Community & disability services newsletter

Posted on
January 10, 2022
Social Community and Disability Sector

Disability Workers Week

We know that disability workers are often overlooked compared to other healthcare workers, and this has been more obvious during the pandemic.

That’s why we celebrate Disability Workers Week every year, and we hope this year’s Disability Workers Week has done a small part to recognise the essential work you do to support people with a disability in our community.

The week kicked off on the Sunday with a BBQ at Burnie Park. It was well attended, and we had the $150 prize go off to veteran disability worker Dennis Thompson. Dennis works at NWSS and is well known along the coast.

We also popped into see other workers along the coast. It was lovely to be able to put faces to names that we’ve spoken to on the phone but never actually met in person.

Then we had BBQ sat the Devonport Bluff and the Hoo Hoo Haven Park in Launceston on Monday and Tuesday. There were great turnouts at both events from disability workers and participants who were keen to celebrate the week and recognise the work you do.

Tuesday was also the day the first prize of $600 went off. The winner was Kerrie Lake from St Michaels.

From Wednesday, we headed down south and visited many group homes and day support centres.

Clare McDermott, who works at Parkside Day Service, won the second prize of $300 on Friday.

Events wrapped up for the week with a BBQ at Benjafield Park in Moonah on Saturday, where we had a really enjoyable afternoon with many workers and their clients.

Finally, HACSU State Secretary Tim Jacobson drew out the $300 second chance draw winner on 17December. The prize went to Cheryl Gentile who works at Oak Possibly and has been a HACSU member for 17 years.

It was a great week, and we’re looking forward to an even bigger Disability Workers Week in2022.


What you get paid for working this Christmas

As you’re aware, Christmas falls on a Saturday this year and Boxing Day falls on Sunday, which means the holiday break for these two days will fall on Monday 27 December and Tuesday 28 December.

If you’re covered by SCHADS Award, here’s what you get paid for working those days:

•  Saturday 25 December (Christmas Day) – double time and a half (public holiday rate)

•  Sunday 26 December (Boxing Day) – double time(normal Sunday rate)

•  Monday 27 December – double time and a half(public holiday rate)

•  Tuesday 28 December – double time and a half(public holiday rate)

If this does not look like what management have told you, or if you have more questions about what you should be paid, please give HACSUassist a call to chat about it.


Pay rates and levels

Staff at a disability service along the north west recently raised some concerns about inconsistencies in workers’ pay rates and levels:

•  It seems that some workers who have been with the organisation for some time are on a lower pay rate/level than other workers who have just entered the workforce

•  Some staff have gained better qualifications as encouraged by their employer, but it appears this doesn’t make any difference to what they are paid

•  Some workers are asked to perform higher duties similar to what Team Leaders do, but their pay rates are not adjusted accordingly

After we wrote t the CEO about the above issues, the CEO said they’ll review the current classifications and start dates against each employee’s role and qualifications.

If you believe that you are being paid incorrectly, or have been placed on an incorrect level, or have done specific training that may impact your pay rates, please get in touch with HACSUassist and provide us with the relevant information, so we can look into that for you.


Knowing your rights can make a difference

With Christmas fast approaching and everyone being flat out, there’s always the risk of making mistakes at work or having an accusation filed against you.

If you’re called to a meeting with management, you have the right to:

•  Ask what the meeting is about and what will be discussed

•  Have another person such as your union delegate, worksite committee member or colleague to support you, or a HACSU organiser to represent you at the meeting

•  Receive the details of any written complaint concerning you before the meeting

•  Change a meeting time or date so someone can attend the meeting with you

•  Make notes and ask questions during the meeting

•  Request a copy of meeting notes

•  Take a reasonable time to give your response after the meeting

•  Take away any documents you’re asked to sign and seek advice from HACSU

Even an informal chat or an off-the-record conversation with management can result in action against you, so be very careful about what you say and to whom. If in doubt, call us immediately.

Now is the time to encourage your colleagues to join the union! A strongly unionised workplace offers the best protection for workers and gives you more of a voice on your working conditions.

HACSU membership also includes free Professional Indemnity Malpractice Insurance along with a whole host of other member benefits. If you need more information, please give us a call on

1300 880 032.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Social Community and Disability Sector