12 May 2010

Prison staff face 'months' of uncertainty over jobs

10:42 pm on 12 May 2010

A prison officers union says staff face months of uncertainty over what will happen to their jobs when the joint Mt Eden-Auckland Central Remand Prison is privatised.

The Government has confirmed plans to have a private firm take over the running of the prison by August next year.

Prison managers and staff were briefed at meetings on Wednesday, but Corrections Association president Beven Hanlon says they got no new information.

Mr Hanlon says union members have been told they will not be given any more details until January or February next year when it is decided which company will run the prison.

Mr Hanlon says he believes staff will have to re-apply for similar jobs at a lower pay rate and will not be able to claim a redundancy payment in the change-over.

The union says the Government has not taken opportunities to reassure its members that jobs or employment conditions will be maintained.

Mr Hanlon says staff should be worried because international experience suggests wages and staff numbers will be cut.