Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Important update: Lock-ins and cell searches cancelled. 24-hour stoppage planned for next week

As you are aware, your union has filed several notices this week for industrial action. This included a one-hour stoppage for Friday, a 24-hour lock-in and ban on cell searches on Thursday, and several actions to commence tomorrow, including a ban on collecting urine, transferring inmates to and from medical appointments, and escorting outside the centre without three officers.

The union has been made aware of Serco’s threat to not pay anybody who comes to work on Thursday if they are not going to let inmates out of cells. Serco is legally entitled to do so under the Fair Work Act 2009, as it is the one form of ‘employer response action’ they are able to take in response to protected industrial action. This is a drastic measure for any employer to take as a first step in an industrial campaign.

After much discussion with the Delegates, we have decided to advise members that anybody who wants to work on Thursday, and perform all duties, should do so. We know that you don’t get paid anywhere near as much as you should, and that public holiday rates are important to most members. Instead of stopping work on Friday and risking people not getting paid again for the shift if midday muster does not get done, we will be meeting with members on Friday at 6:00am prior to the commencement of shift.

One thing is very clear to your union: Serco is going to refuse payment to any member who engages in the most minor form of industrial action. The union included on the list of ballot questions actions that did not involve stoppages to allow members to take industrial action without shutting the entire centre down. Despite this, Serco has shown its hand early and made sure that members will be financially disadvantaged as much as possible for the slightest forms of industrial action.

If Serco wants to select the nuclear option at the start of our industrial campaign, then we have no choice but the respond accordingly. As such, the union has notified Serco of a 24-hour stoppage next Friday 30 September 2022 from 7:00am. If members are going to be financially punished for minor forms of action, there is no reason for the union to continue notifying Serco of partial work bans. Instead, rolling stoppages will be organised starting from next week.

We are also aware there are rumours circulating about formal wage offers being made to the CPSU NSW. This is a complete fabrication. The union has maintained from the beginning that we are willing to continue negotiating in good faith with Serco, but that we will be proceeding with our industrial action regardless. The union has never, and will never, reject or agree to an offer without putting it to the membership first. Unless the union formally tables an offer with the membership for your consideration, you can safely assume no offer has been made.

The union will be on-site on Friday morning at 6:00am to talk with members about our next steps. We will send out further details about next week’s strike over the next couple of days. In the meantime, if you need to talk to anybody about the upcoming industrial action, you can email , , or .  Alternatively, you can call the CPSU NSW on 1300 772 679.