Friday, 2 December 2022

Parklea Correctional Centre members vote in favour of taking protected action.

Yesterday afternoon, the protected action ballot that was underway closed, and the results have officially been declared: a majority of members at Parklea Correctional Centre have voted in favour of taking protected action. This means that the union is able to notify MTC of industrial action at any point from now on. Now that we’ve gotten the ballot across the line, it is worth doing another FAQ for members about what all of this means, why we’re taking protected action, and what happens next.

Who can take protected industrial action?

As previously stated, only union members can participate in protected industrial action. This means that you must be a union member before any protected industrial action occurs. If you are a non-member and you engage in industrial action, you will not be lawfully protected. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact the union on 1800 772 679.

What if I am a member but I am not financial?

If you think that you are a member but that you are not financial, either because you have missed some payments or because your credit card has expired, then you will need to contact the union in order to fix that up. Rather than contacting the union via phone if you believe this applies to you, please send an email to or and we will help you sort out your membership status.

Can MTC discipline me for participating in protected action?

Absolutely not. The whole point of conducting a ballot is to authorise the taking of industrial action that is legally protected under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). MTC cannot discipline you or take any other form of adverse action against you should you choose to participate in upcoming stoppages and/or other forms of work bans.

What is the point of industrial action?

Unfortunately, most employers will only give their employees the bare minimum that they are required to in terms of a pay increase, and not a cent more. MTC is not an exception – they have offered you what they are provided by the state under their contract, and not a cent from their own pockets. This is insulting, and you should be offended. Correctional Officers at Parklea Correctional Centre kept the prison fully operational during a global pandemic, and yet MTC have no desire to remunerate you appropriately or pay you what you’re worth. The union didn’t ask for much, either – we simply asked that you receive a slightly higher pay increase, and that you receive some form of compensation for working on the weekend. We will continue to fight for this, but we need you to get involved.

Why is it important that I get involved?

A union is only as strong as its members, and any industrial campaign can only be successful if a majority of employees get involved. It is absolutely critical that you participate in industrial action. If we go on strike but a third of employees turn up to work, it won’t have the desired effect and MTC will not be inclined to offer members anything more than they already have. In order to win, we have to fight, and fighting means getting involved and making sure that you participate.

Serco is a perfect example of what can happen when members take a stand against greedy employers who are more concerned about lining their own pockets instead of paying their employees a living wage. Only a few months ago, Correctional Officers at Clarence Correctional Centre voted in favour of taking protected action, and subsequently walked off the job on three separate occasions. They are now in the process of voting on an Enterprise Agreement that will see them go from the lowest paid Correctional Officers in the country to the second-highest. This is what industrial action can achieve, and this is why it is critical that you get involved.

In your line of work, you are faced with many challenges in a highly volatile environment. Being a Correctional Officer means that you constantly work in an unpredictable environment, where anything could happen. The role that you play is so incredible valuable, and it is only appropriate that you are remunerated accordingly. Your labour is being devalued by a multinational corporation who believes that you deserve a measly 2.53 per cent per annum whilst doing an incredibly difficult and dangerous job. It is time to change that.

What happens next?

We will be organising stop-work meetings with the intention of going on strike for 48 hours. These stop-work meetings will likely occur towards the end of next week, so keep an eye out for emails from the union about this.

I have questions about what all of this means – who can I contact?

If you have questions or concerns and want to talk to somebody from the union about protected industrial action (or anything else), then please reach out to Kim or Jess by sending an email to or . Alternatively, you can call Jess on 0401 521 561 or Kim on 0408 249 277.