12 November 2021

PCS national prison branch to campaign for better pay

The government recommendations for pay in HMPPS are an insult to members.

The PSPRB (Pay Review Body) recommendation that staff paid below £24,000 should receive a derisory uplift of £250 has been accepted and imposed by the government. The government has ‘mirrored’ the so-called recommendations to all eligible staff.

The recommendations made for pay in HMPPS are insulting to the work that our members do and the challenges they face on a daily basis. The fact this affects around 50% of our members highlights just how poor pay has become when working in prisons. 

PCS recently met with the Pay Review Body and they outlined their own frustrations at the process and even made it clear they are questioning their own independence after the government would not accept their proposed recommendations on pay increases.

In making the announcement on pay Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Justice, stated ‘Prison staff make an essential contribution to public service and their ongoing efforts, particularly in the challenging context of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been greatly appreciated.’

PCS has written a formal letter to Dominic Raab as his positive words are meaningless and add insult to injury with such an appalling pay offer after a huge number of staff put their lives and the lives of their families at risk by working in prisons throughout the pandemic.  We demand that Mr Raab explain his actions as Minister of Justice and explain why prison staff are treated with such contempt, despite the essential work they carry out for the government. PCS wants Mr Raab to explain why there is no parity between MOJ staff receiving a 10% pay rise over 3 years and the shocking offer we received in HMPPS.

The impact of low pay is also impacting on the recruitment and retention of staff and the government’s self-proclaimed goal to reduce re-offending.

PCS national officer, Andrew Lloyd, says: ‘This whole process questions the independence of the PSPRB, particularly in light that the government is considering further review bodies to discuss civil service pay.  This is something PCS is against. PCS is joining up with other prison unions including POA and NAPO and have not ruled out taking industrial action at this point. Our members are clearly angry with the latest offer’.

PCS will be inviting other unions to join our campaign and will raise the issue on pay with our JUPA colleagues at its next meeting. PCS has made our objections to the pay proposal clear and will not allow our members to continue to be disrespected for the outstanding job they carry out on a daily basis. We will continue to raise the profile of this injustice, whilst keeping our options open for further action.