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CPSU addresses Prison Officer Conference

CPSU Assistant General Secretary Mat Johnston spoke yesterday at the opening of the Prison Officers Association of Australasia (POAA) conference.

Mat spoke to the group about the importance of officers’ leadership in their workplaces and the opportunities to use reform in Work Health and Safety legislation across the country to encourage safer work and better representation inside all facilities.

“The thing that upsets me the most is the fact that I know a number of my friends, Members of our union working in Tasmania’s prison system will be injured at work, taken hostage or worse every year”, Mat told the conference.  “Safety is the number one issue in corrections and puts wages in the shade.  We have a great opportunity to reclaim safe workplaces with improved Work Health and Safety legislation coming into force in a couple of months.

“As with all things, without actions the words are meaningless and it will fall to the likes of us to drive serious safety reforms through our respective prison systems”, Mat said.

About the POAA

The POAA, an association of correctional officers from all Australian states and territories,  meets every two years to discuss issues in the prisons and corrections environment.

These valuable meetings give Officers a chance to share challenges facing them across jurisdictions and to work out coordinated responses to threats.

The POAA includes both public and private prisons and is supported by your CPSU on both a state and federal level.

Other corrections unions are involved in these conferences and make these events fantastic opportunities for networking and learning.

The POAA conference will run until Friday and will consider issues such as training, needle exchange programs, emergency response and safe staffing levels. Conference delegates will also hear a series of reports on both private and public prisons around Australia and visit Mary Hutchinson Women’s’ Prison and Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison

The CPSU covers a range of positions in the Tasmanian prison system, including Correctional Officers.

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