Guards keep fighting

Prison officers on strike for more pay, are frustrated that they have not been able to get the increase that they want.
Prison officers on strike for more pay, are frustrated that they have not been able to get the increase that they want.

Guards took strike action outside Hakea Prison last Friday to fight for wage increases as part of the union’s campaign for a better pay deal.

Police tactical response group officers were called on standby once the strike broke out at about 8am, with prison officers fighting for the same wage increase the State Government administered to WA nurses.

Prison officers will continue to fight for a 14 per cent wage increase over a three-year deal.

Mr Welch said that despite taking strike action across the State, the union had been unable to reach a settlement with the government after meeting last Tuesday.

He said members were angry that nurses had received a three-year pay deal worth 14 per cent during the election period, and concerned that the State Government had refused to commit to a nine-per cent proposal for prison officers.

‘Strike action was successful across the state but unfortunately we still haven’t come to an agreement that is sufficient enough,’ Mr Welch said.

‘It’s unlikely that strike action will occur again but we are committed to reaching an agreement.’

‘Our action comes so close after the WA nurse strike because we have been fighting for a better pay deal since September 2012 and when we received the news that the nurses had received the wage increase we were of course frustrated and concerned.’

‘Taking strike action is not a natural part of the job but I was really pleased and surprised to see such strong commitment.’

The union will continue to battle for a better deal but fear a settlement with the Government could be months away.