Wednesday 12 April 2023
Following five hours of strike action by Youth Custodial Officers (YCOs) at Banksia Hill Detention Centre last month, the CPSU/CSA will soon finalise a new Adaptive Operational and Staffing Dynamics for Banksia Hill Detention Centre with the Department of Justice that sets a baseline of measures to begin to address the serious workplace health and safety concerns held by members at the Centre.
The new Adaptive Operational and Staffing Dynamics for Banksia Hill Detention Centre will mandate how operations at the Centre are undertaken when staffing levels fall below optimum levels which sadly is still a daily occurrence. These measures set a minimum standard of safe operations to help ensure a culture of workplace health and safety is implemented and maintained at Banksia Hill Detention Centre. This is a significant safety win for both staff and young people at the Centre, which members have fought for, for years.
CPSU/CSA Branch Secretary, Rikki Hendon, said YCOs should be proud that their strike action has led to an outcome that will see real safety concerns finally being heard, it is a measure of how hard they are willing to fight to be able to go to work and come home safely.
“Five hours of powerful, collective, member-led action at Banksia Hill Detention Centre last month brought the Department of Justice back to the negotiating table on the workplace health and safety concerns held by our members.
“The new mutually agreed Adaptive Operational and Staffing Dynamics for Banksia Hill Detention Centre is, at its core, how our members and all staff at Banksia Hill can operate the Centre a baseline of safety when staffing numbers are critically low, which is sadly still the norm at Banksia Hill. These measures are about ensuring everyone who works at Banksia Hill returns home safely each and every night.
“By embedding a culture of workplace health and safety into Banksia Hill, staff and young people alike will be safer. There is still some way to go but our members are determined to make Workplace Health and Safety the foundation stone of a better Banksia Hill, ensuring a safe Centre for everyone. Our members want to see more of their colleagues healthy, safe and back at work. Every member who has, or is, having to be away from the workplace due to injury sustained on the job remains in the minds of members and at the core of their fight.
“A Centre operating on a mandate of workplace health and safety will begin to address some of Banksia Hill’s long-standing issues on attraction and retention. It will in the long term mean greater outcomes for staff by being able to have appropriate staffing levels to better support young people to have more opportunities to participate in rehabilitation programs.
“We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Department of Justice and the McGowan Government on ensuring a holistic Therapeutic Model of Care is delivered, as well as the ongoing commitment to a safer Banksia Hill for everyone.”
Details & Notes
- At 3pm on Thursday 9th March 2023, the CPSU/CSA called into the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission to resolve a dispute between the union and the Department of Justice, where YCOs walked off the job from 1pm the same day.
- Meetings at the Commission on Thursday 9th March 2023 and Friday 24th March 2023, are confidential in nature, as per the instructions and operations of the Commission, and as a result, the CPSU/CSA is unable to comment further on the discussions held during these conferences.
- In line with CPSU/CSA democratic processes, YCO Delegates on Tuesday, 11/04/20223, agreed to put the new pay and conditions offer, which included the new Adaptive Operational and Staffing Dynamics for Banksia Hill Detention Centre, to a ballot of members. The ballot will open Wednesday morning and YCOs will have their say on the offer over the next week.
- The CPSU/CSA negotiates the pay and conditions and advocates for the workplace health and safety of around 200 Youth Custodial Officers at Banksia Hill Detention Centre.
- The CPSU/CSA covers 44,000 general public sector workers including child protection officers, youth custodial officers, and park rangers.