Prison officers to take strike action across the Territory

by | Apr 29, 2022 | Cops | 0 comments

Correctional officers in Darwin and Alice Springs will walk off the job for 12 hours on Monday to protest the Gunner Government’s four-year pay freeze and what they say is “chronic” understaffing.

The guards will walk off at 7am outside the Darwin Correctional Centre, before later attending the May Day March through the city at 10.30am.

“NT Corrections are in crisis,” a union spokesperson said.

The United Workers Union corrections members and firefighters have been bargaining with the NT Government since the middle of 2021, but they say the government has refused to “offer wages in line with cost-of-living increases, or address chronic short staffing”.

“Pay freezes and wage offers well below inflation will see workers go backwards and I am afraid many of our skilled, essential and emergency services workers will leave the Northern Territory,” said UWU NT secretary Erina Early.

“I urge the government to consider the long-term impacts of their four-year wage freeze – now is not the time.”

The corrections workers will join other unions and workers from Danila Dilba who have also been in protected industrial action.

A statement from NT Correctional Services said the department has “undertaken extensive contingency planning” for the walk-outs in Darwin and Alice Springs.

“Routine operations within the Darwin and Alice Springs custodial facilities will be impacted by these 12 hour work stoppages, however NT Correctional Services will have sufficient staff on duty to ensure the security and safety of prisoners and staff at all times,” said commissioner Matthew Varley.

“Both facilities will operate a restricted regime for the duration of the action, however social visits will not be affected as the action occurs on days when social visits are not scheduled.

“Core functions including the delivery of meals, the administering of medication and attending to the medical needs of prisoners will continue.”

 

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