POA News

11 | 19.01.2018

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

The POA National Executive Committee have sent out various Circulars namely POA Circular 167/2013, POA Circular 114/2014, and POA Circular 6/2015 giving advice to you regarding usage of social media sites. We are not asking our members to cease using social media as it is recognised as a good way of communicating, however it would be irresponsible of the POA not to highlight the dangers that a minority of individuals are finding themselves in with some of their postings.

Many local officials and NEC Officials are dealing with investigations with various employers and indeed some of our members are being looked at by the Police. This appears to be increasing and the POA as you can see have given guidance in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

We have no desire to see any of our members investigated by the employer or the Police, let alone be dismissed or face potential criminal prosecution. Once again, we ask our members to familiarise themselves with our advice and indeed HMPPS policy, along with policy in the NHS, G4S, Sodexo, Scottish Employer, Northern Ireland employer and anywhere else our members are covered.

I also want to make it abundantly clear the POA are not responsible for any unofficial sites. I have made that absolutely clear when I get media inquiries where they believe such sites reflect badly on the POA because of alleged irresponsible comments.

The POA are not responsible for unofficial sites and never will be responsible for them. I cannot reiterate this enough. This now being the fourth circular on this topic is adequate. I recognise the majority of our members are professional and intelligent in their usage of social media but unfortunately there appears to be a minority who are potentially opening themselves up for scrutiny. Please apply common sense and do not let yourselves down by inappropriate comments on closed sites or open sites that may bring you into conflict with your respective employer’s social media policies.

Yours Sincerely

Steve Gillan
General Secretary