Record NSW prison population, rising assault rate, show a system ‘in a crisis’ – The Sydney Morning Herald
PSA General Secretary Stewart Little told the Sydney Morning Herald that overcrowding in the state’s prisons are seeing prisoners three up in cells. A recipe for disaster.
“It’s increasing the risks for [staff] at work. Assault rates have dramatically escalated, both inmate on inmate and – of particular concern to us – inmate on officer, and it’s just unacceptable.”
The violent pressure cooker situation inside Juvenile Justice Centres is about to blow and the PSA has had enough.
Mike Baird turned NSW into the “For Sale State” and his decision to step down as Premier is akin to an auctioneer walking out during a failing auction said the Public Service Association (PSA).
“Mike Baird’s mass campaign of public service privatisation has been a hallmark of his reign yet he has stepped down in the middle of the deeply flawed process leaving the lives of millions hanging in the balance,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.
“The privatisation of the Land Titles Registry has been universally condemned and will impact dramatically upon the entire ecomony yet Mr Baird prided himself on his Government’s alleged fiscal credentials.”
“The sell off of Disability Services has already thrown countless workers and clients into free fall. What will the future now hold for them?”
“Similarly, Housing, Prisons and Community Services”.
“Mike Baird will go down in history as the “Out of Touch Premier” who thought lock out laws were more important than quality services for people with disability, land owners in NSW and child protection,” said Stewart Little.
PSA Media release:
The recent errors in relation to certificates from the Land and Property Information Service (LPI) were due to the looming privatisation of the Titling and Registry wing not lack of governance said the Public Service Association (PSA).
The union said the assertions of Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet that the mistakes were due to lack of proper process were rubbish.
“The Government has to face facts and the facts are the errors were due to critical staff cutbacks along with many experts normally involved in maintaining the register of properties instead working on the looming privatisation of the Titling and Registry wing of LPI,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.
“This is typical of this Government: cutting staff and then demanding better results from those who remain.”
“LPI was an operating model for the rest of the world and now the Government are stripping it for sale it’s suddenly riddled with alleged procedural shortcomings.”
“How can you cut expert staff and shunt others off to work on basically preparing the organisation for sale and not expect some fall out?”
“It’s interesting that the Minister talks about alleged lack of process because once the service is privatised, there will be no regulation and no accountability, only a profit motive.”
In a huge victory for the PSA, on Friday 16 December, the Baird Government announced it would not be privatising Sport and Recreation Centres and they would remain in public hands.
The announcement was timed to sneak under the media radar and I actually had to read it twice.
Afterall, it’s not often that a conservative Government publicly backs away from its core driving agenda.
You can read the Government’s own media release in full HERE.
The PSA played a major role in the campaign to keep the centres public with a petition that was very strongly supported by the community, as well as highlighting the issue in the media and tackling the matter on a political level.
I would like to thank all the PSA staff and members who worked so hard to secure this result and also the Teacher’s Federation and the P&C Federation for their support.
This is further proof of the “Orange Peel effect” after the result of the Orange by-election which demonstrated that unions and the community working as one can make a real difference.
The Government is now clearly on notice that the playing field has altered and are responding in a more considered politically aware manner.
The Sport and Recreation Centre decision is not just a victory for the tens of thousands of families and students who have used the camps and the outstanding staff who operate the centres, but an important act of preservation.
Historically and culturally, the camps have played a vital part in education programs for students across the state for as long as I can remember.
Children all over NSW benefit from their programs which assist the development of life-skills and the obtaining of learning experiences that they may not otherwise be able to acquire and access.
I applaud the Government’s decision and hope that this change of heart will be the beginning of the end of its privatise-everything-at-all-costs agenda.
We have finished 2016 with a huge victory but what’s critical is that we take that spirit into the New Year and maintain the pressure on behalf of sectors such as Disability Services, Prisons (particularly John Morony) and the other areas the Baird Government is moving to sell off.
Please have a happy and safe Christmas with your family and join us afresh and ready to fight in 2017.
PSA General Secretary Stewart Little highlights the overcrowding problem in the state’s prisons.