ASU home care delegates from across the State joined our online network meeting to discuss Councils responses to COVID-19 last Wednesday.

Chief among concerns raised by members was the ongoing impact on members of reduced hours of work.

Have your hours been reduced?
If so, please contact your ASU workplace delegate to discuss. Don’t have a delegate, nominate yourself or a leader in your workplace today.

Some councils have had success in maintaining average hours through redirecting work into alternative duties or expanding services such as meal delivery, administration work, increased phone welfare checks, creation and delivery of entertainment packs for clients, and the delivery of books to clients from libraries.

Some delegates are planning on brainstorming with members their own solutions to reduced hours and then working with organisers to achieve them.

Other Councils have wound back work they consider ‘non-essential’ such as domestic care despite it being safer to perform than personal care. Councils have used their discretion to make this call and most often without consultation with employees.

Have you been consulted?
The ASU has a written to the Federal Aged care Minister, Richard Colbeck about the retention bonus not being available to Council carers. We want to draw this poor treatment of carers to your Federal MPs attention; will you help us?

The ASU can confirm that while testing for COVID-19 happens externally to councils, some councils are supporting staff to receive prioritised access. The Victorian government are encouraging people to get tested even if they are experiencing only mild symptoms.

Is your council helping you to receive prioritised access?
The use of the COVIDSAFE application is completely voluntary. Employers must not require a worker or other person to download or use the COVIDSAFE application as this would be a violation of Section 9(2) of the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements—Public Health Contact Information) Determination 2020

The ASU will be releasing a Home Care survey soon and we want all direct care workers in Local Government to respond and ensure you share with your entire workforce.

If you have a colleague who isn’t a union member, it goes without saying that right now is an important time for them to join via https://www.asu.asn.au/asujoin

For further information please contact:
ASU Organiser Tuffy Morwitzer | tmorwitzer@asuvictas.com.au

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