Friday, 9 December 2022

Parklea industrial action update: Stoppage next week

As you may know, members recently participated in a protected industrial action ballot following MTCs refusal to pay its workers anything more than the bare minimum. A majority of supported participating in protected industrial action. As a result, the union has formally notified MTC of a 48-hour stoppage, to commence at 6:00am on Friday 16 December 2022 and end at 6:00am on Sunday 18 December 2022. This bulletin provides some essential information regarding what happens next week, so please read through until the end.

Why next week?

The union is legally obliged to give MTC five working days’ notice for longer stoppages, which your union did yesterday. We know MTC could possibly manage a 24-hour strike without too much hassle, but it they will really struggle to do is operate the prison over 48 hours. We found that, at Serco, the 24-hour strikes were efficient but it was when we notified Serco of a 48-hour strike the company came to the table with a better offer. MTC can barely run the prison on a weekend as it is, and so having the stoppage run into the Saturday is going to hurt it the most.

Next Friday is also the end of the pay period for you, which means you won’t lose two days’ pay in the same pay run.

Are we doing anything on Friday or Saturday?

Absolutely! The best and most effective part of any industrial campaign is the publicity that you drum up. As such, the union will be holding a rally in support of the ongoing industrial campaign. The details are as follows:

Date Friday 16 September 2022
Time 11:00am
Location Blacktown Leisure Car Park, Cnr Sentry Drive and Ponytail Drive, Stanhope Gardens

The importance of turning up to this rally cannot be understated. The union has organised for media to attend the event, and so we need as many people to turn up as possible. Bring your family, bring your friends, and bring your pets. You don’t need to turn up in uniform, as the union will have shirts for everyone on the day. After the rally, we will head to the Ettamogah.

Do I need to go into work at all?

Not unless you sign on at 0000 on Thursday 15 December 2022. If this is you, then you can leave work at 0600 on Friday 16 December 2022. For everybody else, you simply don’t have to go into work. Work will then resume as normal from 0600 on Sunday 18 December 2022.

Do I need to let MTC know that I will be participating in the industrial action?

No, you don’t. If you’re asked what you’re doing and you want to let MTC know what your plans are, then that is fine. However, you are under no obligation to advise MTC of your intentions and whether you’re participating in the stoppage. You can simply not turn up to work.

What if I’m a casual?

You are as protected as everybody else, and can lawfully participate in industrial action with permanent staff. You can choose not to accept shifts over the stoppage period, or not turn up at all.

What if I’m not a member?

You must turn up to work. Only union members can participate in industrial action. If you’re not a member and you don’t show up for work, MTC would be legally within its rights to discipline you. It is also very important to note that MTC will likely be keeping an eye on who takes sick leave on that day, so the union advises against any non-members taking illegitimate sick leave (such as sick leave without supporting medical documentation) as a means of participating in the industrial action. Instead, you should join the union. If you’re not a member and don’t show up to work/take sick leave which is unsupported by medical documentation, and MTC subsequently takes action again you, we will not represent or support you. Much like any other form of insurance, you cannot take it out after an accident and expect to be looked after.

Do I still have time to join the union if I haven’t already?

Yes. You have until 5:00pm Wednesday 14 December 2022 to join the union. That will allow membership to process your application so that you will be a financial member by Friday morning.

The union will be on-site again next week. We will let members know via text when we will be around. In the meantime, 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.