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Save DSC Campaign Update 22 July 2014

Action at Parliament

On June 26th families, members and supporters gathered to see our ‘Support Choice’ petition presented to Parliament. Over 2700 people signed in support of the right to be able to choose to stay with a DSC run home.

A union delegate from a group home declared:

“It is wonderful to know that the staff are joined by the families in the fight against privatisation and it is fantastic to know that we are appreciated and the work we do is valued by you if not by those in power…! We, at the same time, consider you [the families] so important in the lives of your loved ones and you make our lives so much easier by knowing we have your support in this fight to right a wrong. Only by continuing to work together will we achieve the reversal of this government's decision, or at least, make it much harder than they had ever anticipated.”

Afterwards the public parliamentary gallery was filled to see the petition lodged. As the petition was presented family members stood up to show pictures of their loved ones displayed on their T-shirts.

The message got through. The Minister, Helen Morton, felt compelled to come out and speak to the parents. Families insist ‘if it is not broken – don’t fix it’. They want their loved one to stay in DSC run accommodation and access supports from our members.

We have agreement from Wendy Cox, therefore our advice to members is as follows:

If the issue of transition is raised in any conversation with family/advocates either at a formal meeting or more indirectly at social visits a member can hand the person a CSA Postcard and direct them to the CSA for additional information.

This has been agreed to by DSC management. Please hand out the cards and morning tea invites to interested family members.

Handover to Activ

After holding the privatisation process at bay for 10 months, it now looks like one house is set to transition to Activ Foundation.

We are supporting affected members who are doing their best to make sure individuals get the standard of care they deserve with the new provider. Concerns remain, however, about the capacity of Activ to provide quality sustainable care into the future. 27% of Activ’s workforce is casual, annual staff turnover at 30 June 2013 was 21.68% and it was over 30% the previous year. It doesn’t inspire great confidence.

Our Members Are The Expert Advocates for Individuals

Concern has arisen among our members that no plan seems to exist for an orderly, safe hand-over of homes to new providers. No one has seen a plan that has regard for the individual’s wellbeing. No information has been provided to staff as to how the hand-over process will be conducted. What is meant to occur on day 1, on day 2? Who is responsible at any given moment for procedures – DSC Staff or the staff from the new provider? Who decides when the transition is complete? These are all questions that members are asking and that should have been addressed at the start of the push for privatisation – not now! We will be pursing these issues with the DSC in the coming weeks to protect both the rights of members and the well-being of individuals.

Lessons learnt so far in the campaign

Many of our members are asking what they can do to continue to slow the process of privatisation. This is what we have learnt:

  • If members make contact with families and put them in touch with the union office we can stall privatisation.
  • If members keep up-to-date with the campaign they won’t fall for DSC’s spin (& if families are in touch with us nor will they).
  • If members are active, privatisation can be stalled: contact us about any news you hear, tell us about any visits from DSO representatives. Keep us informed. Elect a delegate and/or deputy if you don’t have one for your workplace.

Doviđenja! (see ya) Vlad

Vlad is leaving us for a short time. He is visiting Serbia for 4 months and will be back in early December. We wish him a safe journey.

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