As you know, MTC recently tabled a wage offer that was rejected by the majority of union members and employees alike. As a result, the union put out a survey to the membership seeking feedback in relation to the next strike. Specifically, we wanted to know whether members would prefer a 48-hour stoppage or a 72-hour stoppage, and when they would like this to occur.
The results are in. A large majority of members indicated that they would prefer a 72-hour stoppage over a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. As a result, the union notified MTC this afternoon of a 72-hour stoppage commencing on Wednesday 1 March 2023 at 0600 and finishing on Saturday 4 March 2023 at 0600. You can read a copy of the notice HERE.
The union has also written to the Minister for Corrections, Dr. Geoff Lee, about the ongoing industrial action at PKA and the issue of abatement relief. You can read a copy of this letter HERE. The union will raise these issues in the media closer to the stoppage, as we did last time.
The union is aware of the text that was sent out during the last stoppage about hospital escorts. We are seeking legal advice regarding the text message, as at no point in time did the union advise MTC that members could go to work for the sake of covering hospital escorts. This was a blatant misrepresentation on MTC’s behalf, and we will ensure that they are held accountable. For the time being, please know that the union did not agree to anything of the sort, and that nothing of the sort has been agreed to for next week’s stoppage either. It is the sole responsibility of MTC to implement a contingency plan (if they even have one) – members are not responsible for assisting MTC during any period of industrial action.
MTC are struggling to run the prison as it is. They are short-staffed, and employees are leaving in droves to work elsewhere because the pay simply isn’t enough at PKA. This stoppage is the most important stoppage so far, and it is therefore incredibly important that members continue to stand together, show solidarity, and let MTC know that what they’ve tabled simply isn’t good enough. As always, you must be a member of the union to participate in the stoppage, so if you’re not already a member and would like to join in, you can join here.
The union will be in touch regularly over the course of the next week, so please keep an eye out for bulletin and text messages from us. In the meantime, if you would like to talk to someone from the union in the meantime, please contact Mark Ward or Brian Kirk. You can also call Jess on 0401 521 561 or Kim on 0408 249 277.