Prison guard members of the Isotita trade union on Tuesday threatened to take measures over the “indifference” of the justice ministry for the issues the sector is facing.
The union will meet on May 24 to decide on specific actions.
In a letter to the Justice Minister Anna Koukkides Procopiou, the prison guards expressed concern that she met with Pasydy, when Isotita represents most prison guards. In total 176 out of the 352 workers are represented by Isotita.
Among the union’s demands is the establishment of a prison guards school and the upgrading of the post of prison guards from A2-A5-A7 to A3-A5-A7, as well as the implementation of a voluntary retirement policy after 25 years of service, as is the case in other European countries.
They also called for the immediate hire of 60 prison guards and to promote and fill the recently approved posts. These include the vacant chief posts and nine vacant inspector posts.
Furthermore, the letter called for an improvement into the working conditions of prison guards, “an issue so serious that it prompted us to lodge a complaint with the European Commission”.
They also commented on the limited interest of people to be employed as prison guards, as recently, authorities advertised 47 vacancies and only seven people responded. The union attributed this to the dangerous nature of the profession but also “the general recruitment examination that is not specific to our department and unsatisfactory compensation”.
With regard to the buildings, the union notes that they date back to 1894, are located in a residential area, are not seismically protected and do not meet European standards.
“Consequently, new prisons are urgently needed to solve the chronic problems,” the letter said.
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