Justice Committee Survey findings are a damning indictment on the dire working conditions prison staff have to endure, say POA

23 Jun 2023| News

Today heralds the release of the Justice Select Committee survey of operational prison staff. The results confirm what the POA Union who represent operational Prison Officers and related grades have been stating for years.

National Chair Mark Fairhurst commented;

“This survey confirms what I have been telling the Government and HMPPS for years without both parties listening at all. Our retirement age of 68 needs to be lowered, our pay is insufficient, staff have zero faith in senior leaders and we do not have any investment to provide real rehabilitation opportunities for those in our care. This survey asked the questions our employer really did not ever wish to ask. The Government must now act to stop the exodus of staff who have realised the glossy recruitment material is nothing more than fantasy whilst experienced staff continue to feel unvalued and demoralised. Maybe now the people who can stop the rot will listen to the POA.”

General Secretary Steve Gillan stated;

“I am not surprised by the findings from the survey. Our members have been clear for years on subject matters of pay, terms and conditions and the manner they are being treated in the workplace. This is a wake-up call for Government and indeed Senior Officials within HMPPS. POA policy has always been clear in that we need a root and branch review commencing with a Royal Commission into prisons and the wider justice system. I would like to thank Sir Robert Neill MP Chair of the Justice Select Committee who are cross party for conducting this piece of work and for speaking at our Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons as recently as 19th June 2023, on the POA call for that Royal Commission and the cruel pension age of 68 years of age. It is now time for not just Government to act on these findings but the whole political spectrum in England and Wales prison service.”

The POA look forward to working with all political parties and Government along with our respective employers in HMPPS to ensure going forward the issues that are affecting our prisons are addressed and addressed very quickly before they get any worse.