HSU National today welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s NDIS policy announcement which will start to repair the damage done by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government through their mismanagement and policy chaos.

Branches of the Health Services Union proudly represent workers in the disability sector.

“We have been campaigning to put people at the centre of the NDIS, and Labor has delivered for NDIS participants, their carers, and workers in this policy announcement” said Lloyd Williams, HSU National Secretary.

“NDIS prices must cover the full cost of service delivery including paying disability workers a decent wage and provide secure jobs,” said Mr Williams.

“To consider ourselves a fair country, we must pay fairly those workers who care for and enable some our most vulnerable Australians. Today’s announcement shows that Labor understands this”

Fair pay and secure jobs will help to recruit and retain quality workers, particularly when as many as 90,000 extra NDIS workers will be needed over the next five years.

There are huge problems with the way disability workers are employed. Many workers in the sector are not rostered on for the time required to visit and meet the needs of their clients, instead they are rostered to attend clients in individual time blocks; they then ‘cease work’ and travel – without pay – to their next individual client for a new and separate short shift. These arrangements are unsustainable to meet the NDIS’ future workforce needs.

Some of the biggest frustrations levelled at the NDIS are being addressed by Labor’s policy. Removing the NDIA staffing cap will better ensure that NDIS plans are fit-for-purpose and can adapt to changing health and personal situations in a timely way.

Labor’s commitment for additional funding for advocacy services to assist people navigate the scheme is sorely needed. This critical work should be funded through the NDIS.

“HSU members look forward to working with an elected Labor Government to assist in developing a much needed workforce plan so we can look to the future and deliver the NDIS we all envisaged,” said Mr Williams.

ENDS

Notes: HSU branches are campaigning to put the heart back in the NDIS, read more about the campaign here – https://hsu.net.au/campaign/support-disability-support-workers/

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