MLA Doug Beattie hits out at delay over pay deal for prison staff
Ulster Unionist Party justice spokesman Doug Beattie has hit out at what he calls the "shameful" treatment of the NI Prison Service over pay claims.
Almost a year after negotiations started about warders' 2016 pay award, talks have still not been completed and no rise agreed or implemented, he said.
"As an elected representative, a member of the justice committee and someone who thinks highly of the Prison Service, I find it completely unacceptable that as negotiations for the NIPS pay award for 2017 should be starting, the pay awards for 2016 have not been agreed or acknowledged.
"This is another clear example of how our Executive does not value the work of our Prison Service, and a shameful example of intransigence on behalf of the Department of Justice in delivering a sustainable Prison Service and prison regime.
"The Prison Service and the Prison Officers' Association find themselves in an impossible position.
"They demand their officers be valued for the difficult and dangerous work they do and they strive to implement prison reform.
"They feel abandoned by the Executive, and neglected by a society who view them purely as prison wardens."