Union angry over prison shifts

2011-02-11 08:50

The Prisons Civil Rights Union has raised serious concerns about the new shift system in KwaZulu-Natal prisons which has resulted in prison officials working longer hours.

“We condemn the unilateral changing of shift system by correctional services regional commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal,” said the union’s spokesperson Norman Mampane.

“An agreement was signed that gave birth to the implementation of the seven-day work week.

“However, our members experienced a new 12-hour shift,” he said.

The new shift system does not consider that prison officials work under harsh conditions, he said.

Prisons were also under-staffed, had high inmate populations and dangerous working conditions.

Mampane said the union had taken the matter to the Labour Court which instructed the department to discontinue with the system. He said the court challenge had been followed by suspensions and the application of leave without pay by the employer.

“We demand the employer within a reasonable period to reverse the leave without pay imposed on members and lifting of suspension of our members,” he said.

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