Update for CSYW members
Thank you to all of those who were able to attend our online meeting last week. It was great to see and hear from so many members across the state, connecting at a time where there is so much external pressure being put on the Department and its most valuable resource – you, the workers.
Members expressed frustration about the fact that, while everyone seems to have an opinion on what you do, very few people actually know what the work of Child Safety is, and how difficult it is for you to do your job. While the government may want to say that Child Safety in 2020 is very different from a couple of years ago, members are still battling through the same challenges of being overworked and under-resourced on so many levels.
Calls for further investigations or re-litigating other processes just won't cut it. Child Safety workers won't be scapegoated for systemic failures. You know what needs to be fixed in the child protection system, and it’s time that your experience and commitment to keeping children safe is recognised.
We will be in touch with members shortly to talk about the next steps in ensuring that your voice – the voice of committed employees who face difficult decisions, a lack of resources and other constraints each and every day – is heard in this debate.
If you have co-workers who want to contribute to telling the story of Child Safety workers but aren’t yet members of their union, they can join here.
Agency Consultative Committee report back
Last week, your delegates and organisers met with Executive Leadership at the Agency Consultative Committee (ACC), and we want to provide an update on outcomes of that meeting.
Regarding COVID-19 arrangements, the department has confirmed that more staff are returning to the workplace and recommencing face to face contacts for children in care. We were reassured that staff who are vulnerable (according to the Queensland Health Direction) should remain working from home. If you are considered vulnerable, let us know immediately if your manager or senior team leader is pressuring you to return to the workplace. As the COVID-19 risk remains, please let us know if your workplace is not providing the safest conditions.
The department confirms, whilst there has been no central directive regarding finalisation of temporary contracts or the recalling of those who are seconded, regions may have made these decisions in anticipation of possible upcoming budgetary constraints. Furthermore Arthur O'Brien (DDG) confirmed there is still monies available with the central and regional budgets, to maintain backfilling of those on parental leave.
In relation to Child Related Costs, Arthur O'Brien confirmed that any child with a legitimate entitlement, should receive approval for the CRC. Tracey Ryan (RED SE) confirmed that CSOs may be asked to source low or no cost measures, such as mental health referrals from GPs and free services from other community agencies.
Let us know if you have any questions.
This week, Steering Committee delegates met to discuss and consider what last week's legislative changes could mean for your EB. We will have a further update for members very soon!