Jail staff walk off the job

CORRECTIVE Services officers from Grafton jail have walked off the job in protest at changes to staffing arrangements.

Prison Officers Vocational Branch chairman Matt Bindley said management had refused to provide staff to man all posts at the jail.

He said management was attempting to change the rostering of staff at the jail and he was concerned about welfare of staff.

His main concern was that a position called the emergency response post would not be filled.

“It is there to respond to any type of incident,” he said.

Those included break outs or fights.

“It is definitely dangerous,” he said.

In a letter to the Examiner Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham, said the 'old time' roster clerks had been replaced at jails like Parramatta and Goulburn by civilian support staff under the direction of a centralised rostering unit in Sydney.

He said the two old custodial roster clerks at Grafton were not at work.

One was on annual leave and the other was off work until Friday.

He said the jail's general manager, Steve Harrison made a decision not to place a custodial officer in the roster clerks' office until Friday.

“I fully agree with his decision,” he said.

“The situation is that the custodial roster clerks at Grafton will be withdrawn soon and will be placed with clerical roster support staff. If the Grafton officers have decided to give up a day or so wages for nothing - so be it.”

Prison staff are expected to meet again today at 8am. Prisoners were locked in their cells during the action. The matter is likely to be considered by the Industrial Commission today.



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