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Strike planned at juvenile detention centre over safety concerns

Unions say care workers are at risk of assaults in their jobs every day.

Image: handcuffs image via Shutterstock

STAFF AT THE Oberstown juvenile detention centre in Lusk have served notice of a series of work stoppages.

Siptu said today the action is as a result of management’s refusal to adequately address serious health and safety concerns highlighted by workers.

Earlier this month, staff represented by the Impact union also voted to take industrial action over fears for their safety. There were more than 100 violent incidents in the centre last year and representatives say care workers are at risk of injury and assault every day.

The Siptu work stoppages will start on Tuesday 31 May from 8am to 12pm and will continue every Tuesday throughout the month of June.

“Management must immediately engage with staff and their representatives with the aim of agreeing changes at the facility that will ensure that a safe environment is created for staff and the young residents,” Siptu organiser Ray Stanley said.

“It is deeply regrettable that staff have had to undertake this action. During the industrial action the staff will continue to provide the best care possible.,” he added. “They are also committed to ensuring that the action will not interfere with the state examinations being held at the Centre during June.”

Responding to Impact’s ballot earlier this month, Pat Bergin, campus manager at the centre, said staff concerns were a “high priority” for management.

A recruitment drive is currently underway to increase staffing levels and he said there has been investment in protection equipment, including personal alarms.

Read: Staff at juvenile detention centre to take industrial action over violence>

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