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Prison Officers (Dispute)

Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the industrial dispute affecting prison officers at Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill gaols; what is the cause of the dispute; how long negotiations have been proceeding; and whether prison officers can be granted free passes on the mainland ferries to and from their homes and places of employment.

Prison officers at the three prisons on the Isle of Wight have been taking limited industrial action since 12th December, principally by banning new receptions of prisoners, in support of their claim for an island allowance to meet in particular the cost of three ferry passes a year to the mainland. They have also stated that they will increase their industrial action on 1st January unless a favourable offer has by then been made.The claim by the Prison Officers' Association was submitted on 17th August and was under detailed consideration when, on 18th October, it was subsumed into a claim by the Staff Side of the Civil Service National Whitley Council on behalf of all civil servants on offshore islands. That claim was rejected on 25th November, and discussions have since been resumed on the claim by the Prison Officers' Association.We shall do all that we can to bring these negotiations to a speedy conclusion; and in the meantime I hope that staff will decide to call off their proposed action.