Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Hopes rise that prison strike may be averted

Hopes have risen that a threatened strike by prison officers in Northern Ireland may be averted.

The prospect of a resolution to the dispute over disciplinary measures arising from a prisoner suicide and more general sick leave issues looked more likely after a meeting between a union leader and Prisons Minister Paul Goggins.

Finlay Spratt from the Prison Officers Association (POA) said the minister had tabled a number of “positive” proposals in a bid to address members' concerns.

However, he said, a decision on whether to ditch plans for a walk out would not be taken until he met with POA committee members today.

Any strike by prison officers would be unlawful.

“It was a very positive meeting,” said Mr Spratt.

“The minister made certain proposals to me which I will relay to the committee.”

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