Staff at Oberstown Detention Centre to hold industrial action throughout June

The first action will take place on Tuesday, May 31st

Oberstown Detention Centre, staff, industrial action, safety, offenders, IMPACT, SIPTU,

The entrance to the Oberstown Detention Centre in Lusk | Image: Google Earth

Staff at the Oberstown Detention Centre in Dublin have served notice of industrial action.

Residential care workers and night supervising staff will commence the action next Tuesday, May 31st.

Earlier this month, workers at the centre backed an industrial action ballot by a margin of 95%.

The dispute centres around the safety of clients and staff.

The IMPACT and SIPTU unions say staff and residents at the centre are exposed "to daily risk of violent assault".

Workers will hold a series of four hour stoppages - from 8.00am until 12 noon - next Tuesday, and continue every Tuesday throughout the month of June.

Pickets will be placed on both gates to the campus.

The facility currently caters for 48 under-18s, including a mix of vulnerable young offenders and violent criminals with multiple convictions.

IMPACT official Tom Hoare said the union will not hold industrial action at times and dates that would interfere with State examinations being held on campus.

Recent figures revealed over 100 violent incidents in Oberstown last year, almost half of which were classed as 'critical'.

The unions say they have highlighted problems with staff recruitment and retention.

It says that coupled with absences due to assaults have left the facility "understaffed and incapable of dealing safely with the numbers of offenders in the unit".