Serious Concerns About the Promotion Process in Prison Service Statement from Prison Officers Association (POA), Annual Delegate Conference, Galway- Friday 28 April 2017
Members of the Prison Officers Association expressed serious concerns about the promotion process for prison officers at their annual delegate conference in Galway this morning.
John Clinton, General Secretary of the POA said today, “Following an independent survey of our members we passed a motion on the issue of promotion procedures at our conference this morning to the effect that we urgently need a ‘complete review of the promotion procedures’ for all grades represented by the Prison Officers Association. We now want to enter into discussions with the Irish Prison Service on implementing the recommendations of this independent review as a matter on urgency”
Clinton continued, “Following recent promotion competitions there were numerous complaints made directly to the union about the way the promotions process was operating. In particular our members raised numerous concerns that the current appeals mechanism does not have the power to rectify injustices found in the promotion process, so is of limited value to those who believe they have experienced such blatant injustices”
Clinton continued, ‘The POA recently commissioned the University of Limerick (UL) to review the promotion process and the findings are quite alarming. For example, ‘95% of prison officers feel the promotion process lacks openness and transparency’ and just 2% of those surveyed felt the ‘appeals process was handled fairly’. This level of dissatisfaction is simply not acceptable or sustainable and is having a major impact on the morale of our members.
We are now urging the Irish Prison Service to respond to the key recommendation of the ‘UL review’ and carry out a full and thorough review of the promotion system as a matter of urgency”
Clinton concluded, “We need a promotion process which is benchmarked to international systems, has a clear and just policy on the composition of interview boards and a clear policy on how bias is removed from the process. Merit should be only basis for promotion and this is not the case at present”