The prison staff is represented by (a) union(s)
In Brussels and Wallonia, staff are represented by the CSC Services Publics – Prisons.
Strikes occur frequently. Notice of strike action must be submitted at least ten days in advance, and there must be a guarantee that a minimum service of at least 70% of staff will be provided. Any staff member who plans to strike must submit a 72 hour notice. If the strike lasts longer than 48 hours and the prison does not have enough staff, they can be recalled. Unions see this as an infringement of their right to strike, which has led to further strikes. The CCSP points out that it is now common to hold several 48 hour strikes in succession to get around the minimum service rules. Reduced staff numbers during strikes affect prison activity, and facilities are virtually brought to a standstill.1
Staff members throughout the country’s prisons went on strike from 10 th to 11th January. The CGSP Prison union demands higher wages and a thirteenth month salary for the lowest paid officials; it has been demanding this since 2012, as wages have not increased in 20 years. The union noted that the prison administration intends to hand out meal vouchers from 1 April 2024. During the strikes, prisoners cannot take showers, receive visits, or make or receive any phone calls. The prison authorities ensure the distribution of the meals but cancel all activities. In some facilities, police reinforcements are brought in to make up for staff shortages.