Despite the prison officers returning to work, following the government promising to re-negotiate their pay deal, Gordon Brown is today saying NO DEAL. Brown said:"We have succeeded in tackling inflation and having a stable economy because of discipline in pay over the last ten years. That discipline will have to continue. We will do nothing, nothing, to put that at risk. It is an essential element of maintaining discipline in the economy."
The Prison Officers' Association chairman, Colin Moses, said Brown should: "sit round the negotiating table. What Mr Brown wants to remember is, when he places 81,000 people in prison, he places them under the custody of my members, who are being assaulted on average eight times a day. When we were awarded a 2.5% pay award by an independent pay review body - he staged it. Why? To drive down his economic growth? My members have had to take, as many other members of the public had to take, five interest rate (rises) this year on their mortgages. Go and tell a prison officer, who's facing the violence he's facing on a daily basis, that you're not going to give them any more - and he (Mr Brown) wants to ask why we can't recruit prison officers at the rate we should?"
After an independent pay review body recommended a 2.5% pay rise, the government said it would award 1.5% in April and 1% from November. According to the POA this amounts to a second year of below inflation pay awards - and has not ruled out further strikes.
So, back on strike then lads?