This week Community Union’s justice and custodial sector committee met to discuss issues in the sector, particularly in relation to the ongoing pandemic.
The committee discussed the health and safety risks faced by those working within the sector. While many provisions have been put in place to make working environments in the sector as safe as possible, there are many instances that due to the nature of their jobs make social distancing impossible.
The committee have called for all frontline workers, including those in the justice and custodial sector to be given priority access to the vaccine.
Community’s justice and custodial sector committee, said:
“People working in the justice and custodial sector have continued to work throughout this pandemic – putting themselves in harm’s way to keep the public safe.”
“We have watched our colleagues suffer, many of us have had the virus and we have lost colleagues to this virus. If the coronavirus gets into a justice and custodial setting it can have devastating consequences – on the workforce, for our families and for those in our care.”
“In order to stop the spread of the virus and allow our country to begin recovering, those people carrying out essential work must be given priority access to the vaccine. This is crucial for frontline workers whose jobs involve being in close contact with others.”
“While those in the justice and custodial sector continue to go to work in this acutely challenging environment, we and our colleagues must be as protected and safe as possible. That’s why we are calling on this government to ensure justice and custodial sector workers, alongside other frontline workers, are given priority access to the vaccine once the elderly and vulnerable have been vaccinated.”
You can sign our petition calling for vaccine prioritisation for all frontline workers here.
Community is the largest union in the privatised justice and custodial sector. You can join us here.