POA Circulars

100 | 07.10.2019


The National Executive have been in prolonged negotiations with HMPPS about their proposals to introduce a Band 5 Custodial Manager role into PE departments.

It has long been recognised by the Executive that ever since the Senior Officer role was removed in PE Departments the management structure in departments has been in disarray. We warned the employer about this scenario, but they refused to listen.

It has been brought to the attention of the NEC by the employer, that many Band 4 PE staff are performing management tasks that Senior Officers PE previously performed. We are also aware that some departments have devised ‘bespoke’ job descriptions and PE Custodial Manager roles. These have not been agreed nationally and if they are in place in your establishment they should cease with immediate effect. Local committees who are aware of this situation should immediately raise a dispute.

If Band 4 PE staff are performing the duties that Senior Officers PE once performed (Monthly returns etc), they should apply for a review of their job descriptions by the JES team and ask for an uplift in pay. It is a matter of personal choice if PE staff continue to cover management tasks in PE departments as a band 4 PE Specialist Officer, but you should be reminded you are under no obligation to do so and cannot be forced to cover management tasks.

I should make it clear that the POA are not opposed to the introduction of Band 5 PE CM posts, but this must be across the board in every department and should be fully funded.

During discussions it became clear that the employer wished to introduce this role at minimal cost and was not prepared to either fully fund this management post in all PE departments or indeed backfill in house promotions with PE staff. This would have left departments short of operational PE staff or without a much-needed dedicated manager.

In the words of the employer: “we are clear that it is highly unlikely that we will successfully secure the budget to resource this outside of current establishment budgets.”

It is therefore quite clear that the employer does not wish to appropriately fund this initiative.
The POA will retain an ‘open door’ in the hope of securing this vital resource in all our PE Departments.

Until agreement is reached, I would encourage all PE Officers to review the tasks they perform and consider the advice contained within this circular.

Thank you for your cooperation.

For and on behalf of the NEC.

Yours sincerely

National Chair