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GGCA survey signals discontent among prison staff

Prison officers who took part in an online survey organised by the GGCA said more than 80% of bullying incidents at the prison go unreported.

A total of 42 GGCA members working at the prison took part and 86% claimed there was low morale among staff.

The GGCA, which outsourced the exercise to “ensure the anonymity of everyone who participated”, published the results yesterday.

Bullying was a concern for prison officers, with 29% claiming they have been a victim of bullying or victimisation at work, while 43% said they have witnessed bullying incidents.

A total of 83% of bullying incidents went unreported and 60% said they fear reprisals or a comeback for reporting an incident.

If management were to carry out investigations into bullying allegations, 62% believed it would not be effective, 54% said they have no trust in the procedure and 54% felt the process will have no transparency.

Over 90% of prison staff members have not used a grievance procedure, the study found.
Half of those who took part said they have suffered from work-related stress, anxiety or depression.

A total of 76% was not satisfied with the current shift system, with 98% affected by the shift changes. In addition, 62% were dissatisfied with current manning levels.

With regards to safety, 31% said they feel unsafe carrying out operational duties and 68% are not satisfied with the level and aftercare provided to prison officers.

In addition, more than half said they are not happy with security within the prison.

76% of prison officers are not satisfied with department equipment, and 83% said more maintenance is needed for office space and IT.

Prison officers also expressed their dissatisfaction with senior management – 86% are not satisfied with the level of training within in the prison, 67% felt the allocation of available training courses was unfair, and 81% did not think the work load was not properly delegated.

The union said it is now in the process of arranging a date to discuss the outcome of the survey with the prison’s senior management.