ACT prison officers' union says enterprise agreement negotiations lagging

Negotiations on the enterprise agreement covering the territory's prison officers are lagging, according to the union at the bargaining table.

Despite this the government says the bargaining process will not be affected by an efficiency review of correctional services that has been going for four months and is still in the analysis stage.

More than 20,000 ACT public servants have been negotiating 17 workplace agreements, with the vast majority of them either signed off or about to be concluded, according to the parties involved.

Once each sector finishes the bargaining, staff in the related field will receive multiple pay increases because negotiations have spanned the expiration of agreements in the middle of last year.

But there was still a lot of work to do on the correctional officers' agreement affecting several hundred public servants, according to the ACT regional secretary for the Community and Public Sector Union, Vince McDevitt.


Mr McDevitt said the government wanted a number of considerations in the bargaining process. These included looking at the so-called composite penalty rates system that averages out loading payments across the year.

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The government also wants to amend the part of the agreement dealing with any potential needle and syringe programs.

A spokesman for the Justice and Community Safety Directorate said it wanted the agreement to reflect the broader blood-borne virus strategy rather than focusing on the needle and syringe program.

''The [correctional services] EBA will not necessarily be the last agreed on, with negotiations continuing for several agreements,'' the spokesman said. ''The timing of finalising any agreement is influenced by many factors including but not limited to the availability of parties … ''