Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/919/23689
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2016
Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination
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.
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.
28 copies of the Socialist were sold.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 5 October 2016:
What we think
Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement
Socialist Party news and analysis
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 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
The Socialist 5 October 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook