The National Executive Committee have now had time to examine and fully understand what is contained within the PSPRB report on the remit group that the POA represent. At the NEC Meeting of 27th July 2022, the National Executive Committee determined to hold a further Indicative Workplace Ballot of our OSG members, and a separate Indicative Workplace Ballot for our Band 3, 4 and 5 members.

The Executive will never accept that Prison Officer grades and Operational Support Grades are paid fairly for the jobs that they do, and we still believe that even with this increase it does not make up for the pay cuts of the last decade. We do not believe that this PSPRB Report will stop individuals from all grades leaving HMPPS and believe that it will take years to reduce the damage of the past for the Service to recover. These 2 Ballots are in response to the recent Prison Service Pay Review Body Report and the acceptance of that Report by the Government. 

The first Indicative Workplace Ballot will include all Band 2 members, Prison Auxiliary’s and Night staff in England and Wales. The NEC would again like to make the wider membership aware that these members, are not restricted from taking industrial action by Section 127 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994. At this stage the NEC have decided to hold an Indicative Ballot of our members within these grades. If it is indicated in this ballot that these members wish to challenge the pay award made by Government, the POA will move to hold a Statutory Ballot of these members. Before any industrial action is called or endorsed, the law requires that there is a ballot of members in accordance with strict legal requirements. Only where such a ballot produces a majority in favour of industrial action and at least 50% of those eligible to vote have voted will the action be lawful. Further in the case of important public services, at least 40% of those eligible to vote must have voted to support the action. These are minimum levels, the NEC would of course like to see far higher levels, were the Union to decide to proceed in this way.

The second Indicative Workplace Ballot will include all Band 3, 4 and 5 members, regardless of whether they are closed Grades or Fair and Sustainable Grades.

The Indicative Workplace Ballots will take place from Monday 8th August 2022 until Monday 29th August 2022. Once the outcome is announced the NEC will make an informed decision on whether to proceed to a Statutory Ballot for Band 2 members. If you are a member within these grades, please ensure you take part in the process and make your views known.

Please bring this Circular to the attention of all members. Thank you for your anticipated support.

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.