WHEN: TODAY Thursday 17 June at midday
WHERE: Back of 101 Henley Beach Rd, Mile End SA 5031
For logistics and location questions please call Tony Boyle – 0439 933 903
WHO: Disability support workers, United Workers Union leaders.
More than 1200 disability support workers employed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) will launch industrial action across South Australia today in their fight against the Marshall Liberal Government’s privatisation agenda.
These workers join fellow “health hero” hospital workers who continue to take action in eight hospitals across the state.
The actions by disability support workers, which have been carefully designed not to impact support for people living with a disability, include not filling out vehicle logbooks, wearing campaign material at work and handing out campaign materials to visitors and family members.
Further, disability support workers will end practices that has seen their goodwill exploited by the Government by ensuring that they only perform their work duties when they are being paid to do so.
United Workers Union Public Sector Director Demi Pnevmatikos said the workers had been on the frontline supporting South Australia’s most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic and deserve to be treated with respect.
“Today’s escalation of industrial action follows in the footsteps of our health heroes who began work bans in April and are also having their conditions attacked by the Marshall Liberal Government,” Ms Pnevmatikos said.
“The workers want guaranteed job security to ensure they can continue to deliver quality support for people living with disabilities in our community.
“Disability workers in South Australia have first-hand experience of the Marshall Liberal Government’s privatisation agenda.
“Less than three years ago the Marshall Liberal Government tried to privatise disability support work in South Australia.
“This is in addition to recent statements by Liberal Treasurer Rob Lucas that he’s keeping his options open to privatise parts of the state’s health services, with ensuing cuts to jobs and services.”
Quote attributable to DHS disability support officer Jefferson Njuthi:
“During the uncertainty of COVID-19 we continued to provide support to South Australians with disabilities, in a job where we can’t socially distance, and in return the Government won’t rule out privatisation of services.”
In 2020, in light of the crisis the public health system was potentially facing, workers volunteered to roll over their agreement, maintaining the status quo to keep the community safe and ensure a consistency of service.
The Marshall Liberal Government discounted this act of good faith, instead seeking the removal of job security and the removal of redundancy, redeployment, and retraining provisions.
Workers are fighting to retain their current conditions and receive a modest and fair pay increase so they can return to delivering quality support for patients and people living with a disability.
Workers continue to take action across eight hospital sites across South Australia:
Flinders Medical Centre
Glenside Health Services
Repatriation General Hospital
Lyell McEwin Hospital
Port Lincoln Hospital
Strathalbyn Hospital and Aged Care
Read more about that action here.