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EXCLUSIVE | NSW prisons in crisis as officers walk off the job

UPDATE | The Industrial Relations Commission has ordered staff back to work

Corrections New South Wales says the strike is “unauthorised” and “inappropriate”.

Prison officers across the state are walking off the job in a dispute over staffing changes and conditions.

Ray Hadley received a tip-off that the strike began at Long Bay Jail this morning and would last for 48 hours.

Officers there asked for state-wide support from their colleagues at other centres and have started to receive it, with Silverwater joining the action.

2GB reporter Roshai Murdoch was at Downing Centre Local Court when proceedings ground to a halt due to strike action.

Goulburn Supermax staff have reportedly walked off, with staff from Silverwater, Cessnock, Nowra and Kempsey all considering joining.

Corrective Services NSW has criticised the action in a statement to Ray Hadley:

“We believe this unauthorised industrial action is unnecessary and inappropriate.

CSNSW will refer this matter to the Industrial Relations Commission.

The parties have to date participated in cooperative discussions, at the local and central levels and have also used the Industrial Relations Commission to assist.

It is in the middle of consultations with staff and unions and no decisions on job changes have been made.

CSNSW has procedures in place to ensure security is not compromised during industrial action.”

The Public Service Association’s Nicole Jess tells Ray staffing cuts have made their workplace too unsafe.

“We’ve got 20% extra assaults happening around the state.

“It’s just unsafe. Any job cut in this complex is dangerous to the staff.”

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