Who We Are
CANZ was born from the desire of prison staff to have one union to represent their interests and needs. The 1990s were a difficult time for people working inside the wire. Many terms and conditions were removed from our working agreements and it had to stop.
This union is CANZ
At the time, there were two unions representing prison staff, the PSA and the POA. Each union represented 50% of the staff. There wasn’t cooperation between the unions and this worked to the department’s advantage in union negotiations. After the 1998 wage round, the executives of both unions agreed to combine forces and form a new union.
This combined union was made up of prison workers with the sole purpose of looking after other prison workers. The union started with over 90% of its executive being prison workers and remains at over 90% today. This union is CANZ.
Although there are two unions who hold collective agreements to represent prison workers and Corrections Officers, CANZ has achieved the most for its members in terms of wage increases, better working conditions and personal safety. This is because we are an industry specific and specialised union representing only people working inside the wire.