Read this before you apply!!!

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Read this before you apply!!!

Post: # 84740Post shanrah
Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:02 am

I felt compelled to write this to let others know what can happen when you decide to join NIPS.
I am now jobless, homeless and have lost my husband and family. I went from living in a beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house to having to live with friends and relatives as I cannot even afford rent.
In March 2011 I was injured when a prisoner went for me but was taken to the floor by other staff. In the struggle i ended up at the bottom of the pile with the prisoner and several heavy staff on top of my badly twisted legs. I sustained injuries to my both knees, ankles and left shoulder and also a bruise to my face where it was struck by the prisoners head. I was taken to lagan valley hospital where they did a few xrays and sent me home saying i would need an mri scan but as i worked for a "big company" they would pay for it.
eventually after a year I ended up having to pay for the mri myself as I was under a lot of pressure to get back to work and was still on crutches. The diagnosis was unclear but they eventually said that surgery was not an option as it may make my limited mobility worse. I did try to go back to work and used all my holidyas to support a phased return, once these were exhausted I had no option but to go off sick again as I couldn't work a full week and was struggling badly on the crutches.
after several meetings and reviews I was told I would be sacked as I was unable to do my normal duties. I met with Marion Kavanagh from head office who said she saw no objection to me coming back part time to a post that I had identified as suitable. I begged ohs to sign me off as fit to do this and they did. However, the next day I recieved a phone call from our personnell governer Daryll Murdock saying that if I came into work I would be escorted from the premises as he would not allow me to work there on crutches.
In July 2012 I was given medical retirement and applied for section 11. I thought my problems were over but in fact they were just beginning. I had a very small pension as I hadnt been with the prison service that long. £140 a month. I was refused section 11 and also refused dla and esa as they said I was still fit to do an office job. Yet I couldn't get a job while on crutches. I didnt have enough to pay the mortgage and my house is in the process of repossession. As I am in the position of negative equity due to falling house prices I will incurr a huge debt. The strain of this ended my already struggling marriage and I am now effectively homeless. I have no chance of getting a job due to my injuries and cant get any financial help from any source as they say I am fit for office work.
I appealed the section 11 decision and won. They now say I have a 'slight' impairment but effectively this means nothing. They have given me £2400 and no monthly income. This wouldn't even pay off one of my credit cards that I have been using to live off.
I really regret ever having worked for nips as once injured you are very much on your own. There is no support or un biased advice and I have lost everything. I cannot go back to my previous career as a sales manager on crutches and can't even manage stairs or a simple kerb so am very limited.

So be warned before considering a 'career' with the prison service and if already there be very careful not to get caught up in any incidents. The prisoner in question for my injuries lost his tv for a few weeks, I have lost everything, yet he is offered all sorts of help and I have none. And yes I am bitter and angry that a company like the prison service can be allowed to just wash their hands off employes that can no longer do their job through absolutely no fault of their own.

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Re: Read this before you apply!!!

Post: # 84744Post kristorf
Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:24 pm

I don't really know how to reply to this, however this sort of treatment isn't isolated to NIPS, I think its wide spread throughout the service.

I have every sympathy with your plight, and as the saying goes, 'There by the grace of God go I'

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Post: # 84748Post ZzoL
Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:14 pm

i am so sorry to hear about what happened to you.

however i dont really understand fully your gripe with NIPS. they seem, from what you said, to have acted within the law. i cant think of many organization that would of kept paying you for over a year while you where on the sick. and with all respect possible medical retirement is totally different to being sacked. having seen both done before id know which one id prefer! if you where effectively given a disability from your incident i honestly can't see how you could continue to work for them, apart from comms i can't think of any job an OSG or officer does which could be done on crutches. you also can't hold nips responsible for the job center not giving DLA, however you could of and should of being able to claim the NI equivalent to JSA and housing benefit. They could of been a bit more civil to you rather then just treating you like a number but sadly, it sounds perfectly legal what they have done. not trying to be critical of you or harsh to you in any way but i see alot of people have let you down, i wouldn't put nips at the top of that list though.

what does concern me, and hopefully you can shed light on this, is firstly where was your union in all of this? they should of been able to use every PSO going to get you some cash and drag it out as long as possible.
the MRI scan i don't understand. I have no idea how national health works in NI but how on earth did you end up in a situation where you had to pay for the thing yourself? if you needed the MRI it would be covered under national health. if NIPS was meant to pay for it then i would assume you have grounds for legal action if they didn't?!?! i assume you went in as an A+E patent? friend of mine (english NHS) went in as an A+E and had the MRI scan done the same day. now even if NIPS did have to pay for it why didn't the hospital just do it and bill them if it was deemed necessary?

i personally would also be more upset with my colleges. if i saw a prisoner on top of a member of staff my first instinct would be to get up and drag him off him/her rather then dog pile on top.

i am sorry about what happened to you, but you need to pick yourself up and get out there again. you need to find yourself a job, get earning and get out there again! would you now qualify for DLA? if you do you may also be able to get a car that is suited for your disability needs if you can't drive normal cars. you need to move forward and not let this incident be the end of you. the sooner you start earning the sooner you can get some sort of life back. perhaps a mobility scooter would be better for you?

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Re: Read this before you apply!!!

Post: # 84749Post atobop
Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:16 pm

If these are all of the facts, I am sorry you have been abandoned by your government. In the U.S. your medical pension would have been much more than you state if it had disabled you from working for the prison service and was incurred in the line of duty. No matter how long you had worked for the government.

Do you not have a representative in the House of Commons or House of Lords who could be appealed to? There is something inherently wrong with this treatment of a staff member who is injured in the line of duty.
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Re: Read this before you apply!!!

Post: # 84750Post gh1978
Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:35 am

Who/What is NIPS ?

I work for a private custodial services contractor, and the company has an insurance policy scheme. If the insurance scheme accept you (I can think of at least one employee who's been on the scheme for years), then the insurer takes over paying your wages (gets you off the companies sick records as well !)

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Post: # 84751Post BoxerfanUK
Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:57 pm

gh1978 wrote:Who/What is NIPS ?

I work for a private custodial services contractor, and the company has an insurance policy scheme. If the insurance scheme accept you (I can think of at least one employee who's been on the scheme for years), then the insurer takes over paying your wages (gets you off the companies sick records as well !)
Northern Ireland Prison Service

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Post: # 84753Post purplepig20
Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:17 am

Shanrah, I think you should contact these people They may be able to really help you in your predicament.

I really hope things start to improve for you soon. You've had a very tough time lately and sound like you need all the support you can get - moral, physical and financial. Best of luck and keep us updated in how you get on. :slcu:
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