POA Circulars

41 | 31.03.2017


At annual conference 2016 the POA NEC asked conference not to adopt the Wormwood Scrubs motion which was to resist reform & Governor Autonomy so that we could give our members the final say on whether we were to engage with reform or not once negotiation had taken place.

Following several months of hard negotiation which included the changing of the Secretary of State for Justice, we arrived at the reform package which was put before the affected membership by way of ballot late 2016.  You will most certainly recall that this offer, attached  pay, pension reform and local collective bargaining agreement this was rejected by two thirds of the POA membership.

This means that the POA NEC have no endorsement from the affected POA membership to accept reform which is interlinked to Government Empowerment.

The new agency HMPPS will start to roll out Governor Empowerment from 1st April 2017 and have been seeking to push forward with this agenda, regardless of the unresolved issues with the POA, whilst attempting to reach a deal to ensure the POA can support reform going forward. As a result, the POA have made it clear that we will not support policy change or changes to our terms and conditions at any level until the position is clarified with regards to the future of this initiative and an agreement is in place with this union to allow changes to take place at local level.

The POA are not adverse to being a partner in reform but to date we have been side lined, with no attempt to renegotiate an agreed way forward.  Therefore, we are instructing all branches which come under HMPPS management, including the early adopter sites not to engage in any new arrangements or agreements that will seek to divert from existing policy, national collective agreements and or other changes that will undermine the national collective bargaining position with your newly Empowered Governor.

We understand that local branches will want to do things that benefit their members but to have any chance of finding an agreed way forward POA members and their representatives must support this stance from the NEC in order to have a strong bargaining position for their elected leaders.

Attached is a legal letter sent to HMPPS today to clarify our position and ensure that Governors are not allowed to deviate from national policies that affect our terms and conditions until such time as an agreement is in place.  The response from the NEC in reply to the Annex A on Governor Empowerment is also included for your information and sets out the minimum policies which are excluded from being the subject of local variations.

The POA NEC remain fully open to dialogue at the earliest possible juncture, to seek agreement on a way forward and to fully engage and embrace reform with the right deal in place.  We would welcome the Secretary of State re-opening discussions to ensure that this is possible and that POA members are not excluded from being heard as reform takes places within our Prison estate.

Yours sincerely

National Chair

POA Circular 41- 2017 Governor empowerment.pdf

pdf, 1.5M, 31/03/17, 525 downloads