Unprecedented strike action begins tomorrow (Tuesday) in prisons in England, the University and College Union (UCU) confirmed today.
Around 600 UCU members working in prison education are set to walk out of 49 prison and young offender institutions* across England on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 May 2021. The walkouts have been called after over 68% of UCU members who voted in an industrial action ballot said they were prepared to take strike action over Covid health and safety concerns.
The dispute centres around over Covid health and safety concerns and on-site provision. UCU is in discussions with Novus at ACAS, the government funded public body that tries to resolve workplace disputes.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:
‘Industrial action on this scale by prison educators is unprecedented, and is a reflection of the strength of feeling among our members both about their employer’s disregard of their health and safety, and repeated intimidation of our representatives by management. Novus needs to urgently listen to staff, stop intimidating our health and safety representatives, and withdraw the unfair complaints and investigations against them so that we can have meaningful health and safety discussions.
‘Our members have a mandate for sustained industrial action. This begins tomorrow with a two-day walkout. Novus needs to stops its bullying behaviour if it wants to avoid any further escalations.’
* Full list of prisons and young offender institutes where staff are due to strike are:
Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Altcourse
HMP Buckley Hall
HMP Deerbolt Bowes
HMP High Down
HMP Holme House
HMP Lancaster Farms
HMP Rye Hill
HMP Swinfen Hall
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
HMP/Young Offender Institution (YOI) Low Newton
Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institution (HMYOI) Askham Grange
HMYOI Cookham Wood
HMYOI New Hall
HMYOI Stoke Heath
HMYOI Thorn Cross