It’s been an incredibly busy two months for HSU members working in the Disability Sector.
COVID has seen Disability workers responding to multiple Public Health Order changes specifically impacting workers in the Disability Sector, dealing with the impact of temporary worksite closures, adapting to roster changes and/or worksite changes, responding to the introduction of mandatory vaccinations in the 12 Sydney LGAs of concern, responding to (multiple) workplace COVID incidents, navigating the requirements of travel registrations and COVID testing regimes, adhering to changing workplace policies and procedures, some of you have been working from home and are now transitioning back to the workplace. All of this is on top of the amazing work you regularly do to support people with disability! Members in the sector deserve a medal for your commitment to the health and safety of your work colleagues and clients/participants, your integrity, and your professionalism. What else is happening?
At Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, HSU Delegates and Organiser submitted request to begin negotiations to elect Health and Safety Representatives.
HSU Delegate at AFFORD informed the HSU that a client in their workplace was notified that they were a COVID close contact, but AFFORD had not sent staff and clients home to test and isolate. The HSU contacted the employer, as a result, staff were sent home to isolate and test. The HSU also ensured that staff were paid after they were notified they would hav e to take Leave Without Pay. The HSU is surveying members regarding AFFORD’s COVID workplace.
HSU members at Sylvanvale raised concern about the introduction of full PPE for frontline workers. The HSU sought feedback from members to identify workplace hazards as a consequence of wearing full PPE to undertake certain tasks. The HSU raised these concerns with the employer who have since changed the PPE policy to mitigate some of the hazards staff identified. The HSU will consult with members further on this matter to ensure all WHS concerns regarding wearing full PPE are addressed.
CRAM, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and Greystanes have notified the HSU they are introducing mandatory vaccinations for staff. The HSU is currently consulting members in those workplaces and will raise member concerns with their employer. HSU members at Northcott notified the HSU that they were being asked to sign forms to agree to reducing their break between shifts from 10 hours to 8 hours. Some members felt they “had to” sign the forms. HSU raised this with Northcott HR who addressed this with managers and provided the opportunity for staff who had unwillingly signed to revoke the agreement.
Everyday your dedicated HSU Member Services team and Industrial team have been providing representation, support, advice, and information to multiple HSU members in Disability with individual workplace issues from bullying, pay disputes, accessing your entitlements, performance reviews, workers compensation, WHS, rostering issues, unfair dismissals and more.