Member Safety and Entitlements Will Not Be Compromised!

19 January 2018

The PSA met with senior Executives and Workforce from the Department for Correctional Services (DCS) to discuss the issues of concern for members at Edwardstown that had been formalised in four recent correspondence (here). PSA Councillor, was also in attendance to ensure that members’ position was clearly articulated in relation to the safety concerns and entitlement to an adequate lunch break with appropriate facilities.

The PSA clearly stated that two Intensive Compliance Officers (ICOs) conducting residential assessments ongoing is the required standard. The PSA stated that this practice is necessary to ensure that members are protected from the possibility of dangerous incidences or the possibility of false allegations by offenders. Management were keen to speak about the work that has been undertaken at a local level to provide enhanced processes and protective equipment for officers. While the PSA welcomes this work, this does not provide the safety assurances that members require, particularly in light of the ever increasing number and type of offenders presenting for Home Detention. The PSA reiterated the position that members will only conduct residential assessments with two officers present.

The matter of members being provided with a crib break for AM shifts on weekdays was also discussed. It is envisaged by DCS that a Voluntary Workplace Flexibility Agreement is what is appropriate rather than the current Personal Flexibility Agreement that is in place for Weekend, Public Holidays and afternoon shifts. While there is a commitment by DCS to progress this issue within a few weeks, no absolute guarantee of a positive outcome has been provided. Until such an outcome is provided it is imperative that members follow the practice of travelling to their nearest community corrections work places to have their breaks, regardless of time required to do so. If members do not illustrate to management the time and productivity lost by doing this practice, DCS will continue to abuse your good will and you will continue to be denied either a lunch break with appropriate facilities or a paid crib break.

Your commitment to supporting each other is vital, not only for the issues currently at hand, but for future situations. Your strength comes from your unity. The important and valuable work you undertake for the community as Intensive Compliance Officers should be respected by DCS.

The PSA urges members to stand together and respect the current industrial directives.

PSA will arrange a meeting of members next week when formal correspondence has been provided by DCS.

Any member who would like to provide feedback can contact PSA here.