POA Circulars

169 | 14.12.2012

Prison Service Pay Review Body - Oral Evidence Session 13th December 2012

Members of the Executive attended Victoria House to present the oral evidence to the Pay Review Body and respond to their questions on the Unions written evidence.

The Chair of the Pay Review Body thanked the POA for their written evidence which he stated was comprehensive. He further thanked the POA for their evidence in respect of local pay which had been of assistance in resisting the introduction of local pay across the Prison Estate.

The POA National Chairman set out the Unions rationale for this year’s pay claim and submission to the Pay Review Body. The National Chairman highlighted a number of key differences with the submission of NOMS. The National Chairman raised issues on Fair and Sustainable, Competition Benchmarking, Prison Closures, Pay Awards and the Pay Freeze of recent years, Operational Reports and the impact on the work of the professional men and women of the remit groups.

The Chair of the Pay Review Body then set out the key area’s which he and the board would like to discuss. With regard to Fair and Sustainable and the collective agreement with NOMS, the POA re-iterated the principles of life time pay protection for those who remain on existing/closed off grades and the rights of those to receive or be considered for an annual pay award as recommended by the Pay Review Body. The new working structures were the subject of a full and frank discussion which clarified the status of the Fair and Sustainable document issued in February 2012.

The POA responded to questions from the board in respect of a percentage pay increase on base pay for all POA members. The POA clarified the Unions position in respect of the pay minima, maxima and progression points for pay bands 1 to 5. The views of the POA were acknowledged by the Pay Review Body.

The Executive emphasised the need for an across the board pay award.

The revised structures in respect of locality pay under Fair and Sustainable were discussed. The POA emphasised that LPA had been introduced following the recommendations of successive Pay Review Body recommendations. The Pay Review Body accepted our view that ideally the new system would have to be monitored, managed and reviewed annually.


The issue of ACH and the 1.2 multiplier, the use of Payment Plus, TOIL and other additional paid hours was discussed. The Pay Review Body noted the Unions policy of a return to overtime at appropriate rates of pay.

The POA asked the Pay Review Body to increase the 1.2 multiplyer for ACH to a minimum of 1.5 and to ensure that all ACH was pensionable up to the basic 39 hour working week.

The current 17% allowance for staff working unsocial hours was discussed and the POA set out their rationale for seeking an increase in this allowance. The POA argued for an increase in the current rate of Tornado and Care and Maintenance of Dogs. These issues were noted by the Pay Review Body.

The POA General Secretary set out the impact of the changes to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme and that the additional contributions will have a detrimental effect on the ability of POA members to sustain a reasonable standard of living. The POA pointed to the concerns of members who are considering opting out of the pension scheme, as they simply cannot afford to pay the additional contributions.

The POA made reference to the prison population, level of assaults, Bradley Report, the diversion scheme (for mentally ill offenders) and the effect on the working environment for our members.

Conclusion

The general consensus of the Executive members who attended was that our written and oral evidence had been well received. Within the oral evidence session all of the concerns that had been raised by the Pay Review Body had been answered.

The process calls for all parties within the remit group to provide oral evidence. The Pay Review Body will then consider the submissions, produce a report and provide recommendations to Government. What this report will contain is of course unknown at this time, but we are confident that our pay claim is fully justified.

Please draw the contents of this circular to your members attention and advise them that further information will be promulgated in due course.

Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation.
 

Yours sincerely

  

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary

 

Yours sincerely

  

PETER MCPARLIN 
National Chairman