PSA Disability Update

23 July 2018

So much has happened in the last month in Disability as the system transfers to the private sector under the NDIS. Below is an update for all PSA Disability members about what has been going on and what we are doing as a union. Please pass this on to your colleagues and encourage them to join the PSA if they are not yet members. It is crucial that we have strong union membership in Disability through this time to ensure the best deal for staff transferring into the private sector and the best protection for those staff staying in Government. They can join online here.

Lead Organiser Janet Giles will be visiting a number of sites over the next couple of weeks to get a better understanding of how things are going. If you have specific issues or any information that would assist please call the PSA or send an email.

The Materially Affected Process and the Mobility Guideline
We have become increasingly concerned that the implementation of the materially affect process is not delivering the best outcomes for staff who have been affected by the NDIS transition.

A summary of our concerns is below:

  •  The high level of contract positions rather than ongoing positions
  •  A proposed change to the guideline which could mean staff are trapped in contract employment for years without being able to access the RRR process of the Enterprise Agreement
  •  Misinformation which has pushed staff into choices they may not be happy with or suited to (e.g. you only get three offers)
  •  Inconsistency in the quality of case management
  •  Poor treatment of staff who have been placed in new positions
  •  Lack of information about the rights of staff to be consulted and the review process
  •  Substantive classifications being unclear, especially where staff have been acting up or on contracts for a number of years
  •  Inconsistency about when staff are declared materially affected

The Office of Public Sector Employment (OPSE) recently proposed changes to the Mobility Guideline which were concerning to the PSA. We have raised our concerns and will be meeting with with OPSE in the next week to discuss these, as well as the issues identified by members above.

Supported Community Accommodation
The PSA and United Voice are in dispute with the Government following their decision not to proceed, as planned, with the public Corporation. Instead the new Liberal Government has dumped this idea and intends to outsource this service to the private NGO sector. This decision has thrown clients, their families and members into confusion and uncertainty. Members will be campaigning to reverse the decision and are calling on you to support them. We will keep you informed as the campaign develops.

Child and Youth Services
The Employee Mutual will be commencing soon and staff are moving offices. Around 100 staff have elected to go with the Mutual which means they have agreed to resign from the public service and take with them their current agreement entitlements and be entitled to a bonus of $15,000. This arrangement was negotiated between the PSA and Government. The Mutual will kick off in September.

Those remaining in Government are being managed through the “materially affected” process.

Members have raised concerns about the lack of clear information and communication from management. There are also issues emerging from members who have signed contracts with the Mutual. We are in the process of organising a meeting for members in the Child and Youth Service.

Community Team
The team will be moving office to make way for the staff of the Mutual. All staff are materially affected and are currently being case managed. This has raised lots of questions and issues. PSA Lead Organiser will be attending a team meeting at Daw Park on Tuesday 24 July where these issues will be discussed.

Members are waiting for the announcement of the successful tender for this service which now will be unlikely to occur until August.

Members will be offered the same package as Child and Youth and DomCare if they choose to move to the new provider. They have not yet been declared “materially affected” and have concerns about access to quality jobs including the possibility of missing out on Allied Health Assistant jobs in Health due to the timing of the process.

We are working to have this issue addressed by management.

Disability SA staff
All administrative staff in Disability SA DHS have been notified that they are materially affected. There are concerns that as staff are leaving, the workload is increasing for those left behind. We will be organising a PSA meeting at the Riverside Building for all staff in the near future to hear more about the issues. If you wish to have a meeting organised in other offices, please email and we will discuss the best time for this to occur.

Please keep encouraging your colleagues to join the PSA as we are committed to supporting our members during this difficult time.

If there are any issues or questions, members can call the PSA.