On 7 April 2022 the Court of Appeal refused the POA permission to appeal against a judgment dismissing a judicial review application. That application argued, among other matters, that the decision announced on 10 December 2020 to reject a recommendation made by Prison Service Pay Review Body (‘PSPRB’) was a breach of article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 11 deals with the freedom of association and assembly which includes the exercise of trade union related rights.

Following the decision of the Court of Appeal, the POA instructed lawyers to apply to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that there has been a breach of article 11. It is argued that the rejection of a recommendation made by PSPRB meant that there were no adequate safeguards to compensate for the absence of a right to strike. The application has now passed through the initial screening process and the UK Government and the POA have been invited to negotiate a settlement. By reason of the rules of the Court, those negotiations will be confidential. However, the POA is intent on seeking a settlement with the new Government that safeguards the rights of its members.


Please bring this Circular to the attention of all members.


Yours sincerely


STEVE GILLAN                        
General Secretary


National Chairman

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.