POA Circulars

102 | 15.08.2012

Union Restructuring Update

In the April 2011 Gatelodge, Annual Conference Motion 61/2011 was publicised to the membership and would have been discussed at branch meetings prior to the 2011 conference to ensure delegates had a mandate.

At the POA 2011 Annual Conference following a debate conference determined to accept that the POA needed to restructure and ensure we were in a position to protect and promote the interests of the members in the future and accepted the terms of ACM 61/2011.

Following the close of conference the National Chairman established a Restructuring Committee from within the NEC and a field based Advisory Group was put together to assist.

Terms of Reference were established and this group conducted significant research and set out proposals which could be considered following a number of dedicated meetings.  Due to the complexity of the negotiations on facilities and facility time with NOMS which are intrinsically linked to the unions restructuring programme, it was decided that this work would be treated as confidential until the negotiation process had ended and an agreement with NOMS reached.  Unfortunately, in October 2011 at the Conservative Party Conference the Minister announced that he would start consultations with unions on changes to facilities and facility time.  The Minister instructed NOMS to stop all negotiation with the POA and other unions until they had established a framework to take this work forward.

At Annual Conference 2012 the report back on the restructuring work was unfortunately not accepted under ACM 62/2012.

Following the close of Conference the Restructuring Committee was enlarged and have convened to progress a number of issues.

The field based Advisory Group has not met since 10th April 2012 but they have confirmed that they wish to continue with the work.  They will be called together in due course to continue with the work of advising the restructuring committee on the restructuring programme.

On the 13th July the Minister wrote to the NTUC Policy setting out the government’s proposals to bring about changes to facilities and facility time.  The NTUC is the group of unions (including the POA) who act together following the demise of the CCSU to progress government policy and/or proposals.  A number of meetings have taken place and government officials have set out that this is no longer a negotiation but a consultation which will end on the 7th September 2012.  The NTUC have put forward a number of proposals including a draft framework which is being developed in preparation of the next meeting on the 23rd August 2012.

On the 7th August 2012 members of the Restructuring Committee met with representatives of NOMS who set out their opening gambit on their proposals in respect of facilities and facility time.  This proposal will be considered and responded too by the union and work will continue until such time as an agreement is reached or NOMS impose changes on the POA and other unions.

In order to assist the union the Executive would welcome comments and views from members in respect of restructuring the union.  All of these will be considered alongside current proposals and views. 

We recognise that members will be aware of the significant proposals on changes to legislation which will impact on all unions in 2013 and views on how the POA deal and manage these would be welcome.  The changes to facilities and facility time will also significantly impact on the POA and again your views will be gratefully received.

As always the POA rules nothing in or out but we need to be in a position to provide the membership with options to bring about change in a sensible and structured manner.

Whilst the Executive accept that some branches or members may feel frustrated, we must consider all options and put in place structures that are fit for the future.

I would be grateful if you could forward all your comments to ellen@poauk.org.uk for the attention of Glyn Travis, Secretary to the Restructuring Committee, no later than the 31st August 2012. 


Yours sincerely



National Vice Chairman