A watchful eye on home care services
Based on the recent appalling decision by Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay City Councils to outsource their in-home support work, the ASU is keeping a watchful eye on CoGG to ensure a quick response should there be any indication that Council is intending on following this irresponsible path.

At this stage, CoGG Councillors have not made a decision to out-source the jobs, however are waiting to see what happens with commitments around funding the services beyond June 2020.

South-West ASU Home Care Committee
To assist with this, the ASU is establishing a South-West Home Care Committee (mirroring committees being established in the North and the South-East of Melbourne) to work directly with local ASU Home Care members and delegates around how to tackle this issue in their regions.

The date for this meeting is being finalised, but looks likely to be the afternoon/evening of Tuesday 19 March 2019. A venue is still being finalised but we expect it to be held somewhere in Geelong, so encourage all ASU delegates and members working in home care to attend.

Keep an eye out for further specific details about this committee coming soon.

Consultation broken, but we’re working on it!
It’s no secret that communication and consultation processes at CoGG have been letting staff and the ASU down for some time, and causing frustration between the parties.

There have been a range of steps taken by management to aggravate attempts by the ASU to consult with our members recently, including (but not limited to):

  • Denying monthly delegates’ meetings
  • Forcing site meetings in unpaid time
  • Requiring site meetings be held in small offices not common rooms
  • Not returning phone calls and/or emails to union officials/delegates
  • Obstructing the role of the consultative committee
  • Cancelling a recent SRCC meeting at the last minute

Despite this, the ASU has been tenacious on behalf of members in our approach to improve communication both with and between members, and between management and the union. As a result, we have started to see some inroads.

Monthly City Services Consultative Committee meetings
The previously quarterly City Services Consultative Committee meetings have now been converted to monthly meetings, on the first Thursday of every month, with the Director of City Services and other relevant managers attending alongside ASU Delegates. This will allow ASU members to feed questions and issues directly to the meeting via their Delegates, and find responses and resolution to those issues in the minutes distributed after each meeting.

We expect this will help prevent disjointed communication and triple-handling of information, and assist to resolve issues as they come up in CoGG Depots.

Issues to be put directly to CoGG CEO
A meeting has been arranged for Wednesday 6 March with CEO Martin Cutter and ASU Branch Executive President Billy King to raise a number of serious concerns directly with the decision-maker.

The issues that have been tabled for that meeting include:

  • Casualisation and short-term jobs;
  • Not replacing staff who leave or are absent for long periods;
  • ASU Delegates and HSRs being targeted and adversely treated;
  • Workplace bullying; and
  • The role of the ASU in actively representing the interests of our members

Report-backs will be provided to members on the outcome of these meetings as they occur.

Cancellation of SRCC Meeting
ASU delegates and officials were frustrated recently when CoGG management cancelled the regularly scheduled SRCC meeting at the last minute, leaving ASU attendees sitting in a caucus with no meeting to attend.

ASU Organiser Luke Cherry emphasised that the meeting must not be cancelled but rather be rescheduled for as soon as possible as there were many important issues the Union had placed on the agenda. The meeting was rescheduled for the following week.

The ASU has placed 8 items on the agenda for the rescheduled SRCC meeting, including:

  • Recruitment procedures (update)
  • The frequency of delegates’ meetings
  • The process around union site meetings
  • Minimum hours for home care workers
  • Back-pay arrangements for spot-banding changes
  • Workplace bullying (update)
  • Use of short-term contracts
  • CoGG holiday roster concerns

The ASU will communicate the outcomes of these discussions in due course.

Push for Monthly Delegates’ Meetings
At the February ASU Delegates’ meeting a large contingent of CoGG ASU Delegates voted unanimously for the ASU to continue to pursue monthly delegates’ meetings.

This issue has been tabled for discussion both at the next SRCC meeting, and with the CEO. We are hopeful of a positive resolution.

Revision of site visit rosters
ASU Organiser Brendan Parkinson is, in consultation with ASU delegates at each site, revising the schedule of drop-in visits for those sites to maximise access for members to their Servicing Organiser.

If you have any requests around specific days/times, let Brendan know.

If you have any questions or comments, contact ASU Organiser Luke Cherry on 0417 472 497 or via lcherry@asuvictas.com.au

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