Tuesday, 12 October 2021

CPSU NSW update: Cerebral Palsy Alliance Joint Consultative Committee

Rostering Principles and filling vacant shifts

CPSU NSW Delegates raised the issue of staff access to information about rostering. The Community Living Award that was posted in the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) hub did not include the Rostering Principles. CPA agreed to check the hub and upload the full Award if necessary.

CPSU NSW Delegates asked about training for new House Managers on how to use the Rostering Principles. CPA Management stated House Managers receive 1:1 tuition with payroll and reach out to their Manager with questions.

There was clarification that Careforce manage casuals, not external agency staff. Therefore casual staff provided by Careforce are rostered in line with the Rostering Principles as the principles apply to casual staff.

Agencies deal with Careforce rather than each House Manager. Agency staff can’t work at CPA without the minimum required qualifications and experience. By 2022 CPA should have a finite number of agencies it they will deal with and will have service agreements to ensure the quality of service is maintained. If an agency does not meet the terms of the service agreement, there are penalties. The level of agency staff being used has greatly reduced since last year.

Roster Coordinator pilot

In the next few weeks CPA will implement a roster pilot project. Working off the success of Careforce, a Careforce Alliance team of two staff will be working on the rostering across three Group Homes. The Roster Coordinators in Careforce know the Rostering Principles, making sure that part-time staff who want more hours get them and reducing overtime. They will also make sure that casuals get the hours they are looking for, thereby reducing external agency staff usage. This will roll out in the Metro area, then Central Coast, then the Hunter area. The aim is to reduce overtime and external agency use. This will increase retention of staff. Part-time staff and casual will be given extra hours.

The pilot will run for two months: two full cycles for transferred Group Homes. The pilot won’t be rushed and will identify how many people in Careforce are needed to run it.  The House Manager will still do the roster with the residual shifts that need to be filled going to Careforce.

There will be a discrete number of Group Homes with each Roster Coordinator, not the whole region.

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the 12 LGAs of concern and Service Arrangement

At the time there were 160 staff from the 12 LGAs of concern.  Ninelty-two per cent of 500 clients are double vaccinated. No cases of COVID-19 are in any Group Homes.  There was a “close contact” in one Group Home and the rapid response plan went into place immediately. Staff who were doubled-vaccinated picked up the extra work.

Late night visits to group homes

CPSU Delegates raised the issue of House Managers visiting Group Homes in the early hours of the morning or late at night. Members have raised concerns about being made afraid late at night if someone is entering the premises. Also, that clients may also become fearful, causing incidents.

If it is an issue of work not being completed, then a list of night shift duties is being compiled to ensure staff know what duties need to be done. The House Manager can then look at what can be done on nightshift; given that each house has different needs. This would assist with expectations for new staff who may not know what is expected on night shift. CPA stated that night visits only occur when there are issues around shift duties not being completed and staff raise the issue with the House Manager. CPA reiterated that it is a 24-hour operation and that if the House Manager has received complaints then they should act on it.

CPA also stated that in cases where sleeping on nightshift is reported this causes serious issues with client safety.

Other business

Casual conversion Careforce is emailing all casuals that fit the criteria. Careforce has accounted for COVID-19 conditions. Between 40 to 50 casuals will receive an email and information sheet about the benefits of both permanent and casual employment. If a casual is interested they go from Careforce to the talent team for recruitment. CPA is working through eligible casuals 10 at a time in the Metro area.

CPA has 9-10% casuals in the workforce. Of the Alliance’s 20 members, CPA has the lowest percentage of casuals.

CPSU NSW Delegates asked if part-time staff could increase their contract hours. Part-time staff should speak with the House Manager first. If the House Manager can’t accommodate the increase then contact talent acquisition. It may be that extra hours can be split over two houses. During the pilot would be a good time to do this.

In other news, CPSU NSW Delegates raised that the staff need to know about CPA policies.  Also, the CPSU NSW requested to attend inductions for new staff to explain policies to assist with retention and reduced conflict.

CPSU NSW Delegates asked that if a House Manager couldn’t attend a team meeting would the meeting still go ahead. CPA will go to A&R for advice and report back at the next meeting. It will also consult the Leadership Team about this

Ian Little Organiser 
Sharny Chalmers Industrial Officer

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