Stop the Cuts to Financial Counsellors – Show Your Support

10 October 2018

Last Week the PSA Campaign to stop the Cuts to Financial Counsellors continued.

  • On Tuesday 3 October 2018, a PSA meeting of Financial Counsellors unanimously determined to fight the proposal to cut all 59 positions from the Financial Wellbeing program.
  • On Wednesday 4 October 2018, Worksite Representative meeting was attended by the Minister for Child Protection, the Hon. Rachel Sanderson and the Chief Executive, Cathy Taylor where the Financial Wellbeing program was discussed.
  • DCP Worksite Representatives unanimously condemned the cuts and committed to campaign against them.
  • PSA officials and members attended the Budget Estimates Committee hearing on Child Protection at Parliament House
  •     The PSA has met with the Shadow Minister for Child Protection Jayne Stinson, Greens member in the Legislative Council (LC), the Hon. Tammy Franks MLC and SA Best LC member the Hon. Connie Bonaros MLC who have all pledged support to help stop these cuts.

It was disappointing and concerning that at the meeting on Wednesday 4 October 2018, the Minister barely said a word and most of the talking was done by Cathy Taylor who seemed to have limited knowledge of the comprehensive work of her own staff, and little concern about the impact of this cut to early intervention, ongoing support, reunification and transition of young people from care.

The Nyland Royal Commission made it quite clear that the provision of financial counselling was a vital part of prevention and transition and the program should be expanded within the Department. The proposal to cut the program flies in the face of recommendations 158 and159.

Consultation and Implementation
Our Enterprise Agreement makes it very clear that there must be a consultative process which involves affected staff and the PSA prior to changes being made to the program. There should be NO implementation until this consultative process has finished.

After hearing from PSA members about staff being offered alternate positions and being contacted by a redeployment officer, the PSA wrote to Cathy Taylor (here) demanding that all implementation cease until there had been adequate consultation.

A response from Cathy Taylor has been received, assuring the PSA that the Department “is not actively taking steps to implement this initiative and is actively working to establish a robust approach for ongoing consultation”.

With this assurance, we urge members not move out of your current positions or accept any proposal which could be seen as implementing a cut to the program.

If you have information about any implementation actions by the Department or any concerns about the consultation process, please email details to PSA.

Show your support – take a vote!
Sometimes Financial Counsellors feel isolated in their workplace as there are only one or two in each office. It is important that as PSA members in Child Protection, we stand with our Financial Counsellor colleagues who are facing the possibility of losing their jobs and have been essentially told by their employer that the work they do is not important or necessary.

We ask that you do the following some time in the next two weeks:
1. Call a PSA meeting at your worksite to discuss this issue.

2. Write down the ways that financial counsellors contribute to ensuring the safety of children and young people at your worksite.

3. Vote on the following motion.
PSA members at …………………………………….. understand that Financial Counsellors are Essential to Child Protection. We stand with our Financial Counsellors and commit to campaigning to prevent the Axing of the Financial Wellbeing program.

4. Send in the numbers of people who voted for and against the motion and any comments to PSA by 27 October 2018.

5. Encourage all staff who are not yet members of the PSA to join the union.