Monday, 7 May 2018

Income Protection Policy Rip Off Exposed

Prison Officers from throughout Queensland have provided sworn statutory declarations that the income protection insurance policy they have been sold by a particular union is no more than puff and has resulted in them being over insured and a waste of they money.

One Prison Officer said "they told us that it was mandatory and that we don't have a choice about paying into the insurance policy, like everything else that they say to us, it was a lie."

The common question among Prison Officers who feel they were tricked into paying for this policy is, "who is actually getting the money and how much is the union getting paid in kick backs for peddling the policy?"

If you believe that you may have been lied to about an income protection insurance policy that is in your enterprise bargaining agreement and you believe that you may be paying for an insurance policy you don't need, give Workers First and the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA) a call. I 07 3807 3807 I

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Jails Failing Prisoners With Diasbilities

Jails failing prisoners with disabilities - 9news February 7, 2018

This is a totally unacceptable situation, how can we expect any form of rehabilitation if conditions of disabled prisoners is not addressed.

State governments have a responsibility to address this issue in prisons, prisoners can only become agitated, stressed and aggressive resulting in taking their aggression out on other prisoners and of course the prison officers. 

Yes these people are paying a debt to society but  they must be shown respect and humility to start the rehabilitation process.

For more information, please email 


Friday, 5 January 2018

Australian Prison Officers Association: GEO Prison Officers at Arthur Gorrie Sold a Bum Po...

Australian Prison Officers Association: GEO Prison Officers at Arthur Gorrie Sold a Bum Po...: JOIN NOW & JOIN THE CLASS ACTION TO RECOVER YOUR WAGES Prison Officers at the GEO-run Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre have slamm...

Australian Prison Officers Association: GEO Prison Officers at Arthur Gorrie Sold a Bum Po...

Australian Prison Officers Association: GEO Prison Officers at Arthur Gorrie Sold a Bum Po...: JOIN NOW & JOIN THE CLASS ACTION TO RECOVER YOUR WAGES Prison Officers at the GEO-run Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre have slamm...

GEO Prison Officers at Arthur Gorrie Sold a Bum Policy by the Union


Prison Officers at the GEO-run Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre have slammed the United Voice Union (UVU) for signing them up to an insurance policy that many of them just simply don't need.

There has been evidence provided to the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA) of the UVU receiving commissions from the insurance provider and Prison Officers being made to pay into the insurance policy as a mandatory deduction from their wages each fortnight.

Prison Officers told the APOA "we blame to the union for this, they were the ones who arranged the policy and they were the ones who told us all that we had to pay into the policy no matter what we wanted".

The union has repeatedly denied receiving any benefit from the insurance provider, this was most recently stated by union officials during the minuted meetings with the employer, APOA members and our representatives for the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations in 2017.

The Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA) and Workers First is calling for all concerned Prison Officers to contact our office and join the class action we are initiating to reclaim the money that was taken from their pay without their express consent by the employer on the direction of the union.

For more information, please email 


Australian Prison Officers Association Membership on the Rise

2018 is already shaping to be a positive year for the growth of the Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA) with new members joining us from the Queensland Private Sector.

We need not cite the reason for their decision, other than to say, it is nice to have a choice rather than be statutorily condemned to the inadequate and misleading representation of Prison Officers by underperforming unions.

In 2018, we anticipate achieving a membership representation of 40% of all Australian Prison Officers in the APOA and we are well on our way to achieving that milestone.

To find out more about the APOA and the full range of services offered by Workers First, please take a moment to visit our website at or


Friday, 22 September 2017

Prison Officers Call to Remove Union Exclusive Representation Rights

The Australian Prison Officers Association (APOA) has called on the GEO Group Australia to support the express wishes of Prison Officers to remove the potentially misleading clause in the current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement which would cause a reasonable person to believe that only the United Voice Union (UVU) has a right to represent Prison Officers at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre (AGCC).

Brian Newman, Director of Workers First said "it's these kind of misleading clauses that cause Prison Officers, and workers generally, to loose faith in the system of industrial relations. They feel trapped and they are constantly confronted with language such as "can't do that" or "can't have that" when in fact the Fair Work Act specifically provides that it is every workers right to choose their own representation, especially in matters such as enterprise bargaining negotiations." he said.

In 2012 the UVU negotiated a 2.2% wage increase for Prison Officers at AGCC via the EBA.

In 2017 and only a few weeks after being asked by Prison Officers at AGCC to assist with a failing negotiation between the UVU and the employer, the APOA and Workers First had presented a log of claims as instructed by Prison Officers who had lost faith in the UVU.

The log of claims was agreed to by the employer and would have seen a wage increase for Prison Officers at 3 x 3%.

The employer put the log of claims out to a vote to the Prison Officers and the ballot returned was 131 votes for and 151 against.

By this time the APOA and Workers First had been assisting Prison Officers for approximately 4 weeks, whereas the UVU had been at war with the GEO Group over its log of claims for most of 2017, leading the UVU member out on unlawful industrial action and costing them thousands of dollars in lost wages, because the union had mislead them into believing that the industrial action was legal, according to Prison Officers. 

We understand that the UVU response was to provide its members with $50 grocery vouchers because of their mistake. Hardly good enough in the eyes of Prison Officers.

Since the August ballot, APOA and Workers First have been back at the negotiating table and the members log of claims and have now presented the fresh log of claims to the employer, which will be formally responded to this coming Tuesday 26 September 2017, when the APOA and Workers First meet with the employer and the UVU to advance the negotiations.

The major sticking point for Prison Officers at the time of the last ballot concerned coverage for Prison Officers under the associated income protection policy which the UVU had negotiated in the previous several EBA.

There are some serious questions which arise for Prison Officers concerning the union negotiated income protection insurance policy, many Prison Officers wanting answers from the UVU about who gets paid what commissions for the policy and why so many Prison Officers are being knocked back when they try to access the policy benefits. 

All fair and reasonable questions in the view of Prison Officers, Brian Newman said "I hope the UVU can assist all stakeholders with better understanding this policy and the framework and disclosures of any commission arrangements, you wouldn't think answering those questions would be too difficult would you?"

Since that ballot, there have been serious concerns raised in relation to the income protection policy and as a result, it appears very likely that those concerns will now cause a significant change in the mind set of Prison Officers who are frustrated and exhausted by the calls for industrial action to support the UVU log of claims.

Brian Newman said "it's always a union's right to take industrial action to advance their claims, but as we have seen in this campaign of the UVU, the employer will also exercise their rights to lock workers out where they feel justified in doing so, and there in lay the significance of the modern day statutes. My only suggestion is, stick to the principles of good faith negotiation, and usually things will work in favor of the worker if they are advocated competently."

He said "removal of this clause is important to the Prison Officers because the mere fact that the APOA and Workers First, which are not affiliated with any political party or union, are now at the negotiating table advocating for Prison Officers is proof that the clause is misleading and redundant and not a true reflection of the real world, where every worker can choose their own representation and have no fear of reprisal from any organisation, unions or employers. The sooner we see the end of clauses like these in the Australian industrial relations landscape, the sooner we will see genuine good faith negotiations return without the political agendas of unions being advanced ahead of the interests of workers."

To find out more about the log of claims or to forward your submissions, please email or call Brian Newman in the Workers First office on 07 3807 3807.