The CPSU NSW met with House With No Steps (HWNS) on Monday 21 May 2018 for the Joint Consultative Committee where the following member issues were discussed:
(i) Reduction in Master Roster Hours
As many members would be aware the issue of the reduction in rostered hours arose in the Southern NSW region. The lack of consultation around these changes which could result in work health and safety risks for members, as well as risks to the clients was discussed. The CPSU NSW insisted that these changes are to not occur without proper consultation. HWNS have guaranteed that the proposed changes will not occur until there has been consultation with the staff and the CPSU NSW.
HWNS have agreed to send the CPSU NSW the proposed changes to the rosters in the Group Homes in Southern NSW to which we will then seek feedback from members on these changes.
It is likely that this reduction will be seen elsewhere within the Group Homes that HWNS have coverage of. We ask members to be vigilant, if there are sever reductions in rostered hours without consultation please contact the CPSU on 1300 772 670 or at .
(ii) Community Living Award
There were also concerns raised about the rosters being geared towards the HWNS Enterprise Agreement rather than the transferred state award conditions.
You are all still covered by the transferred Award and rosters should reflect that. On top of that, individual managers have been attempting to implement rosters that meet their own preferences, such as not allowing 10 hour shifts, or not allowing staff to swap shifts unless they are at the same time of day e.g. afternoon and afternoon.
If you have not be allowed to shifts because it does not fit in with the HWNS Enterprise Agreement conditions or managers are implementing shifts which are allowed under your employment conditions members should raise these issues in accordance with the rostering principles. If you have any concerns about raising these issues you can contact your local CPSU NSW delegate or the CPSU NSW on 1300 772 679.
HWNS have advised they have placed recruitment on hold until the rosters are finalised. The CPSU NSW made clear to HWNS that there is a severe lack of staff, in some group homes team leaders have to fill 100s of vacant hours. Which such large vacant hours staff have to do overtime or there are inexperienced casuals coming in which is adding to the pressures.
HWNS reiterated that they are waiting until the SILL reporting is completed and they will know where the vacant hours are. The CPSU NSW encourages members if they are finding themselves doing large amounts of overtime, or are finding that there are inexperience and high rotation of casual staff coming through and this causing workload issues to report this to HWNS management.
There was discussion about the implementation of the software system Riteq. This is to be trialled in the Sydney region initially with the aim for it to be rolled out by July 2018. The system is aimed to help Team Leaders roster with the various employment conditions that apply for rostering.
Members had expressed concern about biometric scanning that was looking to be implemented with this system.
We can advise HWNS will not be implementing biometric scanning in the group homes, it will however be implemented as their other work sites.
Those with privacy concerns these matters were raised, HWNS assured that this was of paramount concern for them as well when deciding which company to use. Members can be assured that the privacy legislation still needs to be adhered to.
The CPSU NSW have put forward the requirement for another Laptop in the Group Homes, particularly with the implementation of Riteq where staff will be required to sign on and off electronically.
HWNS do not believe a second laptop in the group home is required and there has been no evidence from staff that the investment in a second laptop for the time it is required would be beneficial. The CPSU NSW have said that for those not doing the role it can be easy to say it is not required without even speaking with the staff that undertake the role.
The CPSU NSW suggested that HWNS speak with staff about how they use the laptop and how often they are on the laptop and the issues they encounter when using the laptop. HWNS advised that if staff wished to filter such feedback to them they should undertake to do that through their Manager.
The CPSU NSW encourage members if they believe that second laptop would assist them in their role to put to Managers in HWNS the benefits as outlined above.
It was asked by the CPSU NSW that HWNS pay for staff to have the flue and hep B vaccine. The vaccines would not need to be organised by HWNS, but they would reimburse staff if they go to their Dr to get the vaccines and there is a cost.
HWNS committed to looking into whether this would a possibility and they would get back to the CPSU NSW
The CPSU NSW has requested full consultation on the vehicles that HWNS are organising for the individual and specialised disability service.
HWNS have advised they will paid for the cost of the training and attendance at first aid courses for the transferred sites.
HWNS wished to advise that when the NBN is rolled out they will no longer be able to have a landline house phone. They will be providing each group home with a smart phone to replace the landline.
(i) Rate of Pay
As many would know,the 6month period of guaranteed employment for casuals lapsed and there was a recruitment process that these casuals went through to be employed with HWNS. HWNS has put these casuals on a different Agreement with different conditions which results in a lower rate of pay. After representations by the CPSU NSW, HWNS HR had made some commitments to ensure that the casuals who transferred from ADHC would be matched to the highest possible rate of pay. This did not occur in the Southern NSW Region, the casuals were all put on the same rate, which was the lowest.
HWNS admitted that this was not their intention, however they had such a large number of casuals transfer and this was the quickest way to get the paperwork done.
CPSU NSW expressed their disappointment that this had not been met already considering every region except southern NSW had their casual rate of pay matched appropriately .HWNS have made a commitment to review the casuals rate of pay. They have said if staff have been significantly impacted their pay will be backdated.
The CPSU NSW have said we would think this would be everyone who has their pay increased.
HWNS will be asking staff to provide their statement of service from FACS to review what level 2 rate of pay staff can be matched to and encourage members who believe they should be on level 3 rates to apply for that.
(i) Unsuccessful Applicants
The CPSU NSW put forward concerns about the recruitment process that was undertaken for casual staff after the 6 month employment guarantee and the need for some kind of review process for staff who were unsuccessful. Many staff who did not receive roles and little, to no, explanation has been provided.
HWNS have agreed that if CPSU NSW members wish to have the decision for them to no longer remain as casuals with HWNS reviewed that they would review those decisions and provide further feedback. If you are one of these members please contact the CPSU on 1300 772 679 or .
It has come to the attention of the CPSU NSW that there are rumours flying around about what will happen at the end of the two years. There is no current plan from HWNS, but you can be assured that you will not be able to just lose your job if you are a permanent employee nor will you automatically lose your current conditions.
At the end of the two years in order for transferred staff to be placed on a new set of employment conditions an enterprise bargaining process needs to be entered into where your union and your employer, HWNS, will negotiate an agreement which outlines your employment conditions. You will not automatically be placed on any other agreement. What gives the Union power in this process is the number of members we have so it is important going into this process that we have as many members as possible.
Encourage your colleagues to join and remember “united we bargain, divided we beg.”