Staff walk out over security

A MAJOR security breach at the Maryborough Correctional Centre has fuelled a bitter battle between prison management and officers.

Management and correctional officers have argued for years over whether or not the Education Block at the prison needed extra security and the tension reached boiling point on Tuesday when staff walked out on the job.

The walkout reportedly stemmed from an incident in the block where a female tutor was allegedly sexually assaulted.

Some reports suggested that an inmate “blew” a kiss towards the tutor but yesterday a source inside the prison said the inmate had actually kissed her cheek.

A spokesperson for Queensland Corrective Services yesterday confirmed the reason for the walkout was that the union was seeking an increase in staff numbers associated with the Education Block.

They said a representative of the Industrial Relations Commission supervised a dispute hearing on Tuesday but the union rejected the commission's findings on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Queensland Public Sector Union said they could not comment while the alleged assault was under police investigation but said the union took occupational health and safety “very seriously”. At least three corrective service officers are believed to have resigned.

Officers have agreed to stay on the job for at least the next three weeks while an updated risk assessment takes place.



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