The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has learned with concern the plans by some Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Area Commissioners to change shift patterns in responding to the self-imposed crisis by the very department and Bosasa, which will by the 28th of this month result in Bosasa pulling out of all services provided.
We are aware of meetings that have taken place where correctional officials with nutritional experience are told they will be taking over shifts that Bosasa employees were responsible for.
As much as we support the decision to have Bosasa liquidated, their innocent staff members who are now facing unwarranted job losses cannot just be disposed of. They must all be absorbed by the DCS and continue doing the important work that they have been carrying out as they cannot be sacrificial lambs over an unfortunate situation not out of their own making. They will impart the necessary skills to inmates that will contribute to their rehabilitation.
We want to categorically mention that no current DCS correctional officials must be diverted to work within kitchens as we have understaffing and overcrowding. This self-made dilemma should not result in any uncertainty and changes.
We therefore remind these area commissioners that none of them have the authority to make these changes in shift patterns. We have a court order that prohibits anyone, except the National Commissioner from making these changes, and only after the latter has consulted with the union and a collective agreement is signed.
We lastly reject any re-advertisement of these nutritional tenders and urge the department to ensure all services are insourced in ensuring our correctional centres become self-sufficient.
Issued by POPCRU on 24/02/2019