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See the response of the Lord Chancellor to the PSPRB Chair 2020 below:
I am writing to acknowledge the concerns raised in your letter of 21 July regarding the Government response to PSPSRB 20/21 report.
I recognise that the PSPRB are disappointed with the Government’s response to the PSPRB’s recommendations this year – specifically in relation to ‘’recommendation 3’’, the £3,000 total uplift in pensionable pay for all Band 3 Prison Officers. The Government has neither accepted nor rejected the recommendation at this stage, and we are already considering this issue in further detail.
The costs associated with accepting this recommendation as stated, at a time where there is a great deal of economic uncertainty as the government continues its response and recovery from COVID-19, are considerable. I very much acknowledge the rationale behind this recommendation, and I am grateful to the PSPRB for setting this out and drawing upon a range of informative evidence. However, given the current circumstances and the increased economic uncertainty, it is ever more important that I fulfil my duty to the tax payer to consider whether investment of any kind offers best value for money. As part of this, it is necessary to consider how such an uplift in pay could be made affordable by also achieving workforce reform and subsequent efficiencies.
We must also consider this year’s prison service pay award in the context of the pay awards that have been given to other key public-sector workforces, and consider the implications of a significantly higher award to one particular workforce.
I would like to reassure you and the other members of the PSPRB that the work to explore how we might implement this recommendation in a mutually beneficial way is already under way. With the help of key stakeholders, we hope to agree a way forward that balances the need to ensure fair pay for prison staff with the need to ensure value for money for taxpayers, whilst also meeting the increasing demands placed on the justice system.
I would be most happy to keep you informed of any updates and progress made, and to meet at a later date to discuss these outcomes. 2 Your efforts and expertise as articulated in this year’s report are much appreciated.
May I take this opportunity to thank you and your colleagues for all your hard work.
RT HON ROBERT BUCKLAND QC MP
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.