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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2015

Determined mood at Napo conference

Chas Berry, Napo national vice chair (personal capacity)

Probation and family court workers organised in Napo left their AGM last week with a new mood of determination to rebuild their union.

Overcoming significant barriers to achieve a representative conference, with many members having been refused time off by their employers to attend, the AGM agreed changes giving incentives to new joiners and those switching to direct debit. This is an important weapon in our battle to fend off the attempt to crush the union financially through the withdrawal of 'check-off'.

In each debate, speaker after speaker linked the attacks upon us with the need to join with others in the fight against the trade union bill. Guest speaker Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, received a big ovation when he urged members to look beyond our immediate battles and to recognise the need for generalised strike action.

Conference was also addressed by shadow lord chancellor and justice secretary Lord Falconer. Significantly, he was criticised about Labour's record in office and in particular over building more private prisons and for passing laws that allowed probation privatisation.

Union busting

Disappointingly, like his predecessor Sadiq Khan, he stopped short of committing Labour to tear up current private probation contracts to union busting firms like Sodexo.

This was perhaps the most political AGM for a number of years. Reflecting the wider anti-austerity mood, fringe meetings linking Napo's campaigns with others in the justice field and beyond were the best attended and most enthusiastic of all the sessions.

The first ever Socialist Party fringe meeting attracted 20 members; sixteen copies of the Socialist, six Kill The Bill pamphlets and three copies of Socialism Today were sold, showing a renewed interest in socialist ideas.

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In The Socialist 21 October 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike to save the NHS

Hands off tax credits

1% owns more than half the world's wealth

Damning report on NHS staffing levels delayed by Tories

Labour MP refuses to back strike

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party features

Corbyn campaign: Opportunity for raising socialist ideas

How can workers resist capitalist cuts and closures?


International socialist news and analysis

World economy: 'biggest danger to capitalism is capitalism'

Germany: refugee crisis and the fight against the racist right

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

For a fighting, socialist Unison general secretary, back Roger Bannister

Hull's Labour council in aggressive bid to remove all union convenors

Welsh Government should think outside 'the Box'

Determined mood at Napo conference

Sports Direct action over sacking

Rally opposes the Tory trade union bill

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Organising to defend Corbyn's anti-cuts mandate

Help fund the fight for socialism

Huge support for the Wales March for Homes


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Former war hero fighting for the future: a pensioner speaks out

'Britain First' - tiny and violent


 

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Related links:

Napo:

triangleNapo kickstarts fight against pay freeze

triangleNapo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

triangleWorkers celebrate renationalisation

triangleKnife crime - a product of capitalist misery

triangleProbation privatisation failure

Union:

triangleYouth Fight for Jobs is officially relaunched

triangleFight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights

triangle'Pingdemic' exemptions

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

Probation:

triangleProbation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead

triangleRenationalisation of the probation service

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

Sodexo:

triangleBradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

triangleDoncaster NHS pay win shows: strikes can get results!

Privatisation:

triangleLondon floods: Privatisation and heavy rain are a dangerous mix

Strike:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

Prison:

triangleWomen and the criminal 'injustice' system

Austerity:

triangleReaders' comments

Prison officers:

triangleTV: Crime and Punishment - this brutal watch is a damning indictment of cuts and capitalism

Prisons:

triangleOliver Campbell - Still fighting for justice

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