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Privatisation inequity in Disability Services group homes

Plans by the Barnett Government to push ahead with the privatisation of Disability Services Commission group homes has produced examples of inequity in the Fremantle and Armadale areas, warns the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association.

There are examples of a couple of homes in each area that do a lot of activities together but have been treated differently with only one in each suburb being given the chance to remain under DSC’s care.

The other two properties are set to be privatised, a move that has angered family members who have residents living there.

CPSU/CSA branch secretary Toni Walkington said understandably family members are furious they do not have the same choice to stay with DSC.

“We are asking that all residents be given the choice to stay with the public service when that is their preferred option,” Ms Walkington said.

Parents of the affected home are writing to DSC Director General Ron Chalmers and Minister Helen Morton, appealing to them for overturn the decision so all group home residents have the same choice to stay.

“Parents are worried that the interaction between the houses will be lost if one of them becomes privatised.

“They are wondering why one is being treated different to the other one when there are no differences between them.”

Ms Walkington said keeping residential homes in the public system benefitted everyone.

“Our members in the public system are the best qualified to look after group home residents and have always set the benchmark for quality.

“Private organisations provide less training, have less staff per client, pay less and have less flexible shift rosters than the publicly-run service.  The end result is an inferior service.”

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