Axe falls on 30 respite care co-ordinator jobs across northern Tasmania

May 20, 2016

A union has warned job losses at an aged and disability care organisation in Tasmania's north will have an impact on services for carers and clients.

The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) said it had been advised 30 jobs were being axed at private provider Integrated Living.

The workers provide rostering, respite care co-ordination and customer service in Launceston, Scottsdale, St Helens and Fingal.

Their duties will now be performed from a call centre in New South Wales, while four new positions will be created in Launceston.

HACSU's Joanne McEvoy said local families and respite carers would now find it more difficult to access services.

"When you're ringing a national call centre it's not always immediate response," she said.

"There's the local knowledge that will be lost, which will have an impact on the direct care workers who actually go to the homes.

"They'll now have to be relying on a call centre to be able to respond to, especially in the rural areas, to local concerns."

She said the workers were shocked when told last week they would be made redundant.

Single contact point more efficient: CEO

Integrated Living CEO Catherine Daley said creating a single contact point for client enquiries would make it quicker and easier for people to access services.

"Seniors and their families are at the heart of everything we do, and this new model is about delivering the best support and services for them into the future," she said.

"Seniors want to remain in their homes and we are there to support them to do that.

"This means providing the services seniors want, and this means adding more complex health-based assistance in addition to the simple home and personal help we have offered in the past."

Ms Daley said the restructure was in response to aged care funding changes which increased competition between service providers and the need for more complex in-home services.

She rejected the union's claim that Integrated Living had not properly consulted staff, and said they would be offered redeployment to the four new positions or industry standard redundancy packages.

The union wants state and federal politicians to push to keep the jobs in Tasmania.

"The centre that is already here is more than capable of being set up to do that," Ms McEvoy said.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said he would support such a move because any loss of jobs in the city was disappointing.

"It's never nice to hear of people losing jobs," he said.

Bass Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic said he was seeking further information about the situation.

 

Read more at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-20/axe-falls-on-respite-care-co-ordinator-jobs-in-northern-tasmania/7432762

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