Two-year battle for prison polos, no sweat
Two-year battle for prison polos, no sweat

Breakthrough to help prison officers keep their cool

Prison officers will finally be allowed to trial wearing polo shirts, over two years after pleading to be treated like other emergency services.

Officers have argued polos would save taxpayers money and would be cooler and easier to wear when they put on safety vests.

Police and other emergency services allowed officers to wear polos a number of years ago, prompting prison officers to ask for the same type of clothing.

Officers were told a decision would be made within months however it took a two-year battle to get a trial, according to multiple officers.

A navy blue polo hybrid with a corporate collar and sleeves with vented sides will be trialled along with a new navy blue non-iron dress shirt.

"The war isn't over yet, we still have to get them issued," a prison officer said.

"There has been a significant roadblock in the pursuit of a fit-for-purpose shirt to be worn under the load-bearing vest.

"Only after Right to Information requests were put in to obtain evidence of why nothing was happening did they finally concede to a trial."

Together Union officials with former prison officer and now Labor MP Jason Hunt
Together Union officials with former prison officer and now Labor MP Jason Hunt

Together Union industrial services director Michael Thomas said it was a "long time coming" but a great outcome for officers.

"It's good to have a uniform that is fit for purpose," he said.

"We welcome the fact that the commissioner has finally approved a trial of polo shirts.

"Corrections officers have been asking for this for a long time; it's great to see it finally happen.

"We really appreciate the support of the Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan and former correctional officer Jason Hunt, who is now a member of parliament."

In January QCS introduced a new rank insignia, similar to that of the police service, as part of its transition to a "top-tier" public safety agency.

A Queensland Corrective Services spokesman said there would be a trial of two alternative uniform shirts for officers in the coming months.

"The two shirts, a hybrid operational shirt and an alternative dress shirt, will be trialled across all Queensland Correctional Centres in Queensland to test if they are fit for purpose and are operationally appropriate," the spokesman said.

"A small number of officers in each centre will wear the shirts throughout the trial."

 

 

Originally published as Breakthrough to help prison officers keep their cool



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