Tasmania Prison Service Steering Committee Update

Last month CPSU representatives met with the Department of Justice for the fortnightly Tasmania Prison Service Steering Committee. These meetings are a forum for workers to raise issues and concerns directly. Thanks to all members who contributed questions and feedback to be raised.  

The meeting covered a range of issues, including:   

  1. The ‘Concept’ of a Correctional Officer. 
  1. Unresolved Operational Issues. 
  1. Working Arrangements, Rosters, and Establishment. 
  1. Southern Remand Centre Planning Arrangements. 

The next Steering Committee is scheduled for next week. Please let your CPSU Organiser Blair Dowker or your nearest CPSU Delegate know if there is anything you would like raised at either the Steering Committee or the upcoming Joint Consultative Committee.   

1.  ‘Concept’ of a Correctional Officer: 

The Department presented on the outcomes of a project investigating the recruitment of Correctional Officers as well as skills, attributes, and qualities identified as necessary to succeed in the role. This project follows on from feedback from union members and is aimed at improving recruitment and retention.   

Project-lead Elliot Hayter has been tasked with identifying and working on a matrix of these attributes for panels to consider when interviewing recruits. To provide more diversity in assessment, these panels now have a balance of genders as well as a mix of uniformed and non-uniformed staff. These skills, attributes and qualities are now being used to target potential recruits through social media recruitment campaigns, as well as identifying potential recruits from other occupational groups (e.g., emergency services). 

CPSU representatives asked if there are any measures in place to evaluate the success of this project down the line, once newer recruits are further progressed in their careers. The Department responded that they will be looking into it. 

2.    Unresolved Operational Issues: 

It was agreed at the meeting that any operational issues would be discussed at the Joint Consultative Committee scheduled for 5 July 2022. We’ll report back on the outcome of this meeting shortly.  

3.    Working Arrangements, Rosters, and Establishment: 

A separate meeting has been scheduled with an independent facilitator to discuss detail raised through the Steering Committee. This is an opportunity for members to raise concerns regarding the establishment numbers and working arrangements provided earlier in the year. Please get in touch with your concerns, questions, or any other feedback. We will report back following this meeting.  

4.    Southern Remand Centre (SRC) – Planning Arrangements: 

Training has commenced this week for workers who have nominated to work at the Southern Remand Centre upon its opening. The Department has advised that they are still “on track” for a July opening of the Southern Remand Centre and will provide further information on the transition of inmates to the new facility soon. 

The next Steering Committee is scheduled for 20 July. We encourage members to pass feedback onto their nearest Delegate or contact CPSU Organiser Blair Dowker at b.dowker@tas.cpsu.com.au.

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