SNC Minutes

A meeting of the Scottish National Committee was held on 28 October 2020 at 13.00 pm

Those present by were: -

Mr P Fairlie, Asst. Gen. Secretary                  Mr J McCabe, Acting Chair                          

Mr W Reid, Scottish Treasurer                       Mrs K Ewen, SNC Member                           

Mr J Cairney, SNC Member                           Mrs K Fairlie, Secretariat                                                      

Apologies were received from Mr J Devine and Mr Carle, SNC Members, due to annual leave

  • MINUTES OF MEETING ECM/09/20

The Minutes of ECM 09/20 were accepted as an accurate record proposed by Mr Reid

and seconded by Mr Cairney

  • MATTERS ARISING

2.1       PAY SITUATION

Nothing further to report.

2.2       POAS GROUP LIFE SCHEME

A retired member from Grampian has passed away, a claim will be made when the death certificate is received.

2.3       DISPUTES 

SNC    

  1. Standard Operating Procedures (re escorts) – (Greenock now National Dispute)- Mr Reid and Mr Fairlie will represent POA. Dates to be arranged.
  1. National – partnership working – This meeting will take place when it is possible to have a physical meeting.

Greenock – early courts- Dates still awaited

Low Moss – E Band Resource and the financing of resource. –

Edinburgh -Cash Drop. A dispute has been lodged regarding the process of PPC – Dates still awaited

Greenock – Ex Gratia funding for the early courts – Dates still awaited

Shotts – Attendance Patterns – Dates still awaited

Dog Unit – Mr Cairney and Mr Devine will represent POA. Dates still awaited 

  • WORKFORCE PLANNING GROUP & WFP SUB-GROUPS

 

Mr Carle attended the last meeting he will give a report back once he has returned from annual leave.

  • FINANCE

All up to date, no issues.

  • SCOTTISH UNION LEARNING

 

A meeting has taken place between Tom Breslin (STUC UL), Mr Cairney and Mr Fairlie.  The bid proposal had been discussed in detail and will be submitted next week.

The POAS proposal of 2 new courses, for gym instructors’ level 2 and tactical writing of reports had been well received by Mr Breslin. (the writing course had been part of a POAS conference proposal). Mr Cairney and Mr Fairlie will complete the application and ensure it is submitted on time.   

   

2.7       THE STATE HOSPITAL CARSTAIRS

The AGS confirmed that the POA have included the MHO’s case in their submission to the pensions’ consultation. Mr Fairlie has met with the Carstairs Director and the Branch Secretary as planned.  There is currently an ongoing Gross Misconduct case, Mr Fairlie is assisting our member.

2.8       PRIVATE SECTOR

The AGS had attended the National POA Private Sector group meeting, there had been nothing of note for Scotland.  Mr Reid is assisting a member in HMP Kilmarnock

           

2.9       CAMPAIGN STRATEGY

The notice to our members regarding the pension consultation has been reissued as discussed advising the members of the submission closing date.

  • UNIFORM

Nothing further to report.

2.11     OPERATIONAL DIRECTORATE

            Nothing further to report.

2.12     COMMUNICATIONS (Inc, NEWSLETTER & MEMBERSHIP)

 

The AGS suggested that the POAS Comms. Committee should meet and draw up a comms strategy. He also reported that he had issued various communications, re Food in visit areas, PPMS, increased COVID risks, social distancing and assisting with the Chief Inspector of Prisons report on Deaths In Custody.

2.13     FLEXIBLE WORKING

           

            Nothing further to report.

2.14     C & R STEERING GROUP

 

            The next meeting will be on 5th November

2.15     ABSENCE MANAGEMENT POLICY

The introduction of this policy has been delayed again due to COVID.

           

2.16     SOCIAL DISTANCING

            The SNC issued a circular to all members regarding social distancing (CIRC/28/20)

2.17     ESTABLISHMENT RESPONSE WORKSHOPS

 

A response was still awaited, although it was noted that the Gillian Walker had now moved positions with the SPS, and Fiona Cruickshank was now in that post.

2.18     STUC ONE DAY CONGRESS

 

Four places have been booked and the one-day online congress will take place on 17th November 2020.

 

2.19     FLM PAY ANOMALY COMPLAINT

 

There has been no response from Cathriona Affleck. AGS to write again and seek a response.

2.20     PPMS   

The AGS has reinforced and clarified the SNC’s position to the SPS, as requested. Mr Adam Jobson has requested a meeting with POAS. The AGS asked that the SNC give him their availability and he will organise a meeting and suggested that the SNC have a pre meeting to agree and formulate their points.

2.21     REINTRODUCTION OF VISITS FOOD/DRINK/FACEMASKS

 

The AGS has responded on the PLR’s forum giving the SNC’s position on this as requested.

2.22     JOE SIMPSON

The AGS has written to Mr Simpson as requested and Mr Simpson has sent a response thanking everyone for their kind wishes and has reported that he is doing well and feeling positive.

2.23     ACCUMULATION OF LEAVE

 

            Nothing further to report.

  • CORRESPONDENCE

3.1       LOW MOSS – LOCAL ELECTION COMPLAINT

A member at Low Moss has contacted the local branch with a complaint regarding their recent local branch elections. He has been informed that he should make his complaints to the AGS, his initial complaint did not give any specific complaint or any examples of a failure in procedure. To date, the AGS has not received anything from the member.  

           

  • ANY OTHER BUSINESS

4.1       FIRST AID & EMERGENCY RESPONE TRAINING

Mr Cairney reported that as the SPS wished to reintroduce First Aid & Emergency Response training, he had attended as an observer to watch a demonstration of proposed training. He believed that all possible precautions have been put in place, i.e. sanitising, socially distancing, the use of manakins etc. The SNC were content with the arrangements and Mr Cairney will confirm that with the SPS.

4.2       PARACETAMOL POLICY

It was noted that the issuing of paracetamol policy was due to be reviewed very shortly and the SNC should be aware. (This review had been delayed due to COVID)

4.3       LATERAL TRANSFERS

Mr Cairney asked that the issue of lateral transfers be included in the next workforce planning meeting. Mr Reid confirmed he would raise the matter at the next meeting.

4.4       SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT - 5 LEVEL CODIV POLICY

Mr Cairney reported that the SPS NCRG group were looking at the impact of the Scottish Government’s new COVID 5 level policy, which comes into force on Monday 2nd November, which will result in different areas being under different restrictions due to differing COVID infection rates. If an area was placed in the highest level, that would result in full lockdown and those who are vulnerable will have to ‘shield’ once again.  The Government have said that those shielding will be issued with an automatic 2-week medical sick line. The SNC discussed issues that will arise from this, staff needing to shield, staff working in an area at one level, but living in an area at another. There could be shortfalls and the SPS need to have clear contingencies in place. Mr Fairlie will write to Adam Jobson to seek clarification on these matters.

4.5       TUS POLICY REVIEW PRIORITIES

Mr Cairney pointed out that at the forthcoming TUS meeting, one of the items for discussion was the TUS policy review priorities. The AGS advised, given this was the first time many of the SNC will have this discussion with the TUS, they had to be clear and agree what the POAS’s priorities are. They also had to be mindful of the fact that their sister unions might not share the same priorities.

4.6       CCTV REVIEW   

           

Gillian Walker has given reassurance to the TUS about the use of CCTV in relation to the COVID track and trace system.  The AGS advised that the SPS will still adhere to the SPS current guidelines on the use of CCTV i.e. they have to have a specific reason to use it, it cannot be used routinely to watch staff.  It was reported that PCS had requested to routinely view CCTV in all areas including operational areas, this would not happen and was against the current guidelines. The SNC again expressed their frustration and disappointment at the approach by PCS to involve themselves in matters that are outwith their remit.

4.7       SELF HARM POLICY         

Mr Cairney reported that there was to be a meeting the following week (date and time yet to be finalised) to discuss the new proposed Self Harm Policy. He noted that there was a proposal that the officer should make the determination on the prisoner regarding self-harm.  He strongly believed this to be wrong and the determination should surely be a clinical one, the SNC agreed with him.  He asked if anyone else would like to attend the meeting with him, Mrs Ewen would check her availability.

4.8       GATELODGE MAGAZINE    

The AGS reminded the committee that if they wanted to submit anything for the next Gatelodge (the Christmas edition) they should ensure it is with Helen in the Leeds office before 2nd November 2020.

4.9       MEMBER At SHOTTS

A member has asked Thompson’s for assistance in preparing a stage 3 pension appeal.  Thompson’s have been informed by the POA legal Aid Committee that this matter is not covered by the scheme. Mr Fairlie asked if the lawyers or an SNC member had spoken to the member and if he was aware of the legal committees’ decision. He also felt it important that the member be informed that he has the right to appeal their decision and he could have the assistance of the SNC and his local branch to prepare the appeal.  Mr McCabe was unsure if the member had been contacted by Thompson’s, he will write to him and give him an update.     

The Acting Chair thanked everyone present for their contribution, and there being no further business, closed the meeting. 

 

CHAIR

 

J McCabe

……………….………………………………………… (acting)

 

 

ASST. GENERAL SECRETARY

 

P Fairlie

………………………………………

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.