Prison officer with family sacked days before Christmas
A PRISON officer has been sensationally sacked just days before Christmas because he failed to complete a first-year certificate.
Union officials are furious and say first-year officer Shelton Williams had until January 7 to complete Certificate III training which is a requirement within 12 months of starting work.
But they say the officer, who has a young family, was called in to his work at Borallon jail last week and told to bring his uniform before being sacked.
His dismissal letter said his "performance and work participation is unsatisfactory", according to the Together Union.
It said he had not made "satisfactory progress toward the successful completion of your Certificate III in Correctional Practice (Custodial) in the approximately 11-and-a-half months since commencing employment".
The union says the officer could have finished the training if he was helped, as he already had examples and casefile notes to finish in a short period.
The sacking comes after the Crime and Corruption Commission examined corruption risks in jails as part of Taskforce Flaxton and recommended QCS provide first-year officers with "greater support, training and oversight during initial operational placement".
Together Union industrial services director Michael Thomas 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," he said.
"They don't appear to have supported him through this first year despite the recommendations of Flaxton.
"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."
Mr Thomas said the union would be challenging the termination decision next year.
When asked questions - including if QCS performance-managed staff and how the officer had not completed the training if the Taskforce Flaxton recommendation had been adhered to - a QCS spokesman said the organisation 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 spokesman said.
"These obligations are clearly explained to them at the time of their joining the service."
The spokesman said QCS was working to implement Taskforce Flaxton recommendations.
"It is expected the Flaxton recommendations relating to training will be implemented within the next 12 months, including a full review of the training of new officers and building the capability to provide improved support to new officers," the spokesman said.