POA Circulars

99 | 01.11.2016


After the promulgation of POA Circular 97/2016, NOMS wrote to the Union via Martin Beecroft HR Director suggesting that we were in breach of Section 127 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and that they may apply for injunctive relief, if we did not withdraw POA Circular 97/2016.

Mr Beecroft invited us to a meeting on the 31st October 2016, with Michael Spurr, Chief Executive NOMS and Phil Copple Chief Operating Officer NOMS.

We attended the meeting to discuss our serious concerns over the safety of prisoners and staff in Prisons in England and Wales. We made it absolutely clear it was an unacceptable position and we stood by our Circular dated 28th October 2016 and had no intention of withdrawing the contents. We pointed out if they wished to hide behind the Courts and apply for injunctions that was their choice, but it wouldn’t resolve the dangers to our members and those in their care.

We think it is important to note that NOMS capitulated on the issues that we have raised and that is why we have suspended POA Circular 97/2016, which was announced following an NEC meeting this morning via POA Circular 98/2016.

We will be commencing negotiations immediately, which are time bounded until the 11th November 2016, where we expect agreed outcomes with NOMS and other Employers where our members work.

As you will see from Michael Spurr’s letter Branch Meetings will still go ahead on Wednesday 2nd November 2016, where safety issues will be discussed and Local Branch Officials will have facility time on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the outcomes from the meetings.
We will also be meeting the Secretary of State on the 2nd November 2016 and will update you the membership in due course.

This is an opportunity for us to ensure that NOMS through negotiations fulfil their legal obligations in respect of Health and Safety.

We conclude by stating the NEC genuinely wish for this matter of safety to be resolved and we hope the Employer is sincere in wanting the same. We will be in a better position by the 11th November 2016, to assess that properly. We do not believe we were in breach of Section 127 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, but we do believe NOMS and Government have an absolute legal responsibility to ensure our workplaces are safe as far as reasonably practicable.

Thank you for your continued support and we will keep you updated with developments.

Please find relevant enclosed correspondence in relation to this matter.


Yours sincerely 


National Chair 

Yours sincerely

General Secretary