Fatty prison guards forced to pass fitness test

The fatties in the Corrections Union have lost their bid to remain fat bastards and not do fitness assessments.

The prison union has lost its battle about the introduction of fitness tests for guards after arguing they should be paid for their troubles.

Last year the Department of Corrections announced it would introduce a Physical Readiness Assessment (PRA) for its staff to ensure they were able to respond to emergencies.

The six-step test would grade each employee either green, amber or red.

Amber employees would be able to repeat the test in a fortnight and if still graded amber would be provided with support and re-tested in a year.

Red employees would have to submit to further medical and safety assessments to determine if they could remain in their roles or have their duties changed.

It could also result in an employee having to take either paid or unpaid sick leave until they improved their fitness levels.

How about just sacking them for failure to perform duties due to an affliction commonly called being a fat bastard?

But the Corrections Association of New Zealand (CANZ) that represents prison staff, took a claim to the Employment Relations Authority alleging the PRA breached the collective agreement.

This delayed the introduction of the PRA for staff, although it is being used in the pre-employment process.

Despite having taken part in meetings developing the PRA, CANZ said it could only be introduced by an amendment to the agreement as it constituted a change to employees’ conditions.

CANZ also sought a payment for staff to complete the PRA of $1000 per employee per year, an additional three days wellness leave and a higher duties allowance for PRA assessors.

Corrections rejected these claims.

In his decision authority member Michael Loftus criticised CANZ for its stance.

CANZ president Alan Whitley accepted the PRA tested corrections officers on tasks they could be expected to perform on the job.

The union had also been an advocate for a higher fitness requirement for some years and Corrections had rejected the idea, Loftus said.

“It seems ironic CANZ is now trying to stop delivery of that which it says it saw as desirable.

“I must express concern at the fact the union now wishes to block a safety initiative because Corrections will not pay its members to introduce it.”

Good to see the Employment Relations Authority has seen some sense. It must have been hugely satisfying to point out the former stance of the union over fitness assessments.


– Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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