HACSU representatives continue to work hard at pressuring the Government and DHHS to provide better information for members on the transfer of disability services to the non-government sector and to ensure all aspects of the 8-year Settlement Agreement and the new EBA (Disability Service Enterprise Agreement - DSEAV) are delivered in full.
Due to probity constraints, HACSU representatives have not been provided with any information as to who the successful providers may be or how services will be allocated.
However, from the timelines established in the 8-year Settlement Agreement and the EBA, we expect that an announcement about who the new providers are and how services will be allocated is now imminent and will probably occur in August or September.
When the announcement does occur, members can be assured that your HACSU representatives will be immediately engaging with the new providers to ensure that good communication is established early and that members interests and issues are front-and-centre during the transition process and with the implementation of the EBA.
6.5% PAY RISE
In the last six-months all DHHS members have received a 6.5% pay increase and up to $2000 in lump sum payments.
HACSU representatives successfully convinced the DHHS to pay the second 3.5% due on 1 July 2018 in advance of the Fair Work Commission formally approving the new EBA. This avoided a long wait by members for their overdue pay increase - another good win for HACSU members.
The 6.5% pay rise over the last six months for a DDSO 1Q Year 5 means a weekly base wage increase of approximately $3,500 per year or $68 per week. For a DDSO 3 Year 5, the base increase is $5,119 per year or nearly $100 per week.
Members should note this is only the “base rate” increase, and greatly under-estimates their overall salary increases with increases to other key allowances, like sleepover.
The 6.5% increase is the first phase of 29% of wage increases over the 8-year Settlement Agreement.
EBA IMPLEMENTATION & TRANSFER PROCESS
HACSU representatives have been meeting with both the Minister and DHHS to ensure members receive timely and quality information about the transfer process.
While we still don’t know who the providers will be, HACSU representatives have been meeting regularly with the DHHS to progress EBA implementation and the systems and communications necessary to support the secondment and transfer, this includes:
- Consulting with the DHHS on their efforts to obtain favorable tax treatment from the ATO for the proposed Voluntary Departure Packages (VDPs) at the secondment and transfer phases.
- Implementing casual increments from 1 July 2018. Separate advice on this matter will be provided shortly.
- Four HACSU Transfer Organisers have commenced work and are out and about in the Divisions attending team meetings, explaining the EBA, answering questions and responding to issues.
- Ensuring members receive early, accurate and clear advice about all leave accruals, service history, anniversary dates, classification, employment status, etc. This will be achieved by the DHHS issuing employment certificates early to ensure that any problems are identified during secondment.
In addition, HACSU officials have met with Senior Officials from the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) who are involved in overseeing the transfer. We have been briefed on the Transfer Readiness Phase (TRP), which they say has been designed to ensure a smooth transfer of services with minimal disruption for members and residents.
The TRP will be implemented when the Government announces who the providers will be. It includes a number of mandated minimum milestones for providers across key focus areas such as:
- Client and family engagement and support.
- Staff and union engagement and information.
- Service delivery continuity.
- Systems and policy alignment from day one, including payroll.
- Clear, consistent and timely communications for all affected by the transfer.
HACSU representatives have been told that each provider must meet the milestones before the secondment commences.
This means no one will be seconded until the providers have demonstrated they have (among other things) effective payroll operations, policy alignment, quality and safeguards and appropriate client transport arrangements.
HACSU representatives have requested written detail of the milestones and communications plan, which we hope to share with members shortly.
Your HACSU officials and staff are busy planning the ongoing organising and unionising of the whole disability sector so that members are well placed to continue to campaign for the improvement and protection of wages and conditions for all disability workers during the transfer and beyond.
There is a key role for everyone to play. We must ensure we engage and involve all disability workers in both DHHS and non-government services. A key role for all members will be to engage with non-government workers and encourage HACSU membership.
Together we will be stronger and in the best position to negotiate future EBA’s beyond the 8 years of protections.