Media Release: NSW govt urged to deliver vax leave for workers as state’s roll out leaves disability, child protection, school staff exposed – 6 Jul 2021
NSW govt urged to deliver vax leave for workers as state’s roll out leaves disability, child protection, school staff exposed
NSW’s lackadaisical vaccine roll out has left disability support workers, child protection officers, and school support staff under vaccinated and exposed, with the Public Service Association again urging the government to introduce vaccine leave across the public sector.
“Work commitments should never get in the way of any NSW public sector worker being vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Stewart Little, the general secretary of the Public Service Association. “NSW needs a clear cut plan that prioritises all frontline public sector workers, so those who want to be vaccinated can just go and get it.”
The union says a range of frontline public sector workers have been overlooked, including: child protection case workers who visit the homes of vulnerable families; disability workers who support people in group accommodation; tens of thousands of school support staff, who work in classrooms to support students and teachers, as well as in school administration; and Service NSW workers, who interact directly with the public.
“It’s hugely frustrating to see other groups, such as council workers, accessing COVID-19 vaccines while workers who are dealing with our state’s most vulnerable are still unclear on how or when they will be able to protect themselves, their families, and those they work with.
“The Premier could offer staff ‘vax leave’ with the stroke of a pen, via a Premier’s Circular. The government could deliver vaccine hubs directly to worksites so that people who can’t easily leave work could be immunised.
“The NSW Government is the largest employer in Australia – but there is no coordinated plan for how it will see its workforce vaccinated. Instead the advice from the government has been for workers to talk to their manager – that’s not a plan, that’s just adding confusion and further delays to our already stalling vaccine rollout.”
Further comment: Stewart Little 0434 062 079
More info: Suze Metherell 0412 867 084