icare: Return to Parramatta office - Public Service Association

icare: Return to Parramatta office

The PSA is still in consultation with icare regarding the return to office, flexible working and other matters. Your PSA Delegates have sent through a number of questions that have been raised with them and in turn these have been raised with icare management who have provided us with the following responses which are provided below.

The PSA appreciates that there is still more detail needed to provide back to members from these questions and we will provide you with a further update you when we have those answers to your questions.

We will also look to arrange for a Parramatta Members Meeting before Easter to discuss with you more directly your concerns.

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PSA members’ questions and current response from icare

Flexible working

  • How will the pro-rata working from home be determined for part time workers?
  • Does working from the office include the ability to work from the City Office or Wollongong Office or other Icare Office if desk bookings/space allow?
  • Makes no mention of Field Workers who do not have core times and the role includes travel and often requires staff to be away from the office as Field Worker roles are a frontline role, requiring regular face to face contact, such as Home Mods Officers,  Lung Bus staff,  Rehab Case Managers, Community Living Facilitators.

icare’s response

We are currently in consultation regarding the draft Working Flexibly Procedure and COVID-19 Guidelines. We have received extensive feedback and the opportunity to provide feedback remains open until Easter. I will ensure that the specific questions that are included in this section are included in the FAQs which will be posted on HUGO.

Work flow changes

  • It is becoming harder to manage our workload as PSOs, we are disconnected from the staff we work with and we are often working with different staff and participants or injured workers  which slows everything down as everyone works differently. Its having an impact on the people we support, things take much longer there are more layers to have to navigate. For example we used to get travel requests that we were able to book immediately but now they have to go to the Regional Manager for approval. This is slowing the work down. We are understaffed and it’s impossible to keep up with the work because of the new model and the new changes. The work doesn’t flow and there is always a backlog. Everything seems to have many more steps and is more complex than before.
  • PSO & Admin were promised technology that would assist with the workload, when is that going to happen?
  • A lot of processes are now more involved and have more steps for example, staff travel or travel, Care Needs Assessments. It creates additional work and has potential to disadvantage participants.
  • During the Town Hall session last week, Nick mentioned that CTP will be operational from Dec 2022 – there was no mention of additional staffing. Does iCare know about the number of CTP cases coming across and the potential impact for current front line staff?

icare’s response

These are questions that are best raised with the General Manager, Strategy Delivery and the Operational Support Manager in one of the meetings that they hold.

Delegation changes

  • Why was approval for travel and accommodation for participants/workers removed from Coordinator, CLF, RCM & T/L delegation and made the Regional Manager’s delegation? This slows up the process for approving hospital discharges and hospital stays for things like surgery and it impacts on regional participant/workers most. This was done without consultation with staff who held that delegation from the inception of Lifetime care , it would be nice to know why and if this can be changed back. Can you advise why some forms of participant/worker travel and accommodation are with the Regional Manager but not all?

icare’s response

Britt Coombe has recently been appointed to the role of General Manager, Frontline LTS, and she will commence in the role in the near future. Questions about the appropriate decision making process in respect to travel and accommodation within the Frontline team are best addressed to her.

Parramatta Office

  • Parramatta’s lease ends soon; are we likely to move? Will the new office have lockers and areas  for  showering and bicycle storage? The current building has no lockers and no bike storage and is also not fit for purpose  as wheelchair users are unable to park at the building or easily access the building. The accessible toilets are often located in the middle of the office with only one accessible toilet on the 11th floor. There are also not enough women’s toilets for the number of females employed at iCare at Parramatta.

icare’s response

Beth Armstrong is the new General Manager, Workplace and Wellbeing and issues associated with accommodation in Parramatta should be raised with her.

Other questions

  • Where is the funding for the $30 E-card for staff coming from and why are we spending money like this?
  • We seem to have a lot of staff leaving; do you have any ideas on staff retention?
  • The P card given to Field Workers can be utilised by parts of Care Services to assist participants and not by others. There is no ability for CLFs or RCMs to utilise P cards for assisting participants or workers. However, the Home Mods team has that discretion, why?

icare’s response

These need to be addressed to the relevant General Manager as they relate to operational matters within each business line.

PSA Parramatta Delegates

Rosemary Birt
Geraldine Waters

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