Disability Workers Protest NDIS Privatisation
14 December 2015 at 11:04 am
Disability Workers in Victoria will rally against the State Government’s plans to potentially privatise the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) said that up to 6,000 workers disability support workers had been “betrayed” by the Andrews Government.
“The Victorian Government recently announced its decision to test the capacity and appetite of the non-government sector with the intention of contracting out the public disability sector,” a HACSU spokesperson said.
“HACSU was not consulted or notified about this decision: an extremely disappointing act by a Labor Government. And we are seriously concerned by this announcement.”
The union said Victoria was at a critical stage in the history of disability services, “with the CSO (community services organisations) sector providers raising concerns about the capacity of the sector to take over government run services, concerns about the inadequacy of the ‘unit price’, disability workers in New South Wales going on strike in opposition to the NSW Government’s announcement to privatise their disability services”.
“With such a fundamental change to the way people receive funding, it is imperative to ensure the move to the NDIS is done correctly. HACSU is concerned that in the current context it won’t be,” the union said.
“We need to send a really clear message to the Andrews Government that HACSU does not support this decision and will not stand by quietly whilst government services are privatised. We hold the view that responsibility for the provision of disability services to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people lies with the Government.”
Earlier this month Minister for Disability, Martin Foley, asked Not for Profit and private providers about their interest and readiness to deliver NDIS services to people with disability.
Foley said this was an important step toward delivering choice and control to people with a disability.
He said, under the NDIS, people with disabilities will themselves be able to decide how their funding is spent for the first time.
“We are doing this to help ensure that when the NDIS comes to each new area, people with disabilities can expect that the range of services they need to live full and active lives will be ready,” Foley said.
“The Government is committed to ensuring staff are supported and treated fairly through this significant change. We also recognise the high level of care by current providers and will work with them to get the right organisations delivering the services people want and need.”