Corrections Industrial Action update
Late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon Queensland Corrective Services lodged a dispute in the QIRC over potential risks to the health of elements of the community as a result of the announced industrial action. You can see a copy of their notice here.
QCS had been notified of the substance of the action on Friday, but the first concerns they raised were the day before the action was due to commence.
QCS was seeking that the union agree to have some members not take action at their centres in order to leave a ”Contingency Team” that could react to codes only.
Together representatives highlighted the extreme frustration of members in the lack of meaningful bargaining until now and the final tabling of the offer you saw in last night’s email here.
We also stressed the right of members to take action was enshrined in legislation and shouldn’t be quickly taken away.
We pointed out there was a range of options available to QCS to fill “contingency teams” at Centres and skeleton staffing at PAHSU. They included management fly in teams, use of police, the fact that non-members are not able to take protected action and the capacity for QCS to call for volunteers not taking part in action at other centres to pick up an OT shift where they only had to react to emergencies.
On the basis that we acknowledged QCS's ability to meet contingencies through the mechanisms above the Commission has not issued any directions to cease or postpone the action.
QCS will seek for staff to meet contingency plans including skeleton staff at PAHSU and security in centres for issuing medication – they can do that, and they always have.
The union does not challenge the right of QCS to make the requests for OT shifts or the ability for people to choose to accept them. In fact, what would be more offensive is having to ask a small number of members to volunteer not to take action in order to make sure it could go ahead for everyone else in their facility.
The key thing is members can take action in their facility and make the community and Government listen up and Respect the Risk you take each and every day.
Based on the offer yesterday, we are in for a long fight and there will be rolling industrial action for the foreseeable future.