SA prison officers, police in wage claims
By Melanie Sjoberg
The two industrial disputes currently making headlines in South Australia are actions of the police and prison officers.
On July 20 the government was ordered by a compulsory hearing of the Industrial Relations Commission to talk to the Public Service Association (PSA) regarding the prison officers' dispute.
Prison officers are seeking a 20% wage rise, which would cost the government around $4 million per year. The minister, Wayne Mathews, has already identified more than $30 million per year in "efficiency" savings.
All bans and limitations were lifted in anticipation of the talks. The government has been prohibited from implementing any further changes to operations in the state prisons until negotiations have been concluded.
"At last the government will have to sit down with us, and from now on [SA Premier] Brown and his ministers will have to pay more than lip service to enterprise bargaining", said Tony MacHarper, PSA assistant secretary. "It's high time the government tried genuinely to bring this long-running dispute to an end."
Ongoing action by the Police Association, has been supported by administrative and clerical staff PSA members. The government has been ordered to pay their $38 wage claim, but is currently considering its position.