Political News Updates

10.03.2016

Prison Service Pay Review Body Recommendations 2016

Following the publication of the PSPRB 2015 report, the POA membership, through a vote at its 2015 Annual Delegate Conference, instructed the National Executive Committee not to give either written or oral evidence to the Review Body.

The POA saw the 2015 recommendations as yet another 0% pay award for the vast majority of the Review Body’s remit group despite the difficult and dangerous work that they do on behalf of society.

We did however enter into collective bargaining with NOMS on a number of issues, including the consideration of a pay award for the closed officer and support grades who had been ignored by the Review Body at the request of NOMS.

These negotiations resulted in a number of areas of agreement including:

  • A £350, £325 or £300 non-consolidated retention bonus payment for those principal officers, senior officers, and prison officers (respectively) on closed scales at the grade maxima or spot rate, except for those subject to formal poor performance procedures.
  • A £300 non-consolidated retention bonus payment for those operational support grades (OSGs) at the closed grade scale maxima that would not financially benefit from opting in to Fair and Sustainable, except for those subject to formal poor performance procedures.
  • A commitment to produce joint evidence to the PSPRB on areas where the parties could reach agreement.

Unfortunately, despite some very hard work by officials from both the POA and NOMS, producing joint evidence on a number of areas for this year’s review process, following consideration by the Secretary of State this proved not to be achievable.

The 2016 pay recommendations once again deliver an effective pay cut for prison staff. The inclusion by the Review Body, of the non-consolidated increase for the closed grades does nothing to improve their position in relation to their pension position.

The POA have for many years questioned in the independence of the Prison Service Pay Review Body from the control, guidance and coercion of Government. We do not believe they represent an adequate compensatory mechanism for the removal by Government of our member’s trade union rights.

POA Conference policy is clear, the Union must ballot our members in England and Wales on whether they accept the pay award as recommended by the Prison Service Pat Review Body.

This ballot will be undertaken as soon as possible.

The outcome of that ballot will guide the National Executive of the POA as to what steps to take next, in relation to the Review Body’s recommendations.

We are sure that this matter will be widely considered and debated at the Unions Annual Delegate Conference in May this year.

We would though ask that Members of Parliament consider the recommendations made by the pay determination mechanisms that have been put in place and/or imposed by Government for Prison Staff, the Armed Forces, Police Officers, the NHS, Teachers and others in the same light as you consider the pay increases and mechanisms you vote on for yourselves.