(October 2016) The SNLP union representing prison staff has been organising a series of protests over serious staffing shortages and very high levels of uncompensated overtime. The prison service needs around 8000 extra staff and the union warns that this not only raises serious health and safety issues but undermines attempts at rehabilitation.
Prison union protests over staffing and overtime
More like this
(December 2016) Prison staff, members of the FP-CGIL and UIL-PA federations, took part in a national demonstration on 29 November in protest at serious understaffing and assaults on staff. The unions argue that urgent action is needed to deal with dilapidated prisons and the long working hours and stress that are leading to sickness absence and additional pressures of work. They say that problems have been building up for years with cutbacks and lack of investment.
On 13 August the SNLP prison workers' union organised a protest in front of the national prison service over the failure of the government to pay eight months of wage arrears and respond to other demands including: improving staffing levels by hiring 1,000 more people; compensation for overtime with time off from work or extra salary pay; and imposing sanctions on officials who do not abide by the law on staffing. The government doesn't respect the collective agreement or the process of social dialogue. Out of a list of 75 issues raised by the unions only five have been partially dealt with
Trade unions (ACV/CSC and ACOD/CGSP) organised a national strike in the prisons service on 12 December in protest at underfunding, badly maintained buildings, lack of staff, overcrowding and the resulting safety issues arising from this deteriorating situation. Understaffing has lead to many employees doing extra hours and a massive number of hours of overtime that remains to be recouped. The unions also have issues with contracts, provision of uniforms and a lack of strategy in the justice system. It is estimated that prisons currently hold around 10000 in mates, exceeding capacity by 1700.