POA Circulars

79 | 27.06.2018


Pay Award 2018/19

We are waiting for the pay review body to recommend their award to government and await the government’s approval. We have been informed by the employer that a decision should be reached prior to summer recess on 20th July 2018.

Rigid Cuffs /PAVA

Rigid cuffs have been purchased and it is planned to begin a roll out to staff once local Control and Restraint instructors receive the new training package for rigids cuffs as part of their annual instructor’s refresher.

The PAVA pilot project is near its completion and the results will be analysed. The four prisons in receipt of PAVA will retain it until a decision is made by the Secretary of State. I am awaiting a meeting with the Secretary of State David Gauke to discuss the national roll out of PAVA.

Please note the following parliamentary question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timetable is for rolling out (a) Pava pepper spray and (b) rigid police-style handcuffs across the prison estate.
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 20th June 2018
Our hardworking prison officers must have the tools to do their jobs and that’s why we’re rolling out body worn cameras, ‘police-style’ restraints, and trialling pepper spray. We keep a close eye on the threats officers face to make sure they have what they need.
We are currently piloting PAVA Spray, this will inform any decision on the further issue of PAVA to prison officers.
Rigid Bar Handcuffs will be issued to prisons to replace the current ratchet cuffs. This will happen over 18 – 36 months in order to ensure staff are fully trained on how to use them.


Retirement age

We continue to press this issue and have requested that negotiations to reinstate a retirement age of 60 for Prison Officers begin at the earliest opportunity. We have gained much cross party support for this initiative and we are pressurising parliament to acknowledge that as a uniformed and emergency service we should have a retirement age of 60. We are still waiting for the treasury to give approval to commence negotiations. Please note the enclosed parliamentary question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department classifies prison officers as members of the uniformed services.
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 19th June 2018

Prison officers are classified as a uniformed service and are required to respond to emergencies on a daily basis as part of their duties and so may also be classified as “emergency workers” in some instances. The Ministry of Justice defines prison officers as emergency workers only for the purposes Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on June 29th. This means that the provisions the Bill introduces also extend to Prison Officers.

I strongly support the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill which will double the maximum sentence for an attack on our emergency service officers. That applies to an attack on the police, an attack on members of the fire service, an attack on health workers, and an attack on prison officers, who do such incredible work on behalf of the public.

National Consultations

The National Executive Committee are currently in a consultation process with the employer about the following:

New promotion policy.

Pensionable contract hour’s scheme.

Advanced Prison Officer.

Youth Custody Officers.

Once final draughts are completed I will update the membership further.


Secure Hospitals

The executive negotiate separately with the NHS for members in secure hospitals. A pay deal has just been approved which should see our members working in these areas get improved pay over the next 3 years. We will continue to pursue a retirement age of 60 for our members working in these areas.

Please ensure this circular is brought to the attention of the membership.

For and on behalf of the NEC.

Yours sincerely


National Chair