Access to Disability Justice Centre members denied following inmate escape

Union officials have been denied access to talk to members working at the controversial Bennett Brook Disability Justice Centre in Caversham in the wake of two inmates escaping last week.

The Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association planned to talk to staff at the centre today because they have been under enormous pressure since the escape.

Access was denied for vague operational reasons.

CPSU/CSA branch secretary Rikki Hendon said they didn’t know of any genuine reason to prevent union access with staff being denied their basic rights of union consultation at the workplace.

“Operational changes have been made and front-line staff are not being consulted,” Ms Hendon said.

“Our members are the meat in the sandwich in this issue.”

Denied union access comes on top of WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton saying a review into the state’s first disability justice centre was not necessary, despite calls from community residents.

“Secrecy surrounding planned changes to the centre’s operations clearly shows the government has not learnt from its mistakes and is not being honest with staff and the community.

“Our members want to be part of the solution to make sure the centre is run securely and humanely but the government must stop this cloak and dagger business and sit down and talk.”


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