The ASU has been working with members across Out of Home Care (OoHC) on issues relating to COVID-19 – particularly concerns regarding lack of consultation and inaction on OH&S issues.
We know the pandemic is adding complexity and stress for OoHC stress workers. Two recent issues brought to the ASU are:
- Berry St resi unit members were confronted with the inappropriate placement of a young person. Two assaults on staff and a home invasion, left a serious psychological impact on staff and highlighted security issues.
ASU members called a meeting to establish a strategy for Berry Street to urgently address staff safety issues. ASU wrote to Berry Street outlining potential failures to provide a safe working environment and requesting action.
This saw an immediate response. Measures taken include building modifications, ensuring staff have updated training and an important win of 2 staff rostered on overnight shifts until steps were implemented.
- Uniting has recently attempted to change some resi unit rosters citing COVID-19 safety. Roster changes didn’t appear to address COVID-19 issues and create more risk to both staff and young people, increasing rather than decreasing contact. Uniting didn’t engage in genuine consultation with members, or the ASU as members’ authorised representative.
Members collated feedback with the ASU, pointing out an impact on their caring responsibilities and increased risks within the house, increased days of work, removal of handover and debrief after shifts.
Staff proposed an alternative roster to mitigate these concerns. Uniting has refused to move, so the ASU has advised we are in dispute.
Want to work together on issues that arise in your workplace? Contact your ASU delegate or
ASU Organiser Jo McEvoy | email@example.com | 0437 035 721.
Actively look out for health and safety. Pass on this newsletter to colleagues. If they aren’t yet ASU members, encourage them to join. It’s quick and easy to join here
Want more info on COVID-19? www.asuvictas.com.au/covid-19/community-sector/