Elise Archer,Minister for Corrections
The decision by unions to go ahead with a ‘stop work’ meeting causing disruption to services at Tasmanian prisons is very disappointing.
The Tasmania Prison Service (TPS) has advised that all prisons were subject to lockdowns with a night shift roster put in place during the industrial action. A number of correctional officers assisted by not taking industrial action.
The Government wants to negotiate in good faith with unions, however, they have instead chosen to disrupt services, putting at risk staff members and forcing prisons into major lockdown for the duration of the stop work.
While TPS management endeavoured to minimise impacts, this union enforced lockdown meant prisoners were not able to access some services and visits.
The unions can’t on one hand criticise the level of lockdowns in Tasmanian prisons and then, at the same time, be the cause of the lockdowns.
This action comes at a time when there is unprecedented investment in Tasmanian correctional facility infrastructure including a new $270 million Northern Prison and a new $70 million Southern Remand Centre at Risdon. There has also been a major recruitment drive for new correctional services officers with a new wave of graduates beginning work in recent weeks to be followed by a further group in coming months.