100 signatures reached
To: Secretary of Justice Ginna Webster
DOJ Must Investigate TPS Training
We, the undersigned call on Secretary of Justice, Ginna Webster to stand down those responsible for the failings in TPS Training while you appoint an independent investigator to determine whether a breach of the state service code of conduct has occurred. This is the process afforded to Correctional Officers and as such would be the only way to ensure accountability and integrity.
You must commit to take the appropriate steps to rectify and respond to any breaches found to uphold the integrity and accountability of the Tasmania Prison Service in light of the significant cost and safety impact of this failure. We expect the commitment in writing by 28 July and for an investigation to begin by 11 August 2021.
Why is this important?
In 2020 TPS Management disregarded the training Memorandum of Understanding with TasTAFE, changing the recruit training course, delivering it in an inappropriate setting and removing key content from the course. TPS Training Staff repeatedly raised valid, substantiated concerns, but it took Union members threatening industrial action and issuing safety improvement notices for TPS to listen.
These decisions by TPS deprived recruits of appropriate training and qualifications, resulting in 36 recruits requiring retraining so they could deliver correctional services safely for staff and inmates, in line with community standards.
The result of sending recruits back to training has
• Cost TPS millions of dollars in over-time
• Resulted in catastrophic short staffing and
• Irreparably damaged the faith that employees and the community have in the accountability and integrity at TPS.
Through this training saga, members were gobsmacked that the Minister and the Department of Justice were determined to ignore the truth and avoid accepting their mistakes. The current lockdowns and the damning report from the Custodial Inspectorate could have been prevented by listening to the trainers’ expert advice from the beginning.
TPS vision statement says, “We act with integrity respect and accountability. Our workplaces are inclusive and collaborative”. As part of the demands members made to resolve the issues, we called for an independent investigation into the matter and the failure of the decision makers to act on the information presented to them by employees and this is yet to commence. The State Service Code of Conduct outlines appropriate behaviours expected of all state employees. TPS must urgently investigate this matter as a matter of integrity and public interest.