245 Church Street
Telephone: 020 8803 0255
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all POA members.
The pay award report can be accessed via the following link:
The headline award includes the following:
4% Consolidated pay increase for all closed grade staff including OSGs and F&S staff not subject to ‘red’ hours.
4% increase to all F&S pay points and those pay points reduced from 5 to 3, meaning staff progress to top pay scales quicker.
Increase in unsocial hours element of pay for F&S staff from 17% to 20%.
From 1 September all Band 3 F&S staff to receive an additional £3000 per year in salary, which consists of £2500 in pay and an additional £500 in unsocial hours element of pay due to the 3% increase. This payment now erodes the Market Supplement element of pay so staff in Amber sites will now see their base pay increased and their Market Supplement pay eroded, meaning they will be subject to increased pension contributions (Those earning up to £23100 pay 4.6%, between £23101-£56000 pay 5.45%) due to an increase in salary. Staff in red sites will see £3000 of their market supplement now swallowed up in their base salary.
Prison Auxiliary and Night Patrol staff pay be increased to the National Living Wage or by 4%, whichever gives the greater amount.
Fair and Sustainable National Band 2 spot rate be increased by £1,500
Fair and Sustainable Band 4 becomes a spot rate by removing all pay points below the maximum.
All staff (except those subject to formal poor performance procedures) on Fair and Sustainable Bands 3 and 5 who are in post on 31 March 2022 and do not automatically receive an uplift as a result of pay band restructuring should progress by one point, effective from 1 April 2022.
From 1 April 2022, the fixed cash pay differentials for the Fair and Sustainable Outer and Inner London zones be increased by 4%
From 1 April 2022, the Care and Maintenance of Dogs allowance be increased to £2,434 per annum for those with responsibility for a single dog. The rate for multiple dogs is set at 25% above the single dog allowance.
Calculated as a percentage pay rise this gives the membership the following pay rises:
Closed grade staff 4%
Band 3 F&S between 16.7- 18.5%
Band 4 F&S 7.5% max.
Band 5 F&S 7.5% max.
The employer has indicated that the pay backdated to April 1st will be paid in September’s salary.
My previous comments about staff performing voluntary tasks highlighted to POA members the difficulty the Executive have in persuading decision makers to fund such tasks and make them part of Prison Officer and OSG pay. This has been confirmed within the PRB report which states:
In the course of our discussions with the parties at oral evidence, we did not hear any evidence to suggest that there was a lack of volunteers to undertake these roles and therefore we do not see a compelling case to introduce a payment for these tasks and consider it reasonable within any grading framework for some additional duties to be undertaken. We believe that staff who undertake these additional roles are attracted to do so for personal development in their current and future roles.
Roles include but are not limited to: Negotiator, ACCT Assessor, Control and Restraint (C&R) Instructor, C&R Tornado, First Aid, Mentor, Local Response Team, Care Team, Mental Health Allies, OSG Drivers (includes Tornado and Cat A/High Security), ECR/Control Room Operators, Separation Centres, Discreet HSE units and Family Liaison Officers.
NEW PRISONS MINISTER
The Rt Hon Stuart Andrew was appointed Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice on 8 July 2022. Stuart became MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough in 2010. In 2012, he was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to Francis Maude MP.
In the 2015 general election, Stuart was re-elected and took on the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary to Patrick McLoughlin MP.
FREE FLEXED FIXED
Local Governors are in receipt of a document entitled ‘Free flexed fixed.’ This is summarised below:
This overall programme was set out in the 2021 Prisons White Paper as a ‘New Deal’ for operational leaders. This work will ensure that leaders are empowered and supported to deliver long lasting innovative changes in the prison establishments they run.
The Free, Flex Fixed Guidance has been driven by conversations with operational leaders who fed back that they are not always clear on the freedoms they are able to exert in their role as governor.
POA committees that disagree with any local Governors ‘innovative changes’ they wish to introduce should immediately contact their area NEC representative.
UPDATE FROM THE NATIONAL ASSESSMENT TEAM
The National Assessment Team recently announced that the Assessment Process for 2022 will also include an online sift ahead of the assessment centre.
For the Custodial Manager Assessment, this will be a Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and for the Head of Function Assessment, this will be an Ability Test.
The online sift for the 2022 HFAC will be a cognitive ability test; a general ability test which allows us to understand the candidate’s cognitive abilities better.
This timed test measures three different areas of aptitude - Verbal analysis, Numerical analysis and Diagrammatic reasoning.
CUSTODIAL MANAGER SIFT: SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST
The online sift for the 2022 CMAC will be a Situational Judgement Test (SJT). This type of test assesses a candidate’s ability to judge the effectiveness of different actions that could be taken in response to workplace situations.
In this untimed test, the candidate is be presented with a series of scenarios, which reflect challenging managerial situations.
For each scenario, four possible actions that could be taken are presented. Candidates are asked to rate each action in terms of its effectiveness in addressing the scenario.
As part of the sift process, all candidates for the CMAC and HFAC will be emailed their respective test links by close of play on 29 July.
REMINDER OF YOUR FREE LEGAL SERVICES
Members are encouraged to read POA Circular 54/2022 which can also be accessed on the POA website. This reminds you of the free legal services you and your family are entitled to access as a POA member. They include:
Your legal package covers:
Your family members are also covered for:
POA SCOTLAND PAY
The Scottish POA membership have overwhelmingly rejected the derisory pay offer from the Scottish Government. The Scottish National Committee will now continue discussions with their Government with the option to ballot their members for industrial action.
PENSION LEGAL CHALLENGE GOES AHEAD IN NOVEMBER 2022
POA members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with POA circular 47/2022 which confirms:
The POA have joined forces as an interested party with FBU, PCS, UNITE, GMB, and RCN as indicated in previous POA Circulars 015/20, Circular 072/20 and Circular 074/20. The legal challenge is on Pension Contributions Cost Cap. The BMA also have an overlap case and both cases will be heard together. The High Court this week gave permission for the challenge to go ahead by way of Judicial Review in November 2022. It is anticipated that it will be a 5-day hearing this was following the age discrimination found proven in earlier proceedings at the Court of Appeal. At present the POA is the only Trade Union in HMPPS who are mounting this legal challenge to get pension justice for our members. All legal challenges can be potentially costly, but the NEC believe along with other unions in the public sector we can win this challenge.
OPTIMA HEALTH - MY HEALTH CONDITION MANAGEMENT
My Health Condition Management is a new online way to get help for a specific condition. It can support in identifying and managing type 2 diabetes, obesity, asthma or heart conditions.
It is available 24/7 at HMPPS | (workplacewellbeing.com) on a mobile or desk/laptop device and usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete an assessment online.
The tool will then direct to the right treatment - in the same way a clinician would.
GOVERNMENT FACING JUDICIAL REVIEW OVER NEW REGULATIONS ALLOWING THE USE OF AGENCY WORKERS DURING INDUSTRIAL ACTION
Thompsons Solicitors has written to the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, on behalf of 12 major trade unions coordinated by the TUC, to challenge new regulations permitting the use of agency workers during industrial action.
The 12 unions involved are Unite, USDAW, BFAWU, UCU, RMT, ASLEF, FDA, NEU, PCS, POA, BALPA and the GMB.
The pre-action judicial review claim letter to Mr Kwarteng explains that the new regulations are a violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It also explains that the new regulations violate the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which commits the UK to respecting, promoting and implementing internationally recognised core labour standards, including those relating to freedom of association and the recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
The letter also argues that the business secretary has failed to discharge the obligation to consult as required by the ‘Employment Agencies Act 1973’.
POA members should continue to ensure that regimes are only progressed if staffing levels allow, and it is safe to progress. If there is disagreement over levels of regime and unlock numbers your area NEC representatives should be immediately informed.
All the best.
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.