Our meeting with the Minister
Yesterday a Together delegation met with Minister Jo-Ann Miller to start the discussion around the significant issues facing Custodial Corrections Officers in the workplace.
Your delegates, Gordon Murray (BCC), Norm Jacobsen (Lotus Glen), Jason Hunt (Woodford), Peter Clark (Wolston) and Greg Tanner (ESB), along with Secretary, Alex Scott and Director, Michael Thomas, spoke about the significant problems we have seen in Corrections over the last three years.
Overcrowding was discussed in some detail noting all the flow on effects it has around centres. The big rise in incidents and assaults, the impacts on safety and security and the inability to manage prisoner behaviour when the DUs are full were all discussed. The Minister is very concerned about overcrowding and will look at ways to reduce its effects as a priority.
Your delegates also requested the Minister look seriously at reversing a number of decisions brought in over the last 3 years that affect the good order of Centres and the lives of our members. The issues we raised were:
- decision to go to 11 hr shifts and the reduction in prisoners out of cell time
- reversing the reductions in programs and activities and the removal of the Dog Squad presence at our correctional centres at night shifts
- the reinstatement of the top up to 100% of CCO wages while on workers comp if they get hurt at work
- addressing workload problems on night shifts
- problems with Q Health providing nurses at correctional centres of a night.
Finally we raised the issue of the re-opening Borallon Correctional Centre and expressed our strong view that the centre should be publicly run, the Minister was very supportive of that position and we hope to get formal confirmation soon that this will be the case.
This is early days but the signs are positive.
It’s been a tough three years in Corrections, with many members having to seek assistance from our Member Support teams for discipline and individual matters. On top of that the Legal Insurance fund has been accessed more 18 months than it has for the rest of its existence! Throughout this time your delegates have stayed strong and stood up for the rights of members. Now’s the time to see the benefits. Corrections has always been strongest when union members at each centre are actively involved. Let’s make the most of the return of our union rights, talk to your delegates, get involved in union activities and encourage your colleagues who aren’t members to join here.
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