POA Circulars

77 | 21.04.2011

Indicative Workplace Ballot and General Issues

Following the promulgation of Branch Secretary Circular 12/2011 and POA Circulars 47/11 and 62/11, concerns have been raised by some branch officials and members, whilst on the other hand some branches are content and have stated so. Whilst I am not prepared to set out the arguments and counter arguments, it is clear that some clarification may be necessary. 

The current Union Policy is to take industrial action up to and including strike action should any public sector prison be privatised, that position was set by way of workplace ballot in 2009.

The announcement of the competition dialogue bids by the Secretary of State for Justice Ken Clarke has privatised HMP Birmingham.  Following the decision, the National Executive Committee decided to hold an up to date indicative ballot to gauge the strength of feelings of the members.  The ballot is not asking or directing members to take any action.  However, the NEC have sent out information by way of Circular asking members to follow the policies of the Union and to hold lunchtime protest meetings to show our support to members at Birmingham.

Until the NEC decide to alter this position, all branches should continue to hold protest meetings in their lunchtime.  This is perfectly legal.

If any branch is holding a protest meeting and requires assistance in formulating an agenda they should contact their NEC Representative, however here are some suggestions;

•    Agenda Annual Conference 2011
•    Health and Safety, Risk Assessments Safe Systems of Work
•    Removal of Mandatory Accommodation Fabric Checks (outside high security estate)
•    Budget Cuts 2011 onwards
•    Prison Closures
•    Privatisation/Contracting out
•    Poor Election Returns
•    Apathy
•    Staff Shortages
•    Detached Duty
•    TOIL
•    Pay Freeze for 2011/12

I trust these sub headings will give members food for thought as they show their solidarity to our colleagues.

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



Yours sincerely

General Secretary