POA Circulars

24 | 09.03.2018


I wish to update you on the following national issues:


Staff safety and any assaults against staff continues to be unacceptable and all POA members should ensure that they do not undertake any working practices that they deem to be unsafe. This includes working in isolation and not being within sight and sound of other members of staff. Your local POA committee will ensure you work safely by reviewing safe systems of work and risk assessments. No member of staff should be forced to unlock unless there are alarm bell responses in place and sufficient staff on the wing/unit to support a regime. You will be much safer if you have your full allocation of staff prior to unlock. Your risk assessments and safe systems of work are there for your protection so please adhere to them. For further advice refer to your Area NEC Representative.


It is clear that in some instances the RMP is not being adhered to. Recently at HMP Lindholme staff where forced to protect their health and safety after a series of assaults against staff. Despite this Union being issued with a letter before action and being threatened with a breach of the High Court Injunction, we supported our colleagues and resolved the situation. The POA will never back down when your health and safety is placed in imminent danger. All committees should review their RMP to ensure it is fit for purpose. You will be allowed facility time to do so. If you do not have an RMP you should formulate one immediately. If your SMT refuse to engage please contact your Area NEC Representative for advice prior to submitting a dispute. The RMP is an agreed procedure to ensure your safety so please use it.

Retirement Age

We continue to lobby the Government to allow us to enter into negotiations to lower your retirement age and return it to 60. We still await a decision to do so. Due to the success of the Firefighters and Judges in challenging their increased retirement age we have now launched our challenge to our pension scheme, changes that most POA members where forced onto in 2015. This will undoubtedly be a lengthy process with Government challenging us throughout. Our challenge has been submitted and I will keep you updated as due process gathers pace. We continue to hope for a sensible outcome and remain committed to negotiating a reduced retirement age.


HMPPS have submitted their recommendations to the Pay Review Body. Conference Policy forbids us from submitting our own evidence. As soon as we are aware of what is contained within the Employers recommendations the membership will be informed.

NEC Elections

POA members will shortly be electing national officials, it is essential that all members use their vote so we attain a respectable return. This is your opportunity to shape the future of this Union, so please exercise your right to vote.

I shall continue to update you at regular intervals.

Yours sincerely

National Chair