Probation staff facing burnout

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The Public Service Association is concerned about the impact of taking on additional detainees from Christmas Island when probation staff already face burnout from work pressure.

The PSA, New Zealand’s largest public sector union, represents over 1800 probation officers in Community Probation.
 
“Community Probation already services 36,000 offenders but a lack of adequate staffing levels, unfilled vacancies and more and more tasks being placed on top of already high workloads has led to an increase in the pressure on staff,” says Erin Polaczuk, PSA National Secretary.  
 
“Adding detainees from Christmas Island to the already high workloads of Probation officers without increasing support or funding will fast-track staff towards burning out.”
 
“A recent survey conducted by the PSA indicated that high workloads are increasing stress leave usage, staff burn-out and resignations, and in some cases affecting both the physical and mental health of probation officers.”
 
“The PSA has been provided with information that indicates probation staff have to work unpaid overtime just to keep up with their demanding workloads.”
 
“As we head into the busiest time of year for probation we are concerned for our members’ safety and wellbeing as well as the risk to the public of offenders being under-managed because of excessive workloads.”
 
“The PSA is committed to working with the department on this issue but the Government needs to ensure Probation Services are fully resourced to manage the issue of high workloads,” says Erin Polaczuk, PSA National Secretary.