Community Corrections workers deserve more says PSA
Members of the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi across Community Corrections have today voted overwhelmingly to turn down the Department of Corrections’ pay offer in their current collective bargaining.
Persistent low pay and a pay system which has blocked pay progression have dominated talks between the Department and the PSA for the past eight months.
PSA Lead Organiser Josephine O’Connor says its 1800 members at Community Corrections are resolute in seeking greater recognition from Corrections.
“Community Corrections has the lowest paid staff in the public service, yet they perform some of the most skilled and demanding work with the people of highest risk to the safety of communities.
“Corrections is facing an unprecedented staffing crisis and this offer does nothing to improve that situation. People who have been with Corrections through thick and thin, through Covid and further back, are being offered pay increases of 4.7% in the first year of this Collective and 3% in the second year, following on from 1-2% increases in 2020 and 2021.
“These are frontline staff whose work is not for the faint hearted. They’re dedicated to ensuring those in the care of Corrections receive the support they need as they exit prison, they manage more than 30,000 Community sentences and orders, 7,000 Electronically Monitored sentences and every day they’re working hard to keep communities safe and reduce re-offending.
“These members dedicate an enormous amount of themselves to the work they do, and they deserve more.”
The PSA has gathered the experience of its members and has provided this to Corrections.
"We would hope that Corrections recognises the state of its workforce and acts at speed to increase its pay offer. They need to attract and recruit - but most of all, they need to maintain the staff they have. None of those objectives can be fulfilled given what they are currently offering in bargaining,” said O’Connor.
The PSA and the Department of Corrections will continue to hold talks and the PSA is considering next steps but is not ruling out taking industrial action.
Note: PSA Community Corrections members work with more than 31,000 people who are in the care of Corrections in the community; they work in District Courts, Electronic Monitoring, specialist residential services, and with those coming out of prison. If you are serving a community sentence or you have been released from prison on parole or with special conditions, you are “on probation” and managed by Community Corrections.