As you will be aware the HMP Five Wells contract was awarded to G4S after a bid process involving private sector companies. When that contract was announced I wrote to the Managing Director of G4S seeking voluntary recognition as I believe the POA have all the necessary experience to assist G4S going forward.

On the 26th November 2020 I was invited to do a presentation addressing why G4S should award voluntary recognition to the POA. The meeting took place and was attended by Gordon Brockington, Managing Director, Justice and Government Commercial Officer and Heather Noble, Head of Human Resources, G4S Care and Justice Services.

I was also aware that other trade unions were also invited to do their presentations to persuade G4S that they should be the union of choice.

There was a lengthy delay to the process which was outside everyone’s control due to a company called Allied buying G4S.

I am pleased to announce that on the 3rd September 2021, I received official notification that the POA have been successful in gaining voluntary recognition subject to the completion of a formal recognition and procedural agreement which will be signed off by both the POA and G4S.

The bargaining unit will be for Prison Custody Officers’ and Security Officers. We look forward to welcoming our new members into the POA. 

The Managing Director Gordon Brockington and Heather Noble Head of Human Resources stated, “We are pleased to once again be partnering with the POA with whom we have established a close, respectful and appropriately challenging relationship”.

I echo those sentiments and we will continue with that professional approach with G4S. The discussions that I had with G4S Director’s in securing voluntary recognition demonstrates that the POA are trusted at a high level in G4S and we will use our experience of the Prison System to move forward in representing our members at HMP Five Wells and developing further our professional relationship with G4S.


Yours sincerely

General Secretary

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.