United Workers Union, the union for disability services workers, welcomes the Disability Royal Commission commencing community forums in South Australia this week.
Australia’s disability services workers provide essential services to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. United Workers Union urges the Royal Commission to make the voices of workers in the sector an integral part of the Royal Commission.
United Workers Union members will be participating in the forums to ensure that the voices of disability care workers are heard. At the same time the Royal Commission is underway, the Federal Government cannot neglect this sector, action is needed now ensure that inadequate and restrictive NDIS pricing stops hampering the provision of quality services and decent jobs in Australia’s disability services.
Jennifer Connor, United Workers Union disability support member says, “Disability workers around Australia must be given a voice in the Royal Commission proceedings. Listening to frontline workers is a crucial way for the Royal Commission to hear about the real issues that workers in the sector are facing.
“We want to tell the Royal Commission that the prices set by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are affecting disability support workers. Prices do not recognise the time needed to deliver quality services to NDIS participants. Multiple, short shifts with unpaid time between them results in long working hours for disability support workers. Workers have inadequate time to build relationships with participants, follow up on participants’ needs, co-ordinate and communicate with supervisors and other workers, and complete paperwork. This all results in lower quality support.
“The Disability Royal Commission is the opportunity to look for solutions to the issues confronting the sector with huge workloads and excessive demands placed on workers. Skilled workers are key to making the NDIS a success and to ensure the services provided to Australians with a disability are world-leading. We must have systems that ensure that people living with disabilities in our community and the workers that support them are treated with respect and dignity. Workers will be participating in this week’s South Australian hearings because people need to start listening to us.”
United Workers Union members will be available for interview at today’s community Royal Commission forum in Adelaide. Location details here.
About the disability services workforce:
Disability services is a fast growing sector, it is estimated that 90,000 workers will be needed by 2022 to meet demand. The major issues for workers in the sector are:
- Huge workloads impacting quality of care;
- insecure work with unpredictable hours and a high rate of underemployment; and
- low pay.
United Workers Union is the union for disability services workers in residential settings, group homes, and in people’s homes in South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the ACT.