Today hundreds of HACSU members, with the support of other unions disrupted the Victorian State ALP Conference with a protest against plans by the Andrews Labor Government to privatise public disability services.
Delegates walked off the conference floor to meet HACSU members, people with disabilities and their friends and families out the front of the Moonee Valley Racecourse where the message was loud and clear: NO TO THE PRIVATISATION OF PUBLIC DISABILITY!
At the Conference today, HACSU put forward a resolution demanding the Government stand by the 2014 ALP Platform and keep public disability services in public hands. This resolution was passed unanimously by the 609 Conference Delegates.
In other developments at the Conference, the Government announced they will establish a legislated accreditation and registration scheme for the disability support workforce. This announcement is a result of today’s action, along with the continued and intensive lobbying from HACSU members and officials who over the past 12 months have contacted and met with MPs, participated in community demonstrations and actions and provided evidence for HACSU submissions to various government inquiries.
The key benefit of a registration and accreditation scheme is that it will provide a much-needed layer of quality assurance and professionalism to the disability sector. This scheme will improve the quality and skills of workers and the safety of participants, particularly those who are highly vulnerable and unable to self-advocate. The scheme will also assist in improving perceptions of the sector to prospective workers by demonstrating that delivering supports to people with disability requires a skilled and qualified workforce.
Most importantly, this announcement has come about because of HACSU.
In other developments at today’s conference, the Andrews Government announced that they are “committed to protecting the ongoing employment standards of public sector disability workers” and that they will “ensure that not a single one will be worse off as a result of the NDIS.” Importantly, the Andrews’ Labor Government will also fight for fair NDIS pricing and challenge the Commonwealth Government to deliver an NDIS which we can all be proud of. Whilst these are strong commitments, they do not commit to keeping public disability services in public hands.
Our campaign is delivering wins, but there’s still more to do.
Together we can win the fight for quality disability services.
Let’s keep up the campaign and demand Certainty for Disability.