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Offer to prison officers 'fair' - DHA

The Department of Home Affairs believes it has made a fair and equitable offer to members of Prospect and the Prison Officers' Association, in terms of mileage and night duty on-call allowances.

In a media release it says the allowance of 40 pence for each additional mile travelled to and from the new prison from an officer's home address has been offered for a period of three years, to compensate staff involved in relocating from Victoria Road.

It doesn't explain how the sum would be calculated, but says the payment would be made in the form of a lump sum, when the new prison at Jurby becomes fully operational.

In response to a specific concern raised by the unions, the media release says the mileage allowance on offer differs from that available to other civil servants because in the latter case it applies only for business-related travel, and not for commuting to and from a place of work.

The department says considerable consultation has taken place over the past two years, in an attempt to arrive at a formalised agreement that is in the best interests of all parties, and it has worked hard to balance the needs of staff at the new prison with the prudent use of taxpayers' money.

It says proposed rostering arrangements, also referred to by the unions, follow recommendations outlined in an independent report carried out last year.

The department says it sincerely hopes the issues raised by the unions can be resolved quickly and amicably, adding it will continue to work with representatives of Prospect and the Prison Officers' Association to achieve such an outcome.

(Image: A view inside the new prison at Jurby).

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