From the Newsroom

Aerial view of Clarence Correctional Centre. Image: Contributed

‘Stoppages’ on the agenda at prison

Geoff Helisma


Prison officers at Clarence Correctional Centre have voted to reject Serco’s pay offer; soon they will decide whether or not to strike.

Two hundred and six of the 244 employees, who were eligible to vote (84.4 per cent), participated in the ballot, which was conducted over five days.

Of those, 169 (82 per cent) voted to reject the offer of $26.88/hour, as part of an enterprise agreement – in effect, 69 per cent of the total eligible employees voted to pursue further industrial action.

“We are now conducting a protected action ballot order … in support of our enterprise bargaining claims,” said Community and Public Sector Union of NSW assistant branch secretary Troy Wright.

“We applied to the Australian Electoral commission (for the ballot), which closes on August 11.

“[Achieving] a simple majority (a majority of employees have to vote, and a majority of those who vote have to be in support) will mean we can take industrial action for the next month – work bans, public comment, stoppages, [etcetera].”

In a media release, Mr Wright says that if the officers had accepted the offer, they would be the “second lowest paid prison officers in the country”.

“Serco’s rejected offer also failed to include allowances, paid parental leave, and sufficient personal leave,” he said.