Prison staff association president outlines concerns

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – President of The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services staff association, Ryan Wilson, on Friday expressed a number of concerns that officers are facing at the correctional facility –  from officers being at a disadvantage because of retirements to salaries that are too low.

“The Association agitated [the government] in reference to the condition of service. It is either 30 years of service or working until the age of 65 across the board for offices, but we have a lot of officers who would have been affected, mainly 50 per cent, and that is a lot of experience exiting our organization,” said Wilson.

The staff association president said they are also petitioning for more money because of the strenuous conditions that they must work under, and he noted that allowances are too low.

“As for risk allowance, we have civilian’s receiving $200 a month for risk allowance and officers are not receiving that,” Wilson claimed. “Something is clearly wrong with that picture.

“We have tradesman’s allowance on the table [to be addressed] where officers are training inmates to be productive citizens in society and…they are producing model prisoners to be productive in society.

“Also we are fighting for the correctional act that also needs to be amended.

“The minister [of national security] promised us an independent commission to take us from the public service because of all of the red tape as it relates to promotions and persons getting confirmed with their letters.

“We have persons who have applied for year-to-year from 2016 who have yet to be confirmed,” Wilson claimed.