Correctional Officers issue ultimatum

Correctional officers are giving their employer fourteen days to convene a meeting to immediately address two outstanding concerns.

The Vice President of the Correctional Welfare Association, Clinton Edward, has said that members of the organization are getting nowhere in attempts to have the issues of reclassification and transportation addressed.

Edward explained that in their collective agreement, correctional officers are to be provided with transportation by their employer.

But he disclosed that the buses are in deplorable state and keep breaking down.

“As recently as Monday when transporting staff to work the bus broke down in the Praslin area with officers in uniform and this is causing a threat to them,” Edward said.

According to him, breakdowns sometimes occur at odd hours.

He observed that the Correctional Welfare Association has been speaking with the management of the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) about the problem, with management of the institution asking officers to be patient.

“We cannot take it anymore and we need the situation addressed immediately,” Edward declared.

He recalled that current Director of BCF, Vern Guard, took over about a year ago and it was decided to give him some time to settle down.

However Edward lamented that matters have taken a turn for the worse.

“Officers have to hike because buses break down,” he revealed.

The Vice President of the Correctional Services Association said that because of the situation, prison officers are transported in a vehicle meant for inmates.

“Once inside someone on the outside has to open it you are literally imprisoned, so staff are no longer willing to travel in that bus,” Edward declared.

He asserted that although no course of action has yet been decided upon by members, the Correctional Services Association is putting the employer on notice that if there is no resolution to the problems of reclassification and transportation, some form of action will be decided upon.

“We have been asking for reclassification and not getting any positive feedback,” Edward explained.

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