32% of prison officers want to retire
THIRTY-TWO per cent of prison officers (544) across Magilligan, Maghaberry and Hydebank jails want to avail of a prison service early retirement scheme although the departure of 139 staff has been delayed for operational reasons.
Justice Minister David Ford revealed that 544 of 1,700 plus staff members of the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) have applied for its Voluntary Early Retirement Scheme.
The shake-up is part of a prison service drive to retire 540 members to make way for new recruits on lower salaries.
Mr Ford stated: “151 staff left on March 31, 2012, and a further 9 left on April 30, 2012. The departure of 139 individuals has been delayed for operational reasons. The remaining 245 of the applications received remain under consideration.
“Prison Service management remains committed to allowing as many of those who wish to leave the opportunity of doing so.
“It will however take time to work through the operational and financial issues and will need to balance carefully those wishing to leave with the arrival of the new recruits to the Custody Officer grade.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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