‘Unaddressed Matters Of Safety & Conditions’

May 2, 2019 | 10 Comments

Noting that they engage in arduous work inclusive of caring for mentally ill inmates for which there is no adequate support, the Prison Officers’ Association said they have been “faced with unaddressed adverse matters pertaining to safety, security, and work conditions for over 20 years.”

Prison Officers Chairman Timothy Seon said, “The Prison Officers’ Association has been faced with unaddressed adverse matters pertaining to safety, security, and work conditions for over twenty years.

“The Progressive Labour Party and the One Bermuda Alliance have been well aware of the long standing issues and have done little to nothing to address them in a timely manner in the best interest of our Officers’ safety and health; either while as government or the opposition.

“Further, the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, Lt. Col Edward Lamb, was seconded to another government department, without prior notice, for what was to be nine months. He is now on his second secondment in another government department.

“It has been well over a year since his departure, with no official correspondence on his position, and as such the direction and command within the department has been inconsistent and lacking.

“Officers have been continuing to work in unfavorable conditions for far too long in the best interest of the inmate and public safety. It must be highlighted that the POA members are working from a Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA] of 2008. There has also been no increase in salary for a decade, inclusive of any allowance for cost of living adjustments.

“The Prison Officers’ Association has been actively engaged in negotiations with the Public Service Negotiations Team [PSNT] since 2016. The POA has been stewards of good faith and has followed the process of negotiations accordingly. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the PSNT.

“The POA recently discovered in discussions that the PSNT did not have a mandate to negotiate in 2016-2017 and has not met with management of Corrections to discuss the CBA proposals since March 2018.

“We have requested and arranged several talks with the Minister of National Security, Wayne Caines, as well as Permanent Secretary Collingwood Anderson, and the Senior Management at The Department of Corrections with regards to the outstanding matters. We have only received platitudes, no actions, just promises for 20 years.

“The POA Executive has been directed by the membership. The members have voted to Work to Rule. Simply put, our members will abide and work by the terms and conditions of the CBA.

“This is not industrial action but what a disciplined services does – work to the rules and regulations that govern the service. The Permanent Secretary has received documentation confirming a Vote of No Confidence against six members of the Department of Corrections’ Senior Management Team as voted on, almost unanimously, by our POA members.

“The Prison Officers’ Association comprises men and women to engage every day in arduous work unlike the average job. This is inclusive of caring for mentally ill inmates for which there is no adequate support or housing.

“We believe that we are truly the forgotten service. We recognize every day that one of us may not return home to our families. The POA requests the respect and remuneration so belatedly forgotten and yet well deserved.”

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Comments (10)

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  1. puzzled says:

    Lamb.
    Actions on governments part speak louder than words.

    Think about it.

  2. Vote no more says:

    Send pastor bean up ther.

  3. Question says:

    Looks like the problems have been during the exact time you- know-who have been in charge. No one in charge, no action, just talks about talks and thoughts about thoughts. Kind of like how they handled the bus schedule.

  4. Lone Wolf says:

    Come on Government. Pay our Corrections Officers what they deserve and fix their working conditions!

    They are doing one of the worst jobs imaginable in service to Bermuda and this is how you treat them?

    And what happens when they strike or quit? Then you have to put police officers in there, leaving the streets even emptier for more criminal activities, which will lead to more incarcerations which will require MORE Corrections Officers!!!

    Sort it out! What’s the matter with you, Government!?!

  5. Comfortably numb says:

    What did prison officers think they were taking on when they entered the profession- a kindergarten? They are well paid, enjoy excellent benefits and can enjoy early retirement like the fire fighters and police if they wish.Westgate is hardly Attica, get tough and remind the inmates who is in charge!

    • Rise says:

      Police and fire fighters are paid way more than Corrections Officers.

    • not Trudy Trees says:

      The nerve of you to say such. Not anyone can do the job and I’d like to see you do an honest days work there. Always the ones from the outside with the most to say how someone is doing a job.
      As for being paid well, when was the last time you got a raise when the cost if living was sky rocketing.

      I am not a PO however people that sit behind computers all day spewing negativity never choose to look at the whole picture.

  6. chicken n gravy says:

    so I guess the chicken farm aint gonna work huh

  7. rodney smith says:

    There is only one man in Bermuda who can address and fix the concerns in the prison and Government has yet to speak to him . I wonder why ? Does anyone in Government know what the ,” PondeRosa Economy ” is ? I figured not . The truth of the matter is that we need 300 young males locked up in order to keep Bermuda running . No one has told the prisoners . $84,000 per year to keep one person in jail ,compared to spending $21,000 per year to put FOUR PERSONS in Drake Trade School . Go Figure Bermuda .You ask for answers , knowing good and well that you will not fix the problem because it does not serve your interest .

  8. Oh,I see now says:

    Comfortably numb says:
    May 3, 2019
    What did prison officers think they were taking on when they entered the profession- a kindergarten? They are well paid, enjoy excellent benefits and can enjoy early retirement like the fire fighters and police if they wish.Westgate is hardly Attica, get tough and remind the inmates who is in charge!

    replyYour name says it all.So a lion tamer deserves to be eaten if it happens?!

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