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The Prison Officers Association have issued a stark warning to the Government after they released the recommendations today for the pay award relating to operational Prison staff some 6 months overdue.
In a scathing attack National Chair Mark Fairhurst commented;
“This announcement is a missed opportunity by the Government to reward the heroics of frontline Prison Officers and related grades for their herculean efforts during a global pandemic. On top of the spiralling costs of living and the inevitable rise in National Insurance contributions this insulting award for those who receive it will further condemn our members to a dwindling standard of living whilst the lowest paid will continue to live in poverty.
Our most experienced staff have once again been overlooked and will feel demoralised, forgotten about and unappreciated. This pay award, or rather lack of, will further encourage a mass exodus of staff to better paid, less violent and more family friendly jobs. We need a complete pay overhaul that makes our salaries competitive, attractive, and fit for purpose, whilst incentivising staff to remain in the service.
If we had the right to strike, I would be balloting my members to take strike action over this insulting award. Morale is at an all-time low and staff goodwill has gone. When my members adhere to their contracted hours the service will crumble, and the Government will have to address their concerns. We are heading for a staffing crisis that if not addressed, will never be recovered”.
General Secretary Steve Gillan stated:
“Warm words and applauding our courageous POA members will not pay bills or put food on the table. Let me be very clear this is not a pay pause it is a pay cut and Government should be ashamed treating a professional work force in this manner. The pay model is broken and this will further add to a crisis in our criminal justice system”.
For further information, contact:
POA Press Office 020 8803 0255 Option 7
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.