recommendations and manage offenders from the least serious to the highest risk of extreme violence or sexual offending. We provide skilled input, to Approved Premises, Prisons, the Parole Board. We liaise with professional colleagues In the Police, Social Services, Youth Offending Teams, young Offender Institutions, The Prison Service, Mental Health Teams, Special Hospitals and Forensic Psychiatrists. We undertake skilled assessments of risk, devise constructive intervention plans, participate in one to one interventions with offenders to protect the public and work hard to facilitate the transition to ex offender status. We provide skilled input in group work programmes covering a vast range of areas aimed at reducing harm to the public, by challenging offending behaviour and helping offenders to change ideas and behaviours reducing offending and aiming at all extinguishing all offending behaviour. When offenders fail to comply with Community based sentences, post custody supervision and life licence we are responsible for our part in the enforcement. resentence or prison recall processing.
    Staff engaged in the above should be worth their weight in gold and be reworded for the efforts than make to protect the public. My apologies for all the roles we undertake not include in my rant, including Unpaid Work and Community Service where I started the first three years of my work as a Community Service Officer before training as a qualified PO. Long before the high vis tabards.
    So how about that working party to promote the varied and valuable skilled work undertaken by all staff grades in the Probation Service and the need for decent pay scales rewarding staff for skills and experience, before they have all left due to staff shortages impossible high caseloads and pay so low that workers are unable to live and support familles, dependants and pay rent or a mortgage. We won’t mention the power bills and affording heating and putting food on the table.
    Seniors always tried to educate me in the art of brief reports and and I never got it. Too late now!

    1. Well, I thought it was great! A well expressed and comprehensive summary of the role of the probation service. Written just like a good PSR, long! 😁

      Colleagues need to be prepared to take industrial action on the matter of pay given how much it has been eroded since the Great Financial Crash, caused by the financial sector. Long forgotten it seems despite the fact that we continue to pay the price for its actions whilst they continued to be rewarded for placing this countries finances in poor state which is a significant that has impacted our pay over the past 25 years. It only seems like yesterday!

      Worryingly, given continued quantitative easing, now moving to tightening and the monetary policy of the UK, we are facing a similar position in conjunction with high inflation and higher interest rates which of course will reduce our spending power further. This is something we’ve not seen for over 40 years and I fear many have no true understanding of the much greater pain that is yet to come for both our colleagues and people we support to change their lives.

      Any pay deal needs to address historical debasement of salaries and also take account of the high inflationary environment which is now our norm, the impending recession and impact this will have upon us all i.e., colleagues, the communities we support and the country more broadly.

      Valuing ‘employees’ should be at the heart of all we do and pay is part of this, albeit not the principal motivation for many. We do deserve compensation comparable to similar professions and it is unacceptable that our pay has fallen so far behind and I haven’t even addressed overwhelming workloads and responsibilities colleagues hold. David did an eloquent job at that.

      I’m not hopeful that a fair package will be agreed. How can it, it would require a 40% uplift! I do, however, respect NAPO colleagues’ efforts in respect of the pay agenda and the level of research undertaken to present robust data to support our case.

      Everyone remember, a trade union is only as strong as its membership. Encourage a colleague to join today.

      Greater ‘education’ and sharing of information is needed for the younger generation as they do not necessarily have the historical context to understand the importance of the Trade Union Movement and their experiences may be different. The coming decade may be the period that, sadly, changes this for some.

      Thank you Team Napo.

  16. We need to be paid to reflect the skilled valuable contribution we make to protecting the public by working hard to reduce reoffending.

  17. I am so fed up. Last 4 years no pay rise. Overlooked last year because those at tier 3 earning over £24,000 never got a rise or the uplift either. This year the old CBF nugget is here, been working in Probation for 8 years yet I am deemed to be ‘intermediate’ no way of reaching the top of my pay band until 2023 at the earliest. I get a lousy £12.86 an hour as an UPW Supervisor. Iceland/Tesco/Asda are paying van drivers £16 an hour!!
    I don’t think I can carry on like this much longer because my bills need paying and my earnings are shrinking fast with inflation

  18. Hi

    When is this likely to be solved as I know I am currently severely struggling financially to make ends meet with my salary and I feel its so disgusting to be in this position while working for government in a role that required me to be degree educated and work with individuals who carry various levels of risk.

    Also, are we asking for a silimar increase to what every other government dept has received?

  19. When will we know if we have got a pay rise? I transferred from prison officer and looking at their pay rise they have just been awarded I am getting paid a lot less now? I thought we were part of the HMPPS? One organisation? Obviously I am wrong?

  20. Hi, thank you for sticking up for us Napo. When do we receive a ‘decision’, on the proposed pay reviews?
    sadly, I think probation is viewed as the ‘dirty’ end of society. We are not ‘fashionable’ like the NHS.

  21. I am a PSO, been in the service now over 25 years and literally only still here as paying into my pension pot. Worth noting that yesterday I saw that Asda are paying staff the same hourly rate that I am earning. I truly would not be here if it was not for my age/pension. Appalling service to be working for.

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