Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A challenge to double bunking

The government's plans to increase prison capacity by double bunking have hit a snag: the Corrections Association. They view it as a significant health and safety issue which puts their members in greater danger, and which violates the collective employment agreement they have agreed with Corrections. The case went to the Employment Relations Authority yesterday, who kicked it straight up to the Employment Court [PDF]. And the union shows every sign of taking it further if they have to. The lives of their members - and of prisoners - are potentially at stake.

The upshot: unless the government can come to a deal with the Corrections Association, its vicious prison policy is going nowhere fast. And its ultimate fate may very well be decided by the courts.