Corrective Services Newsletter - April 2016


Hot topics

Education Review update

The decision on future providers of prison education should be known in the next few weeks when the NSW Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee and Treasury meet. KPMG, contracted by CSNSW in 2015 to carry out a review, has recommended three options: one, the status quo; two, putting prison education out to tender to private training providers; three, a hybrid model of some prison education being contracted out to private providers. The hybrid model appears to be the front-runner. Read this excellent newspaper article that cites Federation’s concerns.     

Benchmarking of centres

Information on the Better Prisons plan has been sent out to all staff by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW).

Keep up to date with emails

Federation updates on issues such as the John Morony Correctional Centre (CC) “market testing” plan regularly go out to all Correctional Services TA (CSTA) members. Please stay informed and contact any of the CSTA Executive for more information or to relay further news. Refer to Deputy Secretary (Post-Schools) Maxine Sharkey’s email of April 4 for the latest on John Morony CC, where CSNSW has to make a bid to continue operating the centre against competition from private and public sector agencies. 

Education beats crime any every day!

“Gaol learning threatened”, published in Education (March 28, page 3), about the risk of private providers taking over some gaol education services, is the first of a series of articles informing the wider Federation membership about what is happening in Corrective Services workplaces.

Thanks must go to TAFE Organiser Rob Long and to Stewart Burkitt for writing this article.

Send a letter to the Minister about this very important issue by clicking here. Give your friends and colleagues the news and ask them to send a letter too.

Action required

  • Submit your letter to Minister David Elliott as shown above – it’s very easy to do!
  • If you haven’t already told Federation who your elected workplace representatives are, please do so as soon as possible. This is done by calling a branch meeting and holding an election for your Fed Rep and Women’s Contact for 2016.
  • Stay in touch with CSTA by logging into the regular teleconferences.  Even if you aren’t at work that day you can phone in from home for the cost of a local call.


Training calendar

2016 Federation Trade Union Training is planning a campaign course for CSTA members. Details out soon.

Training specifically for women

  • Women’s Conference 2016 will be held on Saturday, August 20. Registrations close on Friday July 29 for country delegates (requiring travel and/or accommodation bookings) and Wednesday, August 10 for city delegates (or those arranging their own travel and accommodation).
  • The Fundamentals for Fed Reps and Women’s Contact (women only) course is on May 16-17 in Surry Hills.
  • Communicating and Negotiating Skills for Fed Reps and Women’s Contact courses are being held on May 25-27, August 17-19 and October 19-21 in Surry Hills. Travel and accommodation is covered for Federation for members who wish to attend. Apply here.

Talk to people – tell them why we’re important

Use the template below from Long Bay CC teacher Kit Shepherd or make your own based on this INSPIRE speech framework presented at a Trade Union Training course by Jonathan Mill.

  1. Introduction – Who you are: your job, why you’re talking (gives legitimacy)
  2. Name the audience – Who are you talking to, e.g. family or politician
  3. Slogan – Your attention-grabber – five words or fewer, e.g. “One thing we do …”
  4. Primary message – What you are talking about?
  5. Information – What are the facts? Use story and metaphor. Use some stats
  6. Request – What do you want the audience to do?
  7. Exit – Reiterate your five-word slogan or core message.

Sample speech

My name is … I’ve been working for … years as an educator in NSW gaols.

Today I want to tell you a little about the concerns we have as teachers in gaols.

Education in gaols allows prisoners to learn while serving time. It allows them to keep their options open for future study and work.  Education beats crime!

Prison educators are concerned about possible privatisation and cutbacks to our service.

We want to keep public education provision in prisons to offer inmates opportunities to learn, to improve their skills and to have hope beyond gaol. With public education, as is the case now, prisoners are taught by fully-qualified teachers within a regulated system.  Many prisoners have learning difficulties and benefit from being in small classes with individual attention.

Social isolation through lack of language, numeracy and communication skills (in addition to the arts and vocational skills) can be a key factor in offending. Education gives an opportunity for prisoners to build social skills and connection with others so that they can find support. In addition, music and art programs are in big demand by prisoners, for several reasons: maintaining culture (especially for Indigenous people), building design and problem-solving skills, for mental wellbeing, and to develop digital and business skills.

We are asking people to help prison educators to protect the public teaching service in NSW. When you hear about “education”, include in your thinking the education needs of prisoners.  When you talk to people in your networks, at work and in public, mention prison education. More awareness helps to build a foundation of support.

Corrective Services TA Executive Committee

President: Stewart Burkitt: Stew is an ESL teacher and education officer at Long Bay CC. He started in 2001.

Vice-President: Debbie Harris: Debbie is the Senior Correctional Education Officer (SCEO) at Mannus CC. She started as a part time teacher in 1994, became a full time teacher in 1999 and SCEO in 2000.

Secretary: Andy Tayler: Andy is an education officer at Long Bay CC and started in 2006.

Aboriginal Contact: Janelle Ridgeway: Janelle is the Aboriginal teacher at Goulburn CC where she teaches Aboriginal literacy and numeracy.

Women's Contact: Kathy Alling: Kathy works at Goulburn CC and is a Language, Literacy, Numeracy (LLN) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher.

Environmental Contact: Kit Shepherd: Kit teaches LLN and English as a Second Language (ESL) and has been with the Department for more than 20 years. She works at Long Bay CC.

Treasurer: Simon Buckley: Simon works at Cooma CC as an education officer.

Members on the committee welcome your concerns and comments so that they can be raised at committee and association meetings.


Kind Regards,

Maxine Sharkey
Relieving General Secretary

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