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PSA Prison Staff Reject Offer

March 20, 2008
For Immediate Use

PSA Prison Staff Reject Offer

More than 700 prison staff, who belong to the PSA, have rejected a new collective employment agreement offered by the Corrections Department.

These staff work in prisons throughout the country and include corrections officers, nurses, social workers, administrators, whanau liaison officers and staff involved in prisoner rehabilitation.

“A key reason for rejecting the collective offered is that it doesn’t address the problem the department has in holding onto experienced prison staff,” says PSA National Secretary, Richard Wagstaff.

The Corrections Department has a high turnover of staff. Prison officers and nurses are in demand around the world and social workers are also highly sought after by other government departments and district health boards.

“Corrections needs to be more proactive in retaining its experienced staff,” says Richard Wagstaff “That’s why we want to see incentives for experienced staff included in the collective.”

The PSA is also seeking more professional development and improved career structures for prison staff as part of a package of conditions aimed at improving the retention of experienced staff.

“There’s no substitute for experience and we believe its more cost effective to invest in retaining experienced staff than on continually having to recruit and train new staff,”says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA prison staff also rejected the collective agreement offered by Corrections because they felt the term, of two years eight months, was too long and the pay rises offered were below the level of inflation.

The PSA is seeking a date for a resumption of its negotiations with the Corrections Department.


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