CPSU and HACSU members who work in the Department of Communities around the state have met over the past week to express their anger at the time and resources that are being wasted abolishing their Department when they are in the middle of a service delivery crisis – one that lurches from bad to worse.
Members have made the point that changing the name of Housing Tasmania to Homes Tasmania won’t do anything to relieve pressure on Tasmania families in urgent need of housing this winter and that should be everyone’s primary focus right now.
The Family Violence Counselling and Support Service need resources and certainty so they can help women and children suffering from a pandemic of family violence, not be distracted by the implications of being swallowed up by the mega-Health Department. They’ve been told they can’t even fill vacancies until the merger is complete.
Staff at Ashley are feeling the pressure of understaffing and a restructure that will see the whole facility close in the next few years and doing this in the context of a Commission of Inquiry. Surely it is logical to focus on supporting the kids in Ashley today and leave structural change to the Commission of Inquiry to make recommendations.
Child Safety has a recruitment crisis with some areas seeing as many as 70% of positions either vacant or with staff absent and the pressure on existing staff is causing many of them to seriously consider leaving. They’re not interested in talking about a change in Department – they want to know what the government intends to do to fill their vacancies and to recognise and reward staff to stay long term.
At each of the meetings around the state members passed a resolution supporting industrial action being taken unless the government sees sense, pauses the structural change and commits genuine resources to fixing the service delivery crisis. Action will commence next week with Child Safety approving a ballot to walk off the job.