As you are aware, the union notified MTC of a 48-hour strike commencing this Friday at 0600 and ending at 0600 on Sunday.
Like last time, if you are rostered on from 0600 on Friday and are a union member, you simply do not need to turn up to work. Work commences as per normal from 0600 on Sunday. Again, only union members are able to participate in the industrial action, which means that if you are not a member and want to go on strike, you will need to join the union before Friday. The union will be in touch with all unfinancial members, but if you’re not sure of your union membership status, you should contact the union on 1800 772 679.
On Friday morning, we will be holding a picket out the front of the jail (on Sentry Drive) from 7am to 8:30am. It would be great if you can attend and show your support. After the picket line, the union will put on a breakfast BBQ down the road at Davidson Reserve for all members who turn up. If you are coming on Friday and still have your t-shirt from last time, please wear that.
If it is raining heavily on Friday morning and a picket line is not possible, the union will text all members in the morning and let everyone know where we will be meeting for lunch instead, if you would like to come along. As usual, please keep an eye out for emails and texts from the union over the next couple of days.
We are also in the process of making sure that we get as much media as possible about the stoppage, the way that MTC operates the prison, and MTC more broadly.
Participating in industrial action is critical. As you know, MTC are refusing to budge on their offer and want to lock you into a four-year deal with a pittance of a pay increase. The only way to change this is to force their hand by financially burdening MTC by engaging in protected industrial action. MTC’s dismal behaviour and conduct is well-known with respect to their operations in the US, and the way that MTC operates PKA is no different. Indeed, MTC’s Managing Director was directly responsible for Arthur Gorrie before it was transferred back to the state in Queensland, which was (by the Managing Director’s own admission) the centre with the highest rate of assaults. Unable to run a prison safely in another state, we now have that same Managing Director running PKA into the ground, with dangerous levels of short-staffing and pay rates that are inadequate, such that staff retention is a major issue. This is a multi-national company who (controversially) is now responsible for the Nauru contract, and yet they’re crying poor when it comes to paying you a decent wage. It is time to make sure that MTC recognizes your worth and pays you what you’re owed.
If you have any questions about this week’s stoppage, please contact Mark Ward or Brian Kirk. You can also call Jess on 0401 521 561 or Kim on 0408 249 277.