Progress on Corrective Services EBA
Minister for Justice, Shane Rattenbury, today announced that the ACT Government has signed a Deed of Agreement with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) regarding a proposed Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) for the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC), which will allow the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) to be finalised.
“I am pleased to announce that after a period of solid negotiation, we have found common ground which will allow us to move forward with the EBA,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The EBA negotiations have been delayed due to concerns in relation to the clause in the current EBA relating to the NSP.
“While maintaining the Government’s commitment to implementing an NSP in the AMC, I also understand the need for this to be developed with input from ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS) staff, and the Deed of Agreement will ensure that we recognise the genuine concerns of staff as we consider any proposed models.
“The Deed sets out very clearly the process for engaging staff in the development of an NSP model, including a joint working group to develop a model, a staff ballot process to determine support for any proposed model and a commitment not to implement a model that is unable to gain majority support from voting staff.
“The intent of the proposed NSP is to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses through the sharing of injecting equipment. We know that there are, unfortunately, confirmed cases of detainee-to-detainee transmission in prisons.
“ACTCS is committed to a Harm Minimisation Strategy to manage drug use in the prison, and remains focused on all aspects - supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction.
“ACTCS has a range of measures in place to reduce the amount of contraband entering the AMC and offers a suite of therapeutic and rehabilitative programs. However, an NSP, if endorsed by the ACTCS staff, will fully complete our harm reduction policies and deliver the same level of health service that is available to the rest of the community.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the ACT Government officials and the CPSU over the past few months to get us to this point, and I look forward to seeing the progress of the working group as they take a fresh look at this complex but vital health issue,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“The finalisation of the EBA has been a priority of the ACT Government for some time. I am pleased that this step will move staff closer to finalising the EBA and receiving their full entitlements.
- Statement ends -
Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases
02 6205 3897
0481 035 764