The Prison Officers Association have said they are "going back to the normal regime":
– PRISON OFFICERS ASSOCIATION GENERAL SECRETARY STEVE GILLAN
We have achieved everything that we need to achieve, but the fight continues.
Jails across the UK have been hit by prison officers going out on strike. Prison staff, like police, are not legally allowed to go on strike, and are calling the action a "protest."
Prisoner officers are angry that their retirement age of 60, which was in line with police, army and fire service, had now been raised to 67 by the Government. Prison officer Mike Lowe said:
How would the general public like to think about their grandad or grandma, aged 67, being abused or having to tackle a violent prisoner?
How can the Government expect someone at that age to run up four flights of stairs and restrain a violent prisoner in his 20s?
Prison officers are angry, we do a tough job and all we are asking for is a fair deal.
The walkout by prison officers in most jails is unlawful and ministers are considering court action to end the dispute, the Government said today.
The Ministry of Justice said ministers could seek an injunction to force staff to return to work.
Prison officers started unannounced 'protest meetings' outside of their workplace at 7 am this morning. They are protesting over government plans to link their normal pension age to the state pension age.
Court cases have been thrown into disarray by an unannounced strike by prison officers. One such case was a triple murder trial at Maidstone Crown Court were two out of the three defendants failed to be produced by the Prison Service.
Judge Mr Justice Sweeney had to apologise to jurors who had turned up expecting to hear further evidence about the case involving the deaths of three generations of one family in an arson attack on their home in Chatham, Kent. He explained:
– Judge Mr Justice Sweeney
The reason is, because of industrial action, two male defendants have not been released by the Prison Service to the transport service to bring them here.
I have ordered that they be brought here. The transport is standing by to bring them here. The trick is getting them out of the prison to the transport."
Prison Officers across England, Wales and Scotland are holding 'protest meetings' against Government plans to link the normal pension age to the state pension age.
Protest action has been sanctioned by the National Executive Committee commencing at 07.00 hours, until the Executive direct otherwise.
– Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association
The POA has submitted a case to Government to support our view that it is unrealistic for prisonofficers to be automatically linked to the state pension age, which willultimately rise to 68 years of age.
Unfortunately, it has fallen on deaf ears and prison officers have no other option but to protest to gain public attention.
While the POA chairman PJ McParlin reiterated:
– PJ McParlin, Chairman of the Prison Officers Association
We are an essential uniformed service in a volatile operational workplace. A pension age of 68 is unacceptable to this trade union. We will protect our pensions. We have a right to retire from service not to die in service.