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.



Thursday, 3 August 2017

Good Faith Bargaining During EBA Negotiations

There is no direct penalty or other consequence if a bargaining representative for a proposed enterprise agreement breaches any of the good faith bargaining requirements applicable under s 228 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).
This does not mean that parties can ignore the good faith bargaining requirements with impunity.
In the present EBA negotiations, we think it is fair to say that there is evidence that the negotiation process has been disrupted at best and anything but indicative of text book example of “good faith” principles which should have produced an efficient and effective outcome.
It’s time to VOTE and get on with Prison business.
Join the APOA and let’s get it right next EBA, start the process of good faith negotiation and address genuine concerns at the right forum, not the EBA.


Prison Officers are being balloted today at the GEO run Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre.

The poorly run campaign by default representatives has seen Prison Officers loose money because of botched industrial action and prolonged and reckless negotiating strategies that have yielded nothing more than utter frustration for Prison Officers at Arthur Gorrie.

Download the Workers First App at and stay up to date with the latest news for all Australian Prison Officers

Never walk alone... solidarity forever.

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Queensland Youth Detention Centre Workers Join the Australian Prison Officers Association

In such a close community of Prison Officers and Youth Detention Centre Officers, the call for solidarity has never been stronger than it is now.

Prison Officers throughout Australia have welcomed the ranks of immigration and detention centre officers into the fold, inviting them to join the Australian Prison Officers Association, in an effort to create a single source of truth and united voice for all Prison Officers and those in kindred industries.

Pushing aside all of the bluff and puff of the so called "union movement" the Australian Prison Officers Association is devoted to advancing the service model long since abandoned by the failing union movement.

Director of Workers First, the parent corporation of the Australian Prison Officers Association, Mr Brian Newman said "it's just time.... it's time for Prison Officers and those working in similar industries, where the safe and humane containment of offenders and detainees is paramount, to be heard loud and clear on the issues of greatest concern to them. For too long their thoughts on important matters concerning the safety and welfare of all people involved in these challenging environments, have gone unheard, or worse yet, grossly misrepresented. Our members are concerned for all stakeholders, including the safety and welfare of offenders, detainees and not least of all the public they protect. These are dangerous workplaces and they are workplaces which deserve the attention of a concerned public, through open and transparent advocacy and unyielding dedication to ensuring timely public interest disclosures."

Join the Australian Prison Officers Association today and help ensure the truth is told in matters concerning the welfare of all of our members in their many and varying roles throughout the nation.

Never walk alone... solidarity forever.

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

2017 Prison Officers Diaries

We need your help to circulate the balance of this years diaries.

To become a contact for your Prison, please email and provide your details, including a delivery address for a bundle of diaries for yourself and your colleagues to enjoy.

 Powered by | 07 3807 3807 | 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Drama at Don Dale (Flashback)

Looking back on this incident, it would have been very easy for another Prison Officer to have been seriously injured as a result of these actions.

It might have seemed amusing at the time to on lookers, but in reality, it was an amazing fluke that nobody was killed between gates.

Prison Officers supporting Prison Officers.... Australia wide.

To find out more about our range of membership, visit the Australian Prison Officers Association page.

Never walk alone... solidarity forever.

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