Addressing systemic vacancies and ensuring the recognition of workers’ skills are key to keeping jobs in Tasmanian services. This needs to be a focus of the Jobs and Skills Summit, which begins Thursday, 1 September. The summit is a chance for unions, governments, business, and the non-government sector to address issues like secure employment and skills shortages.
Across our services we are facing a skills shortage. In vital occupations like Speech Pathologists, IT, Program Management and Child Safety Officers there is a recruitment and retention crisis. Rolling fixed term contracts coupled with uncompetitive pay and conditions are driving the shortage.
In turn Tasmanians suffer because without workers we are unable to meet demand for services or undertake the necessary work to improve the efficiency of the public sector.
Other states and Non-Government Organisations can offer permanent jobs with better pay and perks.
An Allied Health Professional can earn more working for the NDIS and a Child Safety Officer can start on more money; have access to salary packaging and get a car if working for a not-for-profit funded by government. The disparity is glaring.
Competitive pay and incentives are needed to both keep the current workforce in our state, as well as attract new starters in key professions.
CPSU General Secretary Thirza White:
“Across agencies and occupations we need to end the use of insecure fixed term contracts and provide better career development opportunities and improve pay and conditions, if we want to retain workers Tasmanians need in our state.”
“We need to rebuild the Tasmanian Government as an employer of choice that offers well paid, secure jobs, with the opportunity for a career for life and flexible working. It is these conditions that will attract and retain workers”
Our Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement Claim from members contains the solutions to do this.”
CPSU Members have solutions
Of national concern is the dire number of vacancies within Child Protection across the country. CPSU has been advocating nationally and we’ve asked Premier Rockliff to use the Jobs and Skills Summit as an opportunity to act on the recruitment and retention crisis in the Child Safety Service in the following ways:
- Funding of HECS-free University courses in Child Protection related disciplines
- To extend charity tax status to State Government Child Protection services to enable those Agencies to offer competitive wages with the NGO sector
- The provision of Commonwealth income subsidies to support Child Protection staff working in regions with a proven inability to recruit and retain trained staff
- Support with mental health programs for Child Protection staff including ongoing mental health professional supervision with psychologist of choice through Medicare funded mental health plans
These are strategies that should be considered for other Allied Health Professional and occupational groups facing fierce competition.
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Find out more about our Claim at www.cpsu.com.au/psuwa/