Australia: Prison overtime bill hits $5.7m in 10 months, unions blame staff shortages - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaPrison overtime bill hits $5.7m in 10 months, unions blame staff shortages

00:45  06 june  2019
00:45  06 june  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

NSW Labor leadership hopeful in 'huge coup' as big unions swing their support

NSW Labor leadership hopeful in 'huge coup' as big unions swing their support The state's two biggest right-wing unions have swung behind Chris Minns for the NSW Labor leadership, in what senior Labor sources say is a "huge coup" that undermines the party's powerful head office. Credit Cards Are Now Offering 0% Interest Until 2020 Find out more on Finder Ad Finder.com.au The Health Services Union (HSU) and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA) will back Mr Minns for the leadership over his contender Jodi McKay, believing he has the best chance of winning an election.

Facing ballooning overtime costs amid a stubborn staffing shortage in Wisconsin prisons , lawmakers in control of state government The staffing shortages and overtime costs come as state officials are developing a new juvenile corrections system that would replace a single prison for juvenile offenders

As of last month , 920 jobs at state prisons — 12. 5 % — were vacant, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The worker shortage has prompted officials to hand out bonuses in the hope of retaining workers and led at least one prison to limit when its visiting room is open.

Prison overtime bill hits $5.7m in 10 months, unions blame staff shortages© Provided by ABC News Risdon prison interior yard with unidentified inmates. The Tasmanian Prison Service has already spent more than $5.7 million on overtime this financial year — just over $16,000 for each member of staff in the state's corrective services.

The overtime figure for July 2018 to April 30 this year was revealed by Attorney-General Elise Archer in budget estimates hearings on Wednesday, under questioning from independent Windermere MLC Ivan Dean.

Ms Archer told the hearing the overtime bill was $5,759,407 so far.

Mr Dean said that was a significant cost, considering Corrective Services employed 354 people.

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The Prison Governors Association has said that the "main driver" of the riots and violence is a " shortage of staff " after Sunday's disturbances at Bedford Prison . John Attard, the union 's national officer, told the Today programme the prison service also has too few cells "to operate effectively".

The Prison Governors Association has said that the "main driver" of the riots and violence is a " shortage of staff " after Sunday's disturbances at Bedford Prison . John Attard, the union 's national officer, told the Today programme the prison service also has too few cells "to operate effectively".

"This is the total amount of overtime paid within the service — it's $5.7 million. That is a huge amount of money," Mr Dean said.

The Community and Public Sector Union's Tom Lynch said the overtime figure was not surprising.

"When you have too few staff engaged to deliver services you need to work all the overtime shifts possible, and that's what's happening over there just to keep that prison running," Mr Lynch said.

"We have officers doing overtime shifts on a very regular basis, because if they don't do those shifts there will be too few staff available to even unlock the prison.

"Even when all of that overtime is being done, the prison is still being locked down, almost on a daily basis. The prison is being locked down because there are insufficient staff to fully operate it."

'You beauty!' Tradie scoops $4.8MILLION on the lottery - and vows to never work nights or overtime again

'You beauty!' Tradie scoops $4.8MILLION on the lottery - and vows to never work nights or overtime again The crane driver from Townsville in north-eastern Queensland, who asked not to be identified, was the only person to take home first prize in Monday night's Set for Life draw. The blue-collar worker, who will now take home $20,000 a month for the next 20 years, couldn't quite believe his luck when he found out about his fortune - but he did promise to 'kiss night shifts and overtime goodbye'. 'Holy sh**! Thank you very much,' he said to the Golden Casket official who informed him of his win. 'You bloody beauty! This has changed my whole life.

Then -Gov. Ruth Ann Minner commissioned a task force to look at security lapses. That report blamed the incident on DOC's management and made 45 recommendations to improve the safety of employees and inmates, this included addressing staff shortages that forced officers to work large amounts of

The killing of a guard during an inmate uprising at Delaware's largest prison this week was entirely preventable, according to a correctional officers' union leader who blamed state officials for ignoring chronic staffing Officers frequently are forced to work overtime to make up for staff shortages .

Mr Lynch said he was concerned it meant prisoners were not being appropriately rehabilitated, because regular lockdowns made it difficult to access educational opportunities and develop skills.

In April the ABC reported that Government documents revealed staff shortages at Risdon Prison had resulted in full or partial lockdowns across parts of the prison network on a daily basis.

The budget estimates hearing was told there had been 48 workers compensation claims made by correctional officers this financial year, and 19 assaults on officers resulting in physical injury.

Of the workers compensation cases, 16 officers are back at work but still receiving treatment, 17 are on modified or alternative duties, and 15 have been fully incapacitated.

Ms Archer said additional correctional officers were being employed and the rostering system had been changed in an attempt to address overtime issues.

"It should be noted that a lockdown does not necessarily mean that prisoners are confined to their cells," she said.

"Typically in a lockdown they will only be confined to their unit, allowing prisoners to leave their cells and interact with each other."

A Government spokeswoman said lockdowns occurred for a variety of reasons, but it was rare for the entire prison to be locked down.

During the hearing, Ms Archer announced that TasTAFE would establish a campus at Risdon Prison from next month, as part of a three-year memorandum of understanding between TasTAFE and the Department of Justice.

She said the campus would help support inmates' re-integration into the community.

Albanese fiery after Dutton claims unions 'trump his leadership'.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has stopped short of distancing the ALP from unions, but said he will act against CFMMEU boss John Setka for bringing ‘the Labor movement into disrepute’.

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