We're making a stand for critical community services!

Posted April 11, 2013 by Alex Scott

Congratulations to all those who have already made a stand for Disability Services during our week of action, this week! Many have taken part in activities across the state to spread the word about protecting Disability Services. Thousands of homes have been letterboxed and hundreds more petition signatures are being collected.

Special mention must go to our delegates and members in Ipswich Disability Services, including AS&RS members, who came together for a rally on Tuesday to make their voices heard. We've put together a short video capturing their rally here

A week of action highlighting our concerns that the Government is considering privatisation in Child Safety will be held during the week of April 22-26. More information will be available soon.

So what's new? We are anticipating announcements in relation to any final decision to privatise vital community services such as Disability Services (and particularly AS&RS) and elements of Child Safety to be made in the next week or so, after Cabinet meets. Until then, we still have an opportunity to spread the word about privatisation before a final decision is made. This government has its eyes fixed firmly on money not people - make no mistake their intention to privatise vital community supports like Disability Services, Child Safety, Housing, Health and Education is aimed at obtaining the cheapest services for Queenslanders. That's not good enough. These critical community services should not be run for profit and when they assist some of the most vulnerable in our community, the government has an extra responsibility to ensure there is a strong safety net of support in place.

Queenslanders are seeing through the government's spin - we have had thousands of community members joining the Working for Queenslanders campaign and your actions so far through the Disability Services week of action have helped raise awareness about the threat of privatisation. The support of the community will be invaluable in this campaign, and we have it.

You may have received a communication from your Director-General this week stating no final decision has been made in relation to privatisation of parts of Disability Services and suggesting industrial organisations, such as our union, are unnecessarily distressing clients and families. This statement is misleading and unfair. Members have advised our union office time and time again over recent months that in some areas they are receiving a very different message. In some cases we understand that AS&RS staff have been told that while there is no final decision as yet, there is clearly an intention from the government to announce their plan to privatise components of Disability Services, in conjunction with Cabinet consideration of the Costello Commission of Audit report. Let's also not forget that it was the Premier himself who greatly distressed not only staff but clients and their families last year when he made negative comments about AS&RS in the media.

The Director-General's communication shows that the Department is listening - now is the time that we need to make sure our message is understood, loud and clear. So keep speaking out about your concerns. Let your colleagues, family and friends know that privatisation hurts the community.

If or when the government makes its privatisation announcements, remember - this isn't the end of our campaign, it's just the beginning. There has never been a more important time to talk to your co-workers about joining and becoming active in their union. Together, we can make a difference.

IMPORTANT: Are you a Consultative Committee representative for Together? If so, read on for some important information here.

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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