Disability services: NDIS update

Posted on August 18, 2016

North Queensland members were recently provided with the department’s proposed interim structure for consultation. The proposed interim structures outlined what areas like Procurement & Funding Management, and Regional Office, will look like after the region has initially transitioned to the NDIS. Delegates have raised with the department members concerns about the proposed interim structure for North Queensland, looking at the sustainability of the model and how equitable the work will be for those who continue working in these structures. Of course there are still many questions about the process of getting to the proposed structure from the existing structure, and how this will be done in a fair and transparent way to ensure that staff have as many opportunities available to them as possible.

On Friday afternoon, some members from Townsville met with Minister O’Rourke to speak to her about the concerns of members in the earlier roll-out areas. Particularly, concerns around the available information regarding deployment for staff to other state government departments, and ensuring that clients don’t fall through the cracks during the implementation and will still continue to receive services through the transition. The Minister was happy to hear directly from Together members and will be following up on some of the issues raised by Townsville members.

The recent survey of Together members found that a significant majority of members want to continue working for the state government and so would be seeking redeployment. If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to fill in the survey, you can still do so online here.

While the department’s internal ‘early intervention’ placement process has seen some positions already secured for NDIS-affected staff, it’s clear that the remaining Department of Communities, Child Safety & Disability Services won’t be big enough to absorb all of the staff that will be displaced by the NDIS transition.

From last week’s organisational change meeting, we understand that the discussions with other departments and Hospital & Health Services about proactively employing staff from NDIS-affected areas have been “positive”. We are waiting on further information from the department about what this process will look like, and will keep delegates and members informed once there is more to report back on.

Most regions will now have had the initial survey for affected staff roll out, with some regions also having commenced the 1:1 interview process to discuss with individual staff what they think they want to do as the implementation progresses. Some members, especially in NQ and SW regions, have noted that this discussion has been difficult at this stage as there are still a number of unknowns in relation to the placement process.

Delegates and activists have been putting in a lot of effort to make sure that members are consulted and informed as the NDIS—change on a scale we haven’t seen before—progresses. We are always looking for more activists and delegates to ensure that members are well-represented. Are you interested in becoming a delegate or more active in your union? Contact us on communities@together.org.au if so!

As we are already seeing, in each region and in each service centre, DS staff are in different circumstances and sometimes require assistance on an individual level when it comes down to what their options are and, in some cases, need someone to advocate on their behalf. As members, you already have access to this support. If your co-workers are concerned about what the NDIS implementation might mean for them, they need to stand with you as a union member and join Together today.

Did you know that, if you’re temporary, the department has to review your position after two years in the same or similar position? If you are a long-term temporary staff member and are concerned that this has not happened for you, speak to your local manager or contact your union office on 1800 177 244.

1800 177 244