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We just wanted to take this opportunity to pass on our thanks, firstly to your Scottish National Committee for the work they are doing on your behalf each day, and ultimately to you the membership for the incredible work you are all doing in dealing with the unprecedented circumstances being faced by everyone inside our Prisons. We are conscious that the majority of our Circulars is about the England and Wales service and doesn’t reflect on POA members in Scotland.
Like the rest of your colleagues across the UK you are used to dealing with challenging and difficult circumstances on a daily basis, but there is no question that the environment today is entirely unique, and as challenging a time as we can all remember for a very long time.
As a Trade Union it is our role to engage with the Employer and Government to ensure that your needs and protections are foremost in the decisions being taken, and we are very pleased and impressed by the work being done by the SNC in Scotland to ensure that happens each day.
You have a well-established partnership agreement in Scotland that sees the POA playing a valuable and key role in managing the environment inside Prisons, and they do that to a very high standard on your behalf.
We know from talking to senior figures in Scotland that the SPS and your SNC are working closely every day in dealing with the issues that COVID-19 create, and that your voice is being clearly heard in the discussions and decision making taking place to combat those issues.
We also know that the SNC are incredibly proud of the response of the members in Scotland in dealing day to day with the uniquely difficult and challenging environment inside your Prisons at the moment. As a workforce and as a Trade Union, we have a lot to be proud of in rising to the challenge being faced, and for the contribution we are all making to creating a safer, stable environment for everyone concerned in our Prisons.
We are aware that the majority of the SNC and branch officials have in fact given up the majority of their facility time, donned their uniforms, and are back working inside the Prisons to assist colleagues on the front line during this unprecedented period in our history. That for us epitomises perfectly the unity and teamwork that properly demonstrates who we are as a Trade Union.
We remain in regular contact with colleagues in Scotland and have offered any support that they may need from the wider POA. We are a broad church with several different Employers and Governments, but we are one Trade Union, and one family. That has never been more obvious than it is right now, and as General Secretary and National Chairman we could not be more grateful or proud of that fact than we are at this moment in time.
It is an incredibly difficult time for us all, and we are trying our very best to make our prisons as safe as we can given the circumstances. We would simply ask that we continue to support each other and continue to be there for each other in the way that we have done until now, because it is the best chance, we all have of getting through it safely.
On behalf of the NEC we want to thank you all for your magnificent efforts to date, and to your SNC for doing all that they are doing on your behalf every day.
Stay safe and take care.
Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.