Prison officers relaunch television advertising campaign following weeks of government inaction

After more inaction by the Barnett Government the WA Prison Officers’ Union have taken the decision to relaunch their ‘Respect the Risk’ television advertising campaign.

WAPOU Secretary John Welch said prison officers were tired of waiting for the Barnett Government to get serious about fixing the crisis in the state’s prisons.

“We waited months for the government to meet with us to discuss our concerns, then when the meetings eventually started we were told that the department was serious about addressing our issues and advancing our enterprise bargaining agreement.

“Yet what we’ve seen is the department stalling and not taking the meetings seriously. The process has been slow, drawn out and in the last week they’ve missed two meetings with us.

“Why aren't they able to meet to genuinely work with us on the pay and conditions of staff?

“The Minister says he supports us yet he allows his department to drag their feet.

“We’ve had twenty assaults on prison officers since Christmas, we have been and continue to work with the department to work through the crisis and effects of the Banksia Hill riot but now we’ve had enough.

“We want better staffing levels in prisons, we want new facilities to manage the overcrowding and we want better pay and conditions,” said Mr Welch.

“Above all we want respect from the State Government for the dangerous work prison officers do.

“We’ve been asking for action from the State Government on these issues for months now and we’re sick of waiting,” said Mr Welch.

The ‘Respect the Risk’ advertisements will begin screening on television stations from Sunday 27 January. The advert can be viewed at respecttherisk.com.au/resources .