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Judge Supports Work Party Supervisors Concerns

Thursday 4th March 2004
MEDIA RELEASE

ATTENTION: INDUSTRIAL/JUSTICE REPORTERS

Judge Supports Work Party Supervisors Concerns

“NUPE Work Party Supervisors in Christchurch will attend a stopwork meeting on Saturday to discuss ways to encourage movement in their Collective Agreement talks,” Janice Gemmell, Organiser for the National Union of Public Employees said today. Work Party Supervisors supervise offenders doing community work under the 2002 Sentencing Act (former Periodic Detention).

“The meeting will be held at Pages Road on Saturday afternoon,” says Janice Gemmell. “The issues in dispute relate to the allocation of permanent status for Work Party Supervisors and the allocation of the permanent hours of work.”

“Strike action was taken twice last year because the Corrections Department was trying to accommodate the low compliance level of sentenced offenders into our Collective Employment Agreement,” says Janice Gemmell. “That issue remains as can be seen by the comments of Judge Stephen Gerber last week. While the compliance rate has risen above 40%, the Judge has basically taken the Department of Corrections to task for the low compliance.”

“Judges sending slack detainees to prison is a strong message to the department to come up with a plan to deal with the poor compliance situation,” says Janice Gemmell. “Our workers now feel however they are being treated harshly because they had the guts to raise the non-compliance issue last year.”

ENDS

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