Management Fails to Honour Agreement on Consultation at Adelaide Women’s Prison

29 May 2019

Last week PSA members at the Adelaide Women’s Prison (AWP) held negotiations with the Department of Correctional services about consultation on benchmarking principles, part of the Department’s ‘Better Prison’ program.

These negotiations occurred after PSA staff and Worksite Representatives were excluded from an information session for staff that was scheduled for 16 May 2019.

It was agreed during negotiations that structured weekly meetings with Worksite Representatives would occur every Tuesday for 10 weeks. These meetings would aim to progress the benchmarking discussions.

Yesterday, PSA attended a meeting with Worksite Representatives and management to consult on the benchmarking principles specifically for AWP. It immediately became clear that management was backing away from the agreement reached with Deputy Chief Executive and Director Workforce Management.

Local management appeared to be following instructions received from elsewhere. They declined to provide the detailed documentation necessary for genuine consultation and sought to change the agreed consultation framework by seeking to include a range of other participants in the meeting.

The PSA will always defend the rights of our Worksite Representatives to be included in consultation meetings and that meetings are genuinely consultative in nature – not just ‘lip service’.

A further meeting is scheduled at Mobilong this morning. The PSA will assess next steps after this meeting if similar issues arise.

The PSA will postpone a previously arranged phone link-up with Worksite Representatives until DCS enters into proper consultation meant to feed in to the consultative process.

The PSA will provide a further update as more information emerges.