Angry Prison Officers meet to decide future course of action

Prison Officers at two of WA’s biggest prisons have stopped work this morning to consider where next in their campaign following the breakdown of negotiations between their union and the state government.

Officers at Casuarina and Hakea Prisons will meet to discuss the stalemate at 7am this morning.

The talks broke down after months of stalling by the Department of Corrective Services particularly after the government reneged on even providing in writing a previously discussed verbal offer of a CPI linked pay increase.

WAPOU Secretary John Welch said that “officers were furious at the Barnett Government’s failure to recognise the difficult jobs that prison officers undertake and the government’s refusal to put in writing a CPI linked pay increase for members.

“We’re sick of the State Government stringing us along in these negotiations. For months we’ve been calling for extra resources to fix the overcrowding in our prisons, for an increase in staffing levels and for better pay and conditions for prison officers."

Mr Welch said prison officers were angry that workers in other sectors were offered a 12% increase over three years by government while prison officers were offered much less.

With less than six weeks until the state election Mr Welch said he could not rule out prison officers being involved in industrial action.