Resolution to industrial dispute Frank Baxter - without prejudice - Public Service Association

Resolution to industrial dispute Frank Baxter – without prejudice

On Friday members at Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice met over concerns regarding an adult (18-19 years old) detainee at Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre that threatened to and then assaulted a staff member last weekend/early this week.

The detainee after the assault was returned to Juvenile Justice Centre as he was not “bail refused” which would have seen him moved to Corrective Services. The detainee has continued to threaten staff at Baxter JJC and after he has been put in segregation.

Staff met and decided to utilise their right under Section 84 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to cease work with this detainee, in so far as to not release him from his cell, whilst maintaining medical and food access. The staff through their delegate informed management and the PSA of the cease work action and the PSA advised SafeWork of the cease work for issue resolution.

The Justice Department filed an application late this afternoon in the Industrial Relations Commission.

The PSA attended the hearing commencing just before 7pm with representation from Mr Deguara, Mr Robinson, Mr Di Candilo by phone and Baxter delegate Gary Hall.

The hearing lasted two hours and the resolution was that the Department would provide a stationed YOCS officer whenever the detainee was out of cell, and that an additional staff member would be provided for 6 hours on Saturday and Sunday for times that the detainee is out of cell.

The detainee is under a segregation plan presently for their mental health and will need to have times to be released from cell when other detainees are not present. The time out of cell was also to be coordinated with visits so that the YOCS officers are not stretched, as there is a YOCS officer in visits.

Additionally, a meeting will occur on Monday morning (1 April) to discuss management of the detainee.

Gino Di Candilo attended the Baxter Centre for start of shift on Saturday morning to convey the Industrial Relations Commission and PSA’s recommendation that the cease work restrictions are lifted.

Members are reminded that youth detention is a dangerous occupation and that if they have indications that there is a serious risk to their health and safety they do have the right to talk to their colleagues and union, consult with their employer, and undertake cease work necessary to eliminate or minimise the risk under the WHS Act. All threats and incidents should be reported with a copy kept and forwarded to PSA your delegates.

For further information contact PSA WHS on whs@psa.asn.au.

UPDATE- Industrial Officer Gino Di Candilo met at 6.30am with staff commencing shifts and explained the situation. Staff on shift today agreed to lift the restriction with the extra staff, but would remain vigilant and record any threats/incidents, which may lead to re visiting controls to manage this detainee.