POA Circulars

14 | 04.03.2019

POA Update Circular February 2019

Please find enclosed an update and ensure all POA members are in receipt of this information.

Engagement with the Employer

The NEC have determined that all local and national engagements with the employer should be resumed. Please ensure you are aware of POA Circular 12/2019. Committees are now free to consult and negotiate local issues and the Executive will continue to address national issues. I would like to thank branches for their support in enacting this directive. We have achieved our aim and we will be negotiating with HMPPS to resolve the concerns surrounding the disciplinary process (PSI 6/2010). Please continue to provide examples of abuses to disciplinary processes to your Area NEC Representative.

HMP Lindholme Court Date

The trial involving HMP Lindholme POA members and their right to protect their health and safety is now scheduled for a 7-day trial and has been arranged for trial from 2nd December 2019 in the High Court London.

Pay Recommendations from the Employer

The Employer has submitted their recommendations to the Pay Review Body. They have asked for a 1% pay rise for staff subject to Fair and Sustainable, and 0.5% for closed grades unless it is financially beneficial for closed grades to sign up to F&S. They have also recommended that closed grades who would benefit financially from signing into F&S should never receive a pay award again if they refuse to do so, including OSGs.

They have recommended that payment plus rates should now become permanent at £22 per hour.

Please remember these are recommendations at this stage and we have yet to see if the ‘Independent Pay Review Body’ endorse them.

PAVA Rollout

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart announced to the House of Commons in October 2018 that PAVA would be rolled out from January 2019 to the closed adult male estate in the first instance. To date, the Executive is aware that the first six prisons to receive PAVA will be Liverpool, Brixton, Moorlands, Erlestoke, Stoke Heath and Brinsford. We are not aware of any instructors who have been trained yet in these first six prisons.

This is an unacceptable position and the NEC are challenging and pressurising the employer to rectify this position. We have a meeting with the employer scheduled for 11th March 2019 to discuss our concerns.

HMPPS state jails that are key worker compliant, FMI trained and are rolling out OMiC will receive PAVA first. We are asking for jails with high levels of violence to be prioritised. We will continue to seek a resolve to the complacency displayed by HMPPS. We are also insisting that private sector establishments should be included in the PAVA roll out and continue to insist that the juvenile and female estate get access to PAVA.

Please be aware of the following Parliamentary Questions:

Mary Glindon

Prison Officers: Riot Control Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, at how many prisons officers have been issued with PAVA spray since January 2019.

Answered by Lucy Frazer

Since January 2019 planning has taken place to ensure a thorough and safe implementation of PAVA. Prior to issuing the product every site is required to undertake a readiness assessment, in addition we are undertaking a thorough Equalities Analysis to inform policy and training. These necessary steps are progress towards the national rollout of PAVA, therefore to date since January 2019 no prisons have been issued with PAVA whilst these tasks are underway.

Mary Glindon

Prison Officers: Riot Control Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when it is planned to issue officers at all adult male public sector prisons with PAVA spray; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Lucy Frazer

The planning for the national rollout has been underway since October 2018 when the decision was announced. With such a significant introduction to our service it is necessary to thoroughly prepare our prisons and ensure that all policy and training is reviewed. We are currently undertaking a thorough Equalities Analysis which is a vital step towards implementation, subsequently we will commence readiness assessments at each prison before training and issuing of PAVA will commence. The implementation is planned to take 18-24 months, establishments will receive PAVA once all of the above actions are complete and within the timeframe set out.

Rigid cuffs and SPEAR

The employer has informed the POA that rigid cuffs will be distributed as local instructors are revalidated and receive appropriate training. This is the same for the new personal protection training called SPEAR (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response). The future plans involve facilitating a 2-day annual C&R refresher for staff including SPEAR, cuffs and PAVA on day one and C&R basic on day two.

Holiday Pay (Berryman Case)

We have received communication from HMPPS that the Treasury has approved the outstanding payments due to staff who regularly work additional hours. They are hoping to have the first lump sum payment included in March pay but have reiterated they cannot currently guarantee this date. Please make yourselves aware of POA Circular 13/2019.

Female OMiC

Despite local POA committees, in conjunction with the NEC, informing the employer about the difficulties with implementing the OMiC in the female estate, the employer has totally disregarded their expert advice and opinion and has carried on regardless with a flawed and unworkable policy. Local committees have been informed to immediately raise a dispute and insist the status quo ante is adhered to.

POA Rally 20th March 2019

This is an opportunity for POA members to impose upon Government and the general public how important it is for us to get a retirement age of 60 reinstated. Families and friends are most welcome to attend. We already have several confirmed speakers from the political spectrum, and we will be launching our 68 is too late video. We will not achieve a retirement age of 60 without a fight so please attend if you can and fight for what is right- dignity in our retirement. Please ensure POA Circular 9/2019 is available to all your branch members.

Our legal challenge to changes to our pension scheme is lodged and we await the final outcome to the Fire Fighter’s tribunal ruling before progressing our challenge. The Government are attempting to appeal the ruling.

Website to Assist POA Members

The POA have been engaging with the employer on how to ensure members who are absent due to illness, injury or assault are supported. There has now been a website launched that guides staff through the sickness procedures, particularly if they have an outstanding Ill Health Retirement issue. This website can be accessed from home. Please ensure you access this valuable resource that the POA have fought for on your behalf.


Yours Sincerely

National Chair