The National Executive Committee met today 20th March 2020 for a Special NEC. An agenda Item was discussed in relation to the ongoing Coronavirus, COVID-19 and all the Government and Public Health England advice around social distancing and indeed unnecessary meetings and unnecessary travel arrangements. It was recognised after discussions between the General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary and the recognised trade union for support staff that the correct decision would be to close Cronin House and Linden House on a temporary basis to ensure continuity of service for the POA membership.

Our support staff at these offices are a very important part of the POA machinery and contingency plans have been agreed with the recognised trade union for staff that all employees will work remotely to ensure the smooth running of all POA operations which is vital to the POA membership.

It is not expected that by working remotely that the quality or quantity of work will be affected. Our contingency plans mean that all remote workers will have access to IT which is GDPR protected and that their Direct Dial numbers from those offices will be on divert to their personal phones. POA Circulars will still be sent out in the normal way.

The National Executive Committee including the National Chairman, National Vice Chairman General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, and full time officers will be available on the mobile phones, by e mail and SKYPE facilities.

The work will continue but will be done in a different way. Mail will still be collected from offices, but we would request where possible that correspondence by direct mail is kept to a minimum and e mail is used where possible with the exception of membership forms where we need the original by post for banking purposes.

This different way of working will be reviewed by the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary in conjunction with the GMB the recognised trade union for staff on a regular basis.

Closing our offices and full remote working is not a decision taken lightly. We are doing this to ensure continuity of service to members, to also protect the well-being of our staff who we greatly value and to act responsibly and play our part to support the POA membership at a time of National crisis. An update to future positions on this will be sent out once reviews have taken place.


Yours Sincerely 

General Secretary

Yours Sincerely

National Chair


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.