POA General Secretary: Join POA march against austerity

The POA will be holding a march and rally on the 19th March 2014 to coincide with budget day in order to demonstrate at the budget cuts, pay freeze, pension age, assaults on POA members and privatisation. In recent years, budget cuts have seen the Prison Service impose an almost total recruitment freeze alongside pay freezes. These factors along with the unjustified increase in pension contributions are leading a return to “long hours culture” as POA members are forced to work excessive hours to operate prisons and to earn a living wage with a rising prison population. As a result, more and more staff are being forced off work with work related stress due to excessive workloads, which is leading to burnout.

Whilst it is accepted that people in society are living longer, it cannot be said that operational staff will continue to be fit enough to perform the full range of duties, including the ability to undertake and pass five elements of the fitness test in addition to annual mandatory Control and Restraint training. The POA do not believe the Coalition Government has demonstrated that Prison Officer Grades, those that work in our Special hospitals, or immigration centres can work to the age of 68 years.

The POA are adamant that it should not be our members picking up the pieces as they did not wreck the economy this wreckage of the global economy was caused by bankers greed and the spivs and speculators gambling with casino style recklessness with our money. The POA will be using the march and demonstration on the 19th March 2014 as a foundation for an ongoing campaign up to the next general election. Details of the march is leading off from Trafalgar Square at 10.00am past Whitehall to the Central Methodist Hall where a rally will commence at 11.00am with Members of Parliament, and trade unionists speaking. Join the POA in a march and rally against the cuts.

Steve Gillan

General Secretary