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Prison nurses to hold stop work rally

Fulham Correctional Centre nurses will stop work and hold a community rally on Thursday 7 March as part of their industrial campaign for fairer wages and conditions.

The action involves nurses who provide primary health care for 945 often vulnerable, marginalised and potentially dangerous clients. The nurses’ last wage increase was in February 2017.

The nurses are seeking a 12.5 per cent wage rise over four years, plus a $1500 sign on payment in lieu of a 2018 pay rise. They are also seeking leave improvements consistent with almost all other Victorian nurses.

ANMF (Vic Branch) began negotiations with the centre’s private operator, the GEO Group Australia in December 2017.

The GEO Group Australia has offered 9.9 per cent over four years from February 2019 and no sign on payment or backpay.

Nurses began protected industrial action on Saturday 23 February. Stage one action has included nurses refusing to comply with the prison dress code and instead wearing ANMF red t-shirts, explaining the dispute to prisoners and prison staff, a ban on night duty checks and some administrative duties.

The GEO Group Australia has threatened to dock up to 17 per cent of the nurses’ wages for every shift they wear the ANMF red t-shirt or for participating in the administrative bans.

The community rally will be held on Thursday 7 March from 2- 3pm, Fulham Correctional Centre, Hopkins Rd, Fulham (near Sale). Wear your red ANMF t-shirt if you have one. Branch Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick will address the rally.