Long negotiations bear fruit for PSA members working in gaols.
A long campaign by the PSA has resulted in members working in Kempsey, Dillwynia, Wellington (pictured) and John Morony being moved to the same awards as staff in other NSW public gaols.
In late 2022, members voted to rescind the Crown Employee (Correctional Officers, Department of Communities and Justice) Award for Kempsey, Dillwynia, Wellington and John Morony, better known as the KDWJ Award.
Ninety-eight per cent of members voted in favour of rescinding the old KDWJ Award in December 2022 and the change was formalised by the Industrial Relations Commission a month later. In its place, members are now covered by the Awards that apply to staff in other facilities run by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW).
The changes mean about 800 staff are now covered by a superior Award, with better conditions.
Staff in the state’s private gaols are still covered by their existing Enterprise Agreements.
“The rescission of the KDWJ Award has been consistently raised by delegates and members as an issue that needed to be changed,” said PSA General Secretary Stewart Little. “Thanks to the dedication of your PSA Delegates, as well as the cooperative and consultative approach taken by CSNSW on the issue of Award consolidation, this outcome has now been achieved.”
The win follows years of action to rescind the awards, which did not include the same wages and conditions as the awards under which other correctives staff work. The KDWJ Award was established when the facilities were under threat from privatisation.
PSA/CPSU NSW President Nicole Jess said the KDWJ Award dated back to the establishment of the centres in 2007, when the union was asked to choose between the gaols being privatised or staying in the state system under a “cost-saving” Award.
“Among the improvements, Officers will get better overtime for working weekends under their new Award. This means there’s an incentive to work on a weekend, which means fewer weekend lockdowns,” she said.