Today, State Secretary Paul Healey and Assistant State Secretary Kate Marshall spoke with Margaret Grigg, Forensicare CEO about issues HACSU members had raised at the workplace. HACSU leaders raised members concerns directly with the CEO and want to report that it was a positive conversation and that currently we’re working through members’ concerns with cooperation from Forensicare. Forensicare today also advised that they have installed an infrared thermometer camera to take temperatures of all persons coming into the building, without having to touch, guaranteeing better social distancing measures.
HACSU officials again today spoke with DHHS officials and demanded that all houses must have digital non-contact infrared thermometers available. We will provide you with an update on this when we have more information available.
Quote from Kate Marshall, Assistant State Secretary:
“We’re concerned about HACSU members who work in environments where social distancing is just not possible. We’re working to ensure employers provide the best possible measures to ensure that where members can put distance between themselves and clients, they have the appropriate equipment to do so.”
HACSU officials are also currently in discussion with the Victorian Hospital’s Industrial Association (VHIA) who are the industrial body representing hospital employers. We’re currently discussing the status of Public Mental Health EBA negotiations, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be continuing to discuss this with the VHIA and DHHS with members’ best interests in mind and will let you know of any outcomes as soon as we know more.
We’re calling on the State Government to ensure the safety of HACSU members and other essential workers by providing free parking. Social distancing measures are crucial to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is particularly important given HACSU members are most often working in hospitals and other workplaces that house people with existing health vulnerabilities. To protect both workers and ensure the safety of people with disabilities and other pre-existing health issues, the entire workforce must be provided with a safe way to travel to work, while socially distancing - and not bearing the cost.
Please sign our petition and share on Facebook: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/paid-parking-for-essential-workers
We’re continuing to follow up with DHHS the concerns raised in the letter we sent last week to the Disability Minister’s Office. Regarding the house where a worker was confirmed to be a positive COVID-19 case, we have confirmed today that Spotless will be the organisation charged with cleaning the house. The hospital-standard clean will take place at the house daily for 7 days. We’re aware that none of residents are exhibiting symptoms.
All disability workers employed by DHHS (including those currently on secondment) have access to an online Infection Prevention module. We strongly encourage you to complete this module as soon as possible.
The HACSU Assist Team have been inundated with calls and emails over the past several weeks. Assistant State Secretary Kate Marshall advised that the Assist Team are working diligently to get through a current backlog of emails. To help ensure that members’ enquiries are responded to as soon as possible, HACSU officials from other teams have stepped in to enable quicker responses for members.
We want members to know that we’re working tirelessly to get back to you and we appreciate your patience in waiting for us to respond. We’re serious about providing support and services to members and we’re putting measures in place respond to you sooner.