The current Yooralla agreement expired in 2009 and was last negotiated in 2006. This means the conditions detailed in this agreement are now 10 years old and wages are the award minimum. HACSU members at Yooralla have stood up to ask Yooralla to negotiate for a fair agreement.
Since the expiration of the agreement, Yooralla management have been delaying and refusing to negotiate above the award minimum. It’s time for Yooralla management to offer a fair deal. Without decent wages and conditions, Yooralla is struggling to attract and maintain highly skilled and experienced disability support workers. Meaning that service delivery will suffer.
This agreement will cover members working in Yooralla accommodation and individualised support services.
To deliver quality care, we need to attract and retain workers. This means making disability work a career of choice by providing decent wages, conditions, training and ongoing professional development.
Through enterprise bargaining we can set decent working standards for disability support workers.
An enterprise agreement (EBA) is a legally binding agreement between management and employees negotiated by union members.
Together, over the last two years, we have made gains to lift minimum rates of pay in the modern award. The pay equity case won by HACSU and other union members was one of the biggest breakthroughs of the last 20 years.
We won a better standard of living. With our collective efforts, most workers are better off annually.
However, these gains only started the process of providing dignity to some of Australia’s lowest paid workers. There’s a lot more to do to ensure our wages are fair and reasonable for the professional work we do.
The equal pay case lifted the ‘minimum wage’ from a low base but disability support workers should not be reliant on the minimum. We want to bargain improvements above the minimum standards.
The NDIS is a historic policy reform, equal to Medicare and compulsory Superannuation, which will ensure the most disadvantaged Australians receive support no matter how they acquire their disability.
The insurance-style model will allow people with a disability, and their families, to have control over the care and support they need. This, in turn will create a huge new market in disability services which will require more skilled disability workers.
However, to ensure the sector becomes an industry of choice for new workers, we will need to ensure worker’s rights are protected, and wages are above the minimum in order to retain experienced workers.
These benefits need to cover the whole workforce, including disability support workers, case managers, residential workers and day and recreational program workers.
Our claim focuses on improving the standard of living for disability support workers, addressing recruitment and retention in the industry, and improving professional development and therefore the quality of care.
On the next two pages is a detailed list of our claims that are designed to establish a better standard of living and better standard of care as we go into a new era of disability services in Australia.
THE KEY FOCUS OF THE CLAIMS IS
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Employment conditions conducive to providing quality care for residents.
Members rallied at BBQ in Clarendon Street Thornbury, whilst others from all across Victoria, stopped work in solidarity. All members who took part in this action should be incredibly proud of themselves. This is an important step toward telling Yooralla to Value Us! Stop Work action forces Yooralla senior management to step in and take notice of the staffing numbers and daily duties.
Standing together at a stop work also shows huge sign of solidarity. Yooralla think they can pay their staff the minimum wage and conditions and still get away with pretending like they care about us. If Yooralla want to value their staff, they can begin by offering a decent EBA, instead of continually trying to mislead and intimidate staff, who are simply fighting for a fair go.
HACSU industrial officers are continuing to bargain for improved wages and conditions.
Congratulations to all the members taking protected action! This is a huge step toward improving wages and conditions for Yooralla support workers. We are seeing orange t-shirts, posters and decorations all around Victoria in Yooralla group homes!
The action is working, management are well aware that Yooralla workers are serious about a new EBA. Not only are entire teams standing together, but we are seeing customers getting on board by wearing t-shirts and decorating their chairs in campaign materials. Group homes are looking fantastic and we have seen a number of buses decorated with materials.
Members have reported that they are enjoying spending more time with people they support, actively working on enabling customers to live their lives with dignity and improving independence, instead of shifts being taken up by admin and paper work.
As a result of our action stepping up, Yooralla are no longer trying to reduce the sleepover allowance! Keep up the good work everyone and keep up the action!