Correctional officers are today stepping up industrial action as they say they grapple with colleagues on suicide watch and a prison "in crisis".
The United Workers Union, whose members protested outside Risdon Prison on Monday morning, says overtime bans will disrupt remand hearings in court but it is expected they will be minimal.
In a letter to Premier Will Hodgman and Corrections Minister Elise Archer union delegate, Philip Pregnell, said the TPS was near breaking point for both staff and inmates.
"We are seeing chronic understaffing with an escalation in members at burnout stage, inmates' mental health issues increasing to the point they are attempting to take their own lives, and inmates preparing to escalate to a point that would put everyone at risk," Mr Pregnell said.
"Lockdowns have been the norm rather than the exception throughout 2019.
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"We have several ffficers on suicide watch by other officers due to psychological injuries from the workplace and mismanagement of their workers compensation, we have increases in officers having family breakdowns, due to the stress and working conditions they are placed under by the current situation.
"We have more inmates self-harming due to mental illness, but there are inadequate mental health care supports available to them."
Mr Pregnell said understaffing at the prison was "spiralling out of control".
"We are attending more cell fires than ever before due to the understaffing and the TPS is taking our protective gear to fight these cell fires away from us " he said.
UWU Tasmanian spokesperson Janette Armstrong said the corrections officers had no other option but to escalate their overtime bans because she said the government has refused to act on understaffing and working conditions.
"We are truly shocked at the state of affairs in our member's letter to the Minister and are working with our distressed members hourly on this crisis," Ms Armstrong said.
A government spokesman said.the government had been "following the process agreed with unions as part of the agreements registered earlier this year".
"The offer was given to the unions on November 25 and they have a response date of December 9.
"It would be disappointing if unions chose to take industrial action prior to accepting or rejecting the offer.
"The pay of Correctional staff, should the unions accept this offer, will be competitive with interstate correctional officers."
The union has given the government a deadline of this Wednesday to talk face to face about their issues.