Launceston Remand Prison dispute update
YESTERDAY CPSU Assistant General Secretary Mat Johnston appeared before the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to progress an ongoing dispute around overtime and safe staffing levels at the Launceston Remand Prison (LRP).
Accompanying Mat were two Officers, one a CPSU Workplace Delegate.
The dispute arose out of rostering problems that saw two Officers being forced to do hundreds of hours a year in mandatory overtime. They couldn’t refuse due to the nature of their work and it was having a huge effect on their lives as well as costing the service many thousands of dollars.
After a few hearings the CPSU managed to have the forced overtime issue remedied but the fix proposed by the employer created serious safety concerns inside the facility.
The Department appears uninterested in any other course of action and it’s highly likely the CPSU and Members at LRP will call in Workplace Standards, the Tasmanian work health and safety regulator, to audit the site for safety concerns.
“It’s really disappointing the dispute has come to this point”, Mat said. “The Department of Justice fixed one problem but created another set of issues around safety. In the end their actions have left Launceston Remand short staffed and that puts our Members and the inmates and detainees in their charge at risk. All it would take to fix the issues would be the posting to Launceston of one or two new recruits out of the 40 plus currently in training. Instead of making sure the LRP works safely the Department seems intent on assigning everyone to Risdon to paper over the cracks.”
The CPSU will continue to work with Members to address these serious issues.