Breaking News: Today we’re happy to report a great win we’ve had as a direct result of a HACSU member raising a concern with us about supporting people with disabilities under the ‘Stay at Home’ conditions we’re all subject to. HACSU Officials had raised this to the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this week.
We received a response from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, late yesterday, advising that transporting clients for the purpose of de-escalating behaviours of concern is considered to be work for disability workers and is a form of support for residents.
We have today contacted employers to advise of the update. As this is a breaking news, we expect it may some time for employers to implement internal policies and arrangements to suit these updated directions. Social distancing measures must remain in place and cleaning of vehicles well be an important measure if these essential outing are taking place.
Well done to members who advocated for this outcome – we recognise the astonishing role you play in promoting the needs of the people you work with!
In their announcement last week about funding increases in Mental Health, the Victorian Government has allocated funds to workforce wellbeing. We’re in discussions with The Department as well as other unions and Mental Health Victoria on how this extra funding should be used to best support workers via online platforms during this period social distancing.
HACSU Officials are in preliminary discussions with Working For Victoria who have received $500 million to provide jobs and services, and ensure Victorians are not struck by unemployment during this pandemic. We’re in the initial stages of exploring how the disability sector in particular might benefit from these positions, specifically in relation to excess cleaning in houses.
We want all members to ensure be extra vigilant on consultation around workplaces changes during COVID-19. Any major changes to your work, including where you work, your hours, rosters or any other workplaces issues, please ensure that HACSU is aware and that your employer is consulting with us about and changes they wish to implement.
We’re continuing Side by Side, our project to contact members across Victoria this week. Thanks to members we’ve already spoken with; this has been a positive experience for the union and it’s great for us to engage with each other in new ways.
Be aware, when we call, it will be a private number – and if you miss us, you can keep up to date with the latest news via the HACSU website.
As we head into the weekend, the HACSU office will be closed, as usual and you can catch us again from Monday.
Quotes attributable to HACSU State Secretary, Paul Healey.
“I want to thank all HACSU members for your calm and positive attitudes.”
“We’ve heard from employers and other sources that HACSU members across Victoria are presenting as the most composed and well-informed in this time of repeated change. It’s great to hear such fantastic feedback about HACSU members who are standing together at work and supporting each other, as well as supporting other colleagues who aren’t yet HACSU members.”
“We’re motivated by your strength and we’re ready to come out of this crisis even more resilient and focussed on building a stronger union than we’ve ever seen, together.”