POA members vote 88% to reject government offer, saying 68 is too late to retire. Prison officers joined unofficial walkouts during #M10 pensions strike (pictured)

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POA members have voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s pensions proposals.

(POA members joined unofficial walkouts during #M10 pensions strike, pictured)

The vote – 88% against the plans – will re-open the debate about whether or not prison officers should be allowed to take strike action.

Last year, POA members unable to strike alongside fellow trade unionists on November 30th, found alternative ways of making their voices heard.

General secretary Steve Gillan said: “This is a massive rejection of pension changes by a loyal hard working workforce who protect the general public.

“I do not believe the general public will want to see prison officers being forced to work until 68 years of age. The POA will continue to campaign for fairness and will not rule out further action”.

The union believes the proposals are unacceptable, especially the link to Normal Pension Age and State Pension which will force prison officers to work until 68.

The POA is working with other unions on the 68 is too late campaign to oppose the increase in the state pension age to 68, and the threat that the Government will move it even higher.

Balloting is underway among UNISON and Unite members of the local government pension scheme in England and Wales.

Last week, GMB members of the LGPS voted by 95% to accept the Coalition’s pension reforms for local authority staff.

The POA says it will not accept that frontline operational prison staff should be forced to work until they are 68 years of age. Prisons are dangerous places to work and play a vital role in society. If they are to remain Safe, Secure and Decent the government must consider the implications of the final offer and proposed changes.

The POA will be calling on the Government to engage in further discussions and secure additional funding from the Treasury to revisit the changes to the PCSPS. The POA have invited MP’s to demonstrations on Control and Restraint and are looking forward to more MP’s observing in the future.

POA national chairman Peter McParlin said: “The ballot result is clear and unambiguous. The POA will not allow politicians to compromise the health and safety of our members and the prisoners and patients in our care.

A pensionable age of 68 is inappropriate within essential and uniformed services. The POA will continue to exert pressure on the coalition government to revisit their disgraceful pension.”


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