Better Prisons – Benchmarking - Mobilong Prison | PSA Say – Worse Prisons, Massive Job Cuts

03 July 2019

On Thursday 27 June 2019, Public Service Association Senior Industrial Officer (PSA IO) and Mobilong Worksite Representatives (WSRs) attended a Better Prisons Special Local Consultative Meeting (SLCC) at Mobilong Prison.

At the commencement of the meeting, the PSA tabled two issues of concern:

1. On Wednesday 26 June 2019 a PSA WSR requested a meeting with all staff. Management refused, and informed the WSR to hand in his institutional equipment and leave the institution immediately with his vehicle. The PSA immediately contacted DCS about the actions of the Mobilong Prison General Manager and the disrespectful manner in which our PSA WSR was treated. The PSA ensured our WSR was reinstated the following morning and paid for lost time.

2. The PSA expressed a commitment to consultation as outlined in the Enterprise Agreement, but required important information to be presented to PSA prior to meeting. The following information was requested:

  •   Number of staff reductions
  •   The positions/posts
  •   How the remaining positions/posts would operate following the reduction in staff numbers
  •   Confirmation that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Local Operating Procedures (LOPs) and Local Interpretation Statements (LIS) would be relevant and achievable following the reduction in positions/posts
  •   Confirmation that appropriate Work Health and Safety (WHS) assessments have been completed on the duty statements for the remaining positions/posts to ensure operational safety
  •   Confirmation that appropriate workload management assessments have been completed per clause 15 of the Enterprise Agreement, with particular attention to sub-clause 15(2) to ensure members are protected from excessive, unreasonable or unsustainable workload.

The PSA requested a meeting to brief members at Mobilong Prison following the SLCC meeting. The Better Prisons DIrector,  indicated he would seek approval from DCS Executive and would get back to us.

The PSA was informed that the meeting could not occur until 16:30 – 17:00 hours. The timing was not satisfactory to members as many have personal commitments at home at the end of their shift, and thus the timing was not appropriate to allow for adequate consultation with members.

The institution was secured in preparation for 1st Watch. Members attended the meeting, leaving adequate staff as required for a 1st Watch to care for prisoners. Members were provided with updated information and outcome of the SLCC meeting, and were appalled at the treatment of our WSRs.

The following morning at muster, the Mobilong General Manager informed all staff that those attending the meeting would be deducted one hour’s pay and that WSRs would be subjected to disciplinary action.

The PSA are appalled at the shameful behaviour of DCS Senior Management. If any further action is taken against our members or representatives the PSA will be there to support and represent the members.