Queensland Corrective services fired a prison officer days before Christmas because he didn’t finish a mandatory first-year certificate.
According to a report in The Courier-Mail, furious union officials plan to challenge the dismissal.
Work performance ‘unsatisfactory’
Shelton Williams worked at Borallon jail. He had until 7 January to complete the certificate.
But officials from the Together Union claim the prison called the young father into work before Christmas and fired him.
According to The Courier-Mail report, his dismissal letter states that his “performance and work participation is unsatisfactory.”
The union claims Mr Williams could have finished the training if he was given assistance. He already completed part of the work, including examples of case file notes.
Michael Thomas from the Together Union told The Courier-Mail the process was appalling.
“Sacking someone with a young family seven days before Christmas without even giving them an opportunity to respond shows exactly why trust in management at Queensland corrections is at public sector lows.”
“And seven days before Christmas they summarily terminate him.
“If they want to understand why staff morale is so low, maybe they should buy themselves a mirror for Christmas.”
A Queensland Corrective Services spokesperson told The Courier-Mail that it did not comment on specific industrial relations matters.
“Probationary officers are expected to show appropriate workplace conduct and actively participate in their training to ensure they are capable of performing their role professionally, ethically and safely, and they are supported to achieve this.”
The worker needs to explain
Industrial relations expert Miles Heffernan from Industrial Relations Claims said sacking anyone at Christmas is rough.
“No one likes to lose their job, especially at Christmas time, and especially if you have a young family.”
“If what the union is saying is true, then it seems Corrective Services might have been a bit rough in the way it has handled the matter.
“Sometimes there can be other reasons why an employer might want to sack someone. I would like to know why it took Mr Williams so long to complete the required certificate.”
If you are having a workplace issue, please call IR Claims on 1300 853 837.
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