Sunday 23 November 2014

Prison staff at nation's two biggest jails to take industrial action

Published 04/09/2014 | 20:40

Mountjoy prison
Mountjoy prison

PRISONERS will be locked up in their cells for extra hours in two of the nation’s biggest jails as a result of work stoppages by staff.

The action is being taken by members of the Prison Officers Association in a row over staffing levels at Mountjoy and Cloverhill prisons.

The association claims that staffing levels at the prisons are dangerously low.

They also claim that the low staffing levels are in breach of health and safety regulations.

But the Irish Prison Service said last night it was “disappointed” with the proposed course of action by the prison officers.

It accused the association of proposing to breach the terms of the public service agreements, which set out, initially in the Croke Park deal, that strikes or other forms of industrial action by trade unions, employees or employers, were precluded, and this was later reaffirmed in the Haddington Road agreement.

The work stoppages will take place initially at Cloverhill prison in west Dublin for one hour after lunch, from 2pm to 3pm, on September 18 and 19.

Two further one-hour stoppages will be staged by staff at Mountjoy after lunch on two days the following week.

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