POA Circulars

162 | 16.12.2010

Prison Service Pay Review Body

Today members of the National Executive met with the Prison Service Pay Review Body to present the union’s oral evidence as part of the pay round 2011/12. Following the opening addresses from the POA National Chairman and response from the Chairman of the Pay Review Body, the union’s delegation withdrew seeking clarification from the Pay Review Body. Jerry Cope closed the meeting and an emergency NEC meeting was convened for 14:00hrs.

Many of you know that the Pay Review Body was established in 2001 as part of the compensatory measures, following the introduction of Section 127 and 128 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The POA has always questioned the independence of the Pay Review Body and the value of presenting evidence to an authority that is bound by the mandarins of Government. Unfortunately, to date we have no other mechanisms to put forward representations for members and no right to collective bargaining in respect of pay.

At the NEC meeting the concerns of the union in respect of pay were fully discussed and it was proposed that, “Due to the decisions by the Prison Service Pay Review Body to exclude recommendations to the Prime Minster in respect of our members earning over £21,000, that all branches in England and Wales follow the policy of this Union namely 39/2008, from Monday 20th December 2010 until Wednesday 5th January 2011.  Furthermore, all branch officials to persuade and encourage members to follow this policy”. (copy of verbatim report for 39/2008 attached for information).

It is simply unacceptable for POA members within the remit group to be treated as second class citizens any further, in respect of pay.

It was clear from the response of the Pay Review Body today that they would only comment on pay for POA members who earn more than £21,000. This in effect, meant that more than 50% of members were being excluded from any recommendations and would receive no pay award for 2011/12. In addition if the pay freeze announced under the Emergency Budget is complied with, members would receive no pay increase until April 2014 at the earliest. To further compound matters the evidence from NOMS on behalf of Government and endorsed by the Minister, only puts forward a recommendation for those employees earning under £21,000, an increase of £250 when the Government itself said that £250 was the minimum uplift for these employees. Therefore, even the lowest paid are being treated appallingly by NOMS, the Prison Service, Government and now the Pay Review Body.

We urge all members of the union to support this Executive in persuading members to follow the terms of the proposal passed at the NEC to demonstrate to the employer and Government that enough is enough. 

The National Executive Committee would like to encourage branch officials to hold a branch meeting in their own time before Monday 20th December 2010, to discuss the contents of this circular, the verbatim report and copy of press release attached.

Thanking you in anticipation of your full support and co-operation.


Yours sincerely



National Chairman


Yours sincerely



General Secretary


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