3 December 2021

HMPPS reps vote to campaign on pay and to consult members over industrial action

On 1 December PCS reps and advocates in HMPPS met to consider our next steps on pay. 

The pay offer means that anyone earning under £24,000 will receive a below-inflation £250 increase and anybody earning above this will essentially not receive a pay award. This comes at a time when our members have provided an essential service during the most challenging of years, when many other sectors have been able to work from home.

Laura Bee, PCS full time official, outlined the offer the MOJ staff had received, which is essentially an average of 10.5% over 3 years. She said “How can this government treat staff in the same sector so differently? It’s appalling and we must take immediate action."

Since the offer was made, we have written to Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Justice asking him to explain the rationale behind the offer and to hold him accountable on why he is treating HMPPS staff differently to other civil servants within the same sector. We have so far not received a response. This shows the level of contempt this government and its minister have for HMPPS staff.

Members are hurt and angry after more than 10 years of below inflation pay increases. There is clear evidence that more staff are leaving than joining HMPPS. Staffing problems are already impacting on regimes and do little to reduce re-offending, which is supposedly a key goal for this government. If prisoners are kept locked up without meaningful activities due to short staffing then key targets will not be met in terms of re-offending and much more money will be spent in the long term. This developing staffing crisis will only be resolved by recognition that competitive pay rates need to be in place for all HMPPS staff, which will help improve the state of prisons and the life of staff and prisoners within England and Wales.

The Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSRB) is an independent body which makes recommendations to Ministers on the pay and conditions of operational managers, prison officers and support grades in England and Wales. When PCS met with the PSRB we suggest that its independence is under question as the government does not act on its recommendations unless they are easy to implement. The PSRB agreed that this offer is disappointing and said it is disappointed that its recommendations for significant pay rises had been totally ignored .

At the meeting on 1 December, PCS activists unanimously voted that the branch wants to campaign on pay and will meet to discuss our strategy at the branch committee meeting next week.

PCS national officer Andrew Lloyd said “PCS is fully behind this campaign, we believe the offer is insulting and highlights how disconnected this government is from the reality our members face on a day to day basis. We will provide any support the branch requires and are delighted the branch want to take action. We simply cannot continue to allow this government to insult our hardworking frontline workers over pay."


Source URL: https://www.pcs.org.uk/news-events/news/hmpps-reps-vote-campaign-pay-consult-members-over-industrial-action