Thursday 23 November 2017

'Wildcat' industrial action by Prison Service drivers sees delays in prisoners arriving in court

Prison vans
Prison vans
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

A 'wildcat' industrial action by Prison Service drivers saw disruption to prisoners being transferred to court today.

'Wildcat' industrial action means an employer is not informed of the intention to carry out any action, and is not usually carried out with the backing of a union.

This morning drivers reporting for duty informed the Governor that they had forgot their driving licences, therefore were not in a position to fulfill their duties.

An Irish Prison Service spokesperson said the action is being viewed as wildcat industrial action by individual staff 'which is in total contravention of all industrial relations practices and procedures'.

"Such action represents a serious breach of discipline and will be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedure", they added.

As a result of the action, escorts to the Criminal Courts Complex were delayed this morning. 

However,  the Irish Prison Service confirmed this afternoon that  all prisoners scheduled to attend court have arrived or are on route to the Courts.

The action is believed to be related to ongoing Irish Prison Service consultation with the Prison Officers Association regarding the implementation of a new roster for the Prison Service Escort Corp .

The Prison Service claimed it was necessary to revise the roster arrangements due to a number of factors including the increased number of courts sittings.

Difficulties have arisen with regard to the implementation of the new rosters at some locations however, the Irish Prison service and the Prison Officers Association have remained engaged throughout and agreement was reached last week to resolve the issue.

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