POA Circulars

27 | 27.03.2015

MEETING WITH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR JUSTICE WEDNESDAY, 25th MARCH 2015

At the above meeting, the concerns of POA members were raised with the Secretary of State with regard to health and safety in the workplace and in respect of the Pay Review Body recommendations for 2015/16.

The Secretary of State has listened to our concerns and although he is unable to revisit the recommendations of the Pay Review Body, he instructed NOMS to engage in meaningful negotiations on a variety of issues in an attempt to achieve an agreed position. Given that the current Parliamentary session ends on 27th March 2015, any agreed position required Ministerial approval by 10.00am today.

We are grateful to the Secretary of State Mr Grayling for facilitating outside of the Pay Review Body, meaningful negotiations on the basis of Collective Bargaining arrangements.

Negotiations between the POA NEC and NOMS commenced on 25th March 2015 and concluded 26th March 2015. The Agreement is attached at Annex One, which has four sections;

  • A non-consolidated payment for closed grades Band 3 to 5.
  • Amendments to the current provision of Payment Plus through a Special Bonus Scheme.

    The new rules will come into force from the 1st June 2015 and continue until 6th September 2015.

    Where Payment Plus is being used under PSI 24/2008 a 12 week contract will be offered to work an average of 5 or 9 hours per week, guaranteeing 60 or 108 hours Payment Plus at a rate equivalent to £19.50. This is a £2.50 per hour increase on current rates.
  • Facility Time for local representatives to ensure that Regime Management Plans and Health and Safety Risk assessments and Safe Systems of Work are completed.
  • A commitment to Collective Bargaining arrangements on a number of essential issues with a view to producing joint evidence to the Pay Review Body later in the year.

    A further commitment to joint work on pension age for Prison Officers with a view to producing a business case for Cabinet Office and Government Officials for further consideration.

In effect the Agreement has sourced additional money for our members in excess of approximately £5.2million.

Of course, the Executive would have liked more. Nevertheless, the Executive can now concentrate on future negotiations in order to secure real benefits for our members. All POA members whether in the closed grades under Fair and Sustainable and Operational Support Grades deserve much, much more for the complex and dangerous work that they do on behalf of society.

We take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of our membership during this difficult time, for without that support this Agreement would not have been possible.

Now that the National Executive Committee have finalised the Agreement in respect of Health and Safety and additional monies for our members, Annual Conference Motion 72/2014 can be set aside in respect of our members giving 28 days notice to withdraw from Payment Plus.

Therefore, members who have given notice to withdraw from Payment Plus should now rescind their notice period. This will be accepted by all establishments by agreement with NOMS.

The National Chairman and myself thank the Prisons Board and NOMS Employee Relations for the professional manner in which they have conducted negotiations and we look forward to this approach being maintained in our continued negotiations in the forthcoming months.

Yours sincerely 

 


PJ McPARLIN  
National Chairman 
 

Yours sincerely

 

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary