The aged care crisis is well and truly in the news, from Four Corners on the Monday the 17th September to the announcement of a Royal Commission on the back of endless reports and enquiries now is the time to stand up and let the world know about your work and your worth.
The aged care system relies on workers like you who are on the front line maintaining the elderly in their own homes. Council home carers have maintained many thousands of elderly Victorians in their own homes, preventing and or delaying entry it nursing homes. Your work has saved the community millions of dollars and provided peace of mind and dignity to many thousands of clients and their families.
Right now you have the opportunity to influence the Terms of Reference of the Royal Commission.
This opportunity is only open until Tuesday the 25th September, so take this link https://consultations.health.gov.au/aged-care-policy-and-regulation/terms-of-reference/ and add your thoughts about the aged care system and your role in it. Now is the time to speak up about what you think is best for you and your clients.
TENDERING OF HOME CARE – MARIBYRNONG AND HOBSON’S BAY COUNCILS
Maribyrnong and Hobson’s Bay Councils’ tender process has opened which Council describe as testing the market. The tender closes on Monday 8th of October. The ASU has contacted Councillors and explained our objections.
Twenty plus ASU members and delegates went to the Maribyrnong Council meeting on Thursday 11th September and took the opportunity to ask questions of the CEO about outstanding issues related to their future employment. They action delivered change including extending the period they would have to consider an offer of employment should a tender be awarded to a contractor.
The ASU believes that Councils tendering their home care services is setting a dangerous precedent for all Councils when there is still the capacity to work with State and Federal Governments to maintain Council aged acre services. Two thirds of metropolitan Councils have committed to remain in aged care until June, 2020 and many believe that there may be a further funding extension. We have less than three weeks to make a difference, can you help?
Your member’s jobs are threatened and we need your support!
Will you step so others will step up if your job is threatened?
Please contact email@example.com if you can lend support by assisting with petitions or speaking to Councillors at a Council other than your own.
HOME CARE DELEGATES MEETING
The next metropolitan delegates network meeting will be on:
Tuesday 23 October 6pm – 8pm
116 Queensberry St, Carlton South
Please send your agenda items and RSVP’s for catering to firstname.lastname@example.org
SNAP AGED CARE RALLY | RALLY TO FIX AGED CARE
On Wednesday morning we’ll be rallying outside Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the national peak body for aged care providers. Sean Rooney, the CEO of the LASA said on Monday night’s episode of 4 Corners that he hasn’t heard about incontinence pad rations, he doesn’t think there needs to be higher ratios of staff to residents and he can’t see that 6 dollars a day isn’t enough to feed people.
If he hasn’t heard this then he just isn’t listening.
Join us to give a voice to those who don’t have one. We need to keep up the pressure to fix the aged care crisis!
Wednesday 26 September 8am – 9am
LASA – Leading Age Services Australia,
11 600 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Rose Steele · email@example.com · 0405 000 680
COUNCILS REDUCING OUR HOURS OF WORK? YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Organisers have been working hard to get around and meet with home care members across Melbourne and in several rural communities to talk about our aged care campaign and learn about what is happening in your Councils.
Consistent themes are the steps employers are taking to reduce workers guaranteed hours.
What we’re learning is that the majority of home care workers make themselves available across a large spread of hours in any given week and most are guaranteed less than 20 hours.
What we are learning is that when workers have reduced availability in any given week they are being asked to reduce their overall guaranteed hours. We understand that workers have even been asked to reduce their guaranteed hours in circumstances when they have had to be attending to caring responsibilities in their own families. The ASU believes that this is entirely unreasonable and may be a more serious matter.
If you are asked to reduce your hours for any reason, you should not agree. A variation to your contract of employment is a serious undertaking and should never occur under duress or without opportunity for further advice and only ever by mutual agreement.
If your supervisors are routinely asking employees to sign a reduction to guaranteed hours the ASU recommends you ask a colleague or union delegate to attend meetings with you. In the meantime if you know anyone who has had been asked to reduce hours under duress or due to lack of availability, particularly if attending to carer’s responsibility we want to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WORKERS OWNED COOPERATIVE
On Wednesday 5th of September, the ASU hosted an evening on Cooperatives to provide aged care members with another option should Councils outsource or walk away from their role as providers of home care service.
We had an impressive line up of speakers including Dr Guy Turnbull (2018 Don Dunstan Foundation Thinker in Residence) in conversation with Robyn Kaczmarek (The Co-operative Life), Gillian McFee (BCCM) and Lisa Darmanin (ASU). The panel discussed the powerful role of employee ownership in meeting the social care workforce challenge
ASU Maribyrnong delegate Liane Simko said:
“Prior to attending the forum, we knew nothing about a workers cooperative, how it operates, or that it even existed. The guest speakers were excellent and provided information on what is possible when fellow workers get together to manage their work as cooperative owners.”
Further opportunities to learn more about worker based cooperatives may be available. We will keep you posted.
Aged Care Research Dr Sarah Russell is currently doing an Aged Care Research Project and looking for participants if you have any family or friends that are interested in assisting in taking part in the questionnaire and are receiving a home care package it would be great to get their opinions on this as it is a really good way to judge what is happening for our elderly and if their needs are being met. We encourage you to get as many people as you can to complete this survey.
KEEP YOUR PAPER TRAIL
ASU reminder to all members to make sure if you are dealing with issues with management in your work place that it is imperative that you always keep a paper trail of matters raised either by following up to your manager or HR with an email thanking them for meeting with you and confirming the issues you raised. This ensures that it is placed on record in case for some reason it goes further, always keep a hard copy for yourself that you are able to access from home.