Jail staff strike over work offer
IPSWICH'S Borallon jail went into lockdown today as about 100 correctional officers stopped work as part of an industrial dispute with the State Government.
Together Union director of industrial services Michael Thomas said members were incensed over the government's recent offer included plans to reintroduce practices that were abandoned after the infamous Brendan Abbott escape.
Mr Thomas said members were also concerned about the future of award conditions.
"We already have huge overcrowding and an increase in assaults - both prisoner on prisoner and prisoner on staff," he said.
"We were in negotiation for two months and when we finally received the offer it was horrendous.
"They are seeking to introduce unsafe practices, basically leaving posts unfilled.
"The depth of anger among our members is incredible and unlike anything I have seen before."
The Borallon strike started just after 1pm, and will continue until 7pm.
It was the latest in a series of strikes at prisons across the state, including Wacol and Wolston Park.
Together Branch Secretary Alex Scott said the government offer puts the community and staff at risk.
"The government is seeking to introduce Operational Staffing; an unsafe staffing practice that has been discredited in privately-run prisons and abandoned in Queensland state-run prisons after it directly contributed to the Brendan Abbott escape," he said.
"The government is seeking to undercut award conditions so they can alter shifts and work locations for correctional officers with just 24 hours' notice."
Mr Thomas said this week's strikes were "just the beginning", and he urged the government to reconsider its offer.
"Prisons are more dangerous now than they have ever been," he said.