DSC: Meeting with Minister, Stephen Dawson
In recent weeks your Union representatives have met with Minister Stephen Dawson at the Elected Delegates Committee and were able to give him a comprehensive overview of the issues arising for our Disability services members. The briefing included;
- The future of publicly run Disability Services – what does Disability Services look like in the future taking into consideration the NDIS roll out and the amalgamation with Communities
- The future of supported community living – How will this service be impacted RE NDIS funding
- The future of ISS – How will this service be impacted RE NDIS funding
- The Disability Justice Centre - is there a review to the legislation and will it remain in the Communities portfolio
Minister Dawson indicated there will be a review to the Disability Services Act in the future and that the government is committed to remaining the provider of last resort and retaining accommodation services, though it was unclear what the delineation between ISS and Supported Accommodation is.
We were also informed there has been a review conducted of the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996 by Minister Quigley’s Office. Your Union have contacted his office seeking information about this review.
Around the issues for Local Coordination and the transition to NDIS the Delegates present went to great lengths to explain the significant concerns of Members with every facet of the transition from not adhering to the bilateral agreement to workloads, very big congratulations to those Delegates who conveyed the concerns of members so convincingly. Following on from the EDC CPSU/CSA representative Karen McEvoy and Mel Bray along with Sue Bowers and Melanie Booth from CPSU/PSU (Federal Union) met with Minister Dawson the following to convey our shared concerns, it’s fair to say Minister Dawson was given the surround sound version of all of your concerns. We are pleased to say that both of your Unions working together as well as some very comprehensive effort from Delegates resulted in Minister Dawson calling a meeting between both affected Unions NDIA federal and state as well as Disability Services.
The meeting was chaired by Marion Hales McDonald and was an opportunity to raise significant concerns of members; it by no means has solved all the significant problems however it has provided a forum for us to get all the related players in the room.
It was fairly evident from that meeting that the NDIA are no further forward in clarifying such issues. Marion Hales-McDonald advised NDIA that she wants all staff to receive clarification of entitlements so that people who receive an offer are able to make an informed decision. We would strongly advise all members to ensure these matters are clarified before accepting any offer.
CPSUCSA and CPSUPSU have also requested a timeframe for when the copied agreement people will be employed under will be ready – there has been no response and to date we are not aware that anyone has received a list of clarified points or that any offers of employment have been made.
Vince Ritorto also confirmed that treasury have approved the enhanced severance package for Local Co-Ordination areas affected by the NDIA decision at the meeting. Since the release of the budget and the advice from Disability services that there is in fact a transition payment we are in the process of ascertaining what proportion of this quarantined funding is specific for the enhanced Voluntary Severance Package related to the roll out of NDIS. We will report back to members any further updates around this as we can.