Acacia Prison Agreement Update
The count has been finalised and huge congratulations go to all of you for making the negotiation of your new Agreement a true success. There was a very strong turnout which was great to see and a resounding result, 96% of those who participated voted yes. We could not ask for a clearer endorsement of the Agreement. This follows many months of hard work from the negotiating team, including both unions and your excellent representatives Charles Totterdell, Darin Shepherd, Paul Curtis, Kerry Lennon, Colin Austin and Russell Franz.
WAPOU Secretary John Welch led negotiations for our union, supported ably by your Industrial Officer Sophie van der Merwe - both making Acacia an absolute priority throughout this period. John’s industrial knowledge and experience is extremely extensive and this was a huge asset in negotiations. The protections won for custodial staff go beyond what we thought might be achievable, largely due to our team’s hard work and perseverance under John’s leadership. We will explain the full implications when we meet to celebrate.
Melanie Bray was the lead negotiator for the CPSU/CSA and was similarly successful in applying her significant skills and talents to winning the best terms achievable for non-custodial members, with on the ground support from Organiser Bill Bakalis and technical assistance from Industrial Officer Hayden McGregor.
We undertook negotiations in a very difficult environment, wages growth is low and cuts are being made across the state. We know Serco desperately wanted to find more savings by reducing staffing costs in a range of ways, including introducing Operational Support Officers. To come out of this negotiation with an Agreement that protects all the conditions you have fought so hard for, improves several of them to your advantage and gives you a 1.5% pay increase each year plus back-pay, along with increases to allowances, is a great result in the context we are working in.
Be proud you stood your ground and refused to accept less than 1.5% per year, refused to accept the introduction of Operational Support Officers without any clarity about what they would really do, and said no to having many of your existing rights and protections reduced – such as those that govern your hours of work and impact access to union representation.
We will shortly announce an event to celebrate this success and discuss the important planning that must now commence for the years to come. We will be calling on you to work with us to achieve the changes you need in your workplace.