Parklea Prison Officers to Strike Over Safety Concerns

Public Service Association

Prison Officers will picket Parklea Prison during a 48 hours strike over safety concerns commencing at 6am this Friday.

Parklea Prison has the worst record for serious assaults on Prison Officers in NSW.

Officers at the prison are routinely asked to work understaffed, especially on weekends.

They are also the worst paid Prison Officers in Australia.

The maximum security men’s prison is privately run by American multinational MTC.

CPSU NSW Assistant General Secretary Troy Wright says Prison Officers have serious concerns for their own safety.

“Parklea Prison has the worst record for serious assaults on Prison Officers in NSW, and the second worst rate of assaults amongst inmates.

“We have recently seen a riot at Parklea Prison where prisoners started huge fires and ran around on the roof causing $8 million in damage.

“In the last year there have been three deaths at Parklea Prison.

“We know of Prison Officers being king hit from behind, having shivs held to their throats, being punched in the face, and having faeces thrown on them.

“The violence in the prison is due to chronic understaffing and the sad reality is everytime MTC doesn’t roster enough people they get to keep the money so they have no incentive to run the prison safely.

“MTC said they could do Corrections cheaper but their only ‘innovation’ is to not roster enough staff on each shift which means prisoners are left in cells longer and do fewer activities which means they become agitated and bash staff.

“The business model of MTC is to make their money from their own Prison Officers.

“The current boss of MTC, Mr Troy Ittensohn, ran the most violent Prison in Queensland and it got so bad the Queensland Government brought the private prison back into public hands and clearly that’s what the NSW Government needs to do here.

“If MTC couldn’t negotiate a contract where they can’t turn a profit without putting their Prison Officers in danger then they’re clearly bad at business and the NSW Government should cancel their contract.

“MTC roster their Prison Officers on most weekends because they don’t pay weekend penalties, which is another way they profit from their own Prison Officers.

“Our members also want staffing levels increased and a decrease in weekend work.

“Their morale is at rock bottom and most are leaving for the public system as soon as they can.

“We are calling on the Corrections Minister the Hon. Dr Geoff Lee and Commissioner Kevin Corcoran PSM to intervene directly and bring MTC to see sense,” says CPSU NSW Assistant General Secretary Troy Wright.

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