Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
HAMILTON disability carers at Mulleraterong residential centres were not involved in a three-hour stoppage called across the south-west by the Health and Community Services Union yesterday.
Co-ordinator for the centres, Marie Flynn, said yesterday that there was no stoppage of staff in Hamilton from the Mulleraterong residential centres.
According to the HACSU state secretary, Lloyd Williams, almost 200 carers were due to stop work for three hours in more than 80 residential units throughout western Victoria.
Among those he listed as involved were Geelong, Colac, Warrnanmbool, Portland, Hamilton, Ballarat, Stawell, Horsham and Ararat. During the stoppage residents were expected to be looked after by volunteers and management.
Mr Williams said carers across the state were seeking a new enterprise agreement with the State Government.
He said unions members were seeking resources for client programs, guaranteed training, measures to ensure safety of residents and staff, and recruitment and retention strategies.
He said the state needed to recruit around 800 new carers each year to replace those who left the service.
Mr Williams claimed staff left because of excessive workloads, lack of resources to provide programs for clients, lack of career opportunities and an increasingly unqualified and untrained workforce.
Failure to reach a resolution would see rolling stoppages continue, he said.
A spokesperson for Community Services Minister, Christine Campbell, said the government had made an offer and was urging the union and workers to consider it.
“We are certainly looking to continue negotiations,” he said.