Prison officers walk off job

ABOUT 60 prison officers have walked off the job at the Woodford prison over wording of a memorandum regarding weapons training.

A spokesman for the Queensland Public Sector Union said the entire day shift of prison guards started protesting about 7.30am today, sending the Woodford Correctional Centre into a lock down.

“There is a dispute over the wording of a memo or a statement that management issued regarding gun safety training and what action would be taken in relation to staff who repeatedly failed their gun safety test,” he said.

An emergency hearing in the Industrial Relations Commission in Brisbane is under way.

The officers are angry about the wording of this paragraph:

“The Agency’s position is that any officer who repeatedly fails to meet the accepted competencies required to use weapons will be referred to the Assistant Director General Custodial Operations for him to consider what further actions may be required. One of the actions available for consideration is the provision of further training and mentoring. This is not a disciplinary process but an administrative process.”

The QPSU spokesman said they would prefer the incident to be referred to their ‘local General Manager’ instead.

“They have a concern about procedural fairness,” he said.

“The staff are concerned having an issue to straight to the Assistant Director General will not be a fair process and these referrals might unjustifiably result in termination.”

The spokesman said the issue was contained to Woodford, although officers at other correctional centres had ‘expressed solidarity with Woodford but are not proposing to strike.'”

The wording of the memo is being discussed in the hearing.



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