Jail should not be the last resort for people with disability

Nov 10, 2017

PSA media release

The incarceration of a 20-year-old Victorian man with autism and an intellectual disability who fell through the cracks of the NDIS serves a reminder there needs to be a government-run safety net for some of the state’s most vulnerable people, says the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA).

“We have warned that without a properly funded, government-run safety net, some people with disability will end up in the prison system or on the streets,” says PSA General Secretary Stewart Little. “There will always be cases private and community providers won’t take on.”

The ABC’s 7:30 program and website reported a 20-year-old man, Francis, ended up in the Victorian prison system as he was unable to be adequately housed or cared for anywhere else.

“We have heard there are already cases in NSW where people with disability have been sent to prison as there are no alternative options,” says Little. “Yet the Government is actually reducing options for people by cutting out government-run support.”

Under the Berejiklian Government’s plans, government-run support for people with disability will not exist by 2018. Instead, private and community providers will supposedly be responsible for all cases in the state.

However, unlike the existing government-run system, private and community providers can refuse to work with clients, meaning some high-needs people with disability will fall through the cracks and end up on the streets or in the state’s prison system.

The PSA is holding a community forum in Newcastle to demand a government-run safety for people with a disability in NSW.

MEDIA ALERT

Disability Services Safety Net Community Forum

5pm-7pm

Tuesday 14 November

Hunter Trades Hall, 406-408 King Street, Newcastle

Help us fight for a Disability Safety Net

Nov 10, 2017

Help us fight for a Disability Safety Net – November 2017 (PDF version)

It is no secret that the state Government disrespects its own workers. They run them down, cut their jobs and reduce funding to vital public services.

Over the last six years the O’Farrell, Baird and now Berejiklian Governments have relentlessly implemented their privatisation agenda.

Perhaps the most horrific one of all has been the total privatisation of disability services.

Police, Health, Community Services, TAFE, Schools; there is not one area of the public service that will not be impacted by this privatisation.

This privatisation leaves no safety net for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

That is why we will be holding a Safety Net Forum…

Already people with disability are falling through the cracks, languishing in hospital wards because they cannot be placed or their funding has run out.  Join us and have a say about what this would look like:

  • 5-7pm, Tuesday 14 November 2017
  • Hunter Trades Hall, 406-408 King Street Newcastle

Please register to attend HERE.

Please download the flyer HERE.

If you are on Facebook like the Disability Safety Net page HERE.

The PSA survey closes TODAY

Nov 10, 2017

The PSA survey closes TODAY – November 2017 (PDF version)

Have you had your say?

The PSA survey closes today.

Please take a few minutes to let us know how you feel about your workplace.

CLICK HERE to have your say.

This survey will inform how the PSA will work with members to increase engagement in the union and ensure issues of importance are raised and resolved.

You can support the work of the PSA and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN their union.

This survey has been developed by members and delegates.

What can I do in the meantime?

  • You can make sure your workmates fill out the survey
  • Talk to other young people in your workplace about joining the union

NDIS failure – we must have a Disability Safety Net

Nov 10, 2017

NDIS failure – we must have a Disability Safety Net – November 2017 (PDF version)

Already the NDIS has failed someone with complex support needs. People with disability are falling through the cracks.

This was tragically highlighted on ABC’s 7.30 last night and in an article on the ABC’s website which both told the story of a young man with disability who was unable to leave prison because he had nowhere else to go.

The article clearly outlines the exact issues the PSA/CPSU NSW have been raising with the NSW Government for years, emphasised in the excerpt below:

“Victoria legal Aid has made a submission to the Federal joint Standing Committee on the NDIS to say it has four clients in this position, and knows of others in New South Wales, who cannot leave prison because they have nowhere to go and there is not provider of last resort when the market failed to offer care to people with complex disabilities.”

You can read the full article HERE.

You can watch the 7.30 story HERE.

Please take two minutes to write a comment on the story and help emphasise how important it is to retain a Government Safety Net.

Come to the Disability Safety Net Forum

This is exactly the reason why we will be holding a series of Safety Net Forums, the first in Newcastle next week:

  • 5-7pm, Tuesday 14 November 2017
  • Hunter Trades Hall, 406-408 King Street Newcastle

Please register to attend HERE.

Please download the flyer HERE.

If you are on Facebook, like the Disability Safety Net page HERE.

We will continue to show leadership in the disability sector to ensure proper support for people with disability, parents, advocates and carers is in place including fighting to make sure that the workers that support them maintain reasonable and fair working conditions across both public and private organisations.

FACS bulletin – Commissioning restructure + meeting notice

Nov 10, 2017

FACS bulletin – Commissioning restructure + meeting notice – November 2017 (PDF version)

Transition to new structure and non-executive assignment process

On 20 October 2017, PSA representatives were briefed by the Deputy Secretary Commissioning in relation to the non-Executive assignment process which commenced on 25 October 2017.

Ongoing employees were requested to provide three preferences for branches, not a specific role by 1 November 2017.

During November, each director will be moderating within the directorate re-assignment of each employee.

This will lead to each employee being assigned and the structure being in place by 8 January 2018.

During recent workplace visits by PSA organisers a number of members have requested that a meeting occur to deal with a number of emerging issues.

This is timely in view of the current timeline for the assignment process.

  • FACs Commissioning Restructure Member Meeting
  • ASH Breakout Room, Level 2, 223 – 239
  • Liverpool Road Ashfield
  • 1 – 2pm, Tuesday 21 November 2017

If any member is unable to attend and has an issue for the PSA or information for the meeting please email the PSA Member Support Centre at membersupport@psa.asn.au.

If you need to speak to an Organiser or Industrial officer, call 1300-772-679.

Redundancy and Long Service Leave entitlements: your best protection against privatisation

Nov 9, 2017

Redundancy and Long Service Leave entitlements – your best protection against privatisation – November 2017 (PDF version)

The NSW Government wants WaterNSW staff to accept a substandard enterprise agreement without legally enforceable redundancy entitlements, putting in doubt millions in accrued employee entitlements and making it easier to sell the state owned corporation to private interests in future.

The Government’s plan also involves changes to long service leave which would for the first time allow WaterNSW to direct staff to take Long Service Leave and lower the associated financial liability.

If the proposal is successful it means some staff WaterNSW staff (State Water Corporation staff) would be forced to relinquish their existing entitlements and accept the Government’s plan to move redundancy entitlements into policy alone.

This means the NSW Government, WaterNSW or a new private provider could change, reduce or abolish the corporation’s redundancy policy (Managing Excess Employees) at their discretion, leaving staff significantly worse off should they be retrenched in future.

Currently, WaterNSW staff are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks’ pay in the event that their job becomes redundant and they choose to accept an offer of voluntary redundancy.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, staff with 10 or more years of service are only entitled to 12 weeks’ pay on redundancy.

In other words, if staff accept the current mooted proposal, they risk forfeiting 40 weeks’ pay.

This, combined with proposed changes to Long Service Leave, suggest to us that the NSW Government wants to lower potential employee related expenses and keep privatisation on the table as a genuine option in future years.

Current redundancy and leave entitlements provide significant financial security for all WaterNSW staff and need to be maintained in any future enterprise agreement.

They also make privatisation less attractive for a potential private provider by adding significant additional costs (liabilities) to any future sale.

Enforceable redundancy entitlements not unique in NSW public sector enterprise agreements

The NSW Government has agreed to include redundancy entitlements in other federal enterprise agreements, including the existing State Water Corporation EA, TAFE and in the Power Industry.

The Wages Task Force has not required these to be removed, as long as no new ones are introduced.

Put simply, there is no good reason why WaterNSW staff should accept anything less than the protection of their existing redundancy entitlements by law.

Don’t accept a substandard enterprise agreement – demand a better deal.

Please note, all members of the Public Service Association of NSW are also members of the CPSU NSW. Members retain their membership if/when transferring between the Public Service and Government Services such as State Owned Corporations.

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