Prisons 'face new wave of industrial action in pay and pensions dispute'

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Jails in England and Wales will be hit by a new wave of industrial action by officers as part of a dispute over pay and pensions, it has been reported.

Members of the Prison Officers Association (POA) will withdraw from voluntary duties, including providing first aid and negotiating in hostage situations, from Wednesday, according to the BBC.

Manning of the Tornado teams deployed during disorder is also among the voluntary roles curtailed by the action, while an overtime ban will be introduced from April.

In a briefing paper seen by the BBC, the union said: "The POA condemns the systematic failure of Noms (National Offender Management Service) to provide safe, decent and secure prisons, failures which have created a prison service in crisis.

"More and more members are being assaulted every day, the increase in self-inflicted deaths and daily security breaches are unacceptable and as a result of staff shortfalls and budget cuts."