Monday, 22 April 2024

Already exploited workers are forced to work harder for even less pay

Update on Life Without Barriers Central Coast Restructure

Life Without Barriers (LWB) are reducing paid hours for members on the Central Coast. There will be no full-time disability support worker roles on the Central Coast. This is a huge loss for the most vulnerable citizens of NSW who rely on the care provided by members.

By introducing poorly paid sleepovers, LWB have increased the hours that members are required to be at work while reducing their pay.

The CPSU NSW believes this is an unacceptable situation for members. Many hardworking and passionate members will have to leave LWB and find new jobs.

Your union has been advocating on your behalf to change this situation as part of the SCHaDS Award review in the Fair Work Commission. In particular, the CPSU NSW have sought to have enhanced sleepover provisions included in the award.

Your union is fundamentally opposed to sleepover shifts. However, if the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) refuses to fund participants for active night shifts, the CPSU NSW believes that modification to the SCHaDS Award should include improved payment for sleepovers and disturbance allowances.

Members also have significant Work Health and Safety concerns around the Central Coast restructure. The CPSU NSW has requested the risk assessments for each affected house pursuant to LWB’s work health and safety obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act NSW (2011) (NSW) (WHS Act).

LWB have refused to share their risk assessments citing client confidentiality. However, client names can be easily removed from the assessments.  LWB’s response to the CPSU NSW’s request is in breach of the employer’s primary duty of care under section 19 of the WHS Act. Many questions regarding safety are still unanswered, indicating LWB cannot provide a safe system of work for members.

The CPSU NSW will be following up in regard to these safety issues with a view to contacting Safework NSW.

Further updates to the CPSU’s intervention into the ScHaDs Award will also be sent to members as they arise.