Late on Friday afternoon last week, the Government finally gave us another offer for your Child Safety Agreement. It comes after months of negotiations and workers speaking up – and it’s the result of a process that, at times, felt like pulling teeth.
While we need to do some further digging, there are some positives in their newest proposal especially around the addition of a Child Safety Retention Payment.
What they’ve said is that workers covered by the new agreement and classified as AHP levels 1–3 (including AHP Level 3 PUG) will be entitled to two annual flat rate retention payments of $2600 (pro-rata) paid in fortnightly instalments.
The first payment will be paid to existing employees from the pay day after the agreement’s registration and to new workers when they start. The second payment of $2600 will be paid 12 months after this.
There’s also appointment, transition, and personal upgrade provisions specific to CSS and some non-agreement additions like study support and a decent mental health program on offer too.
But what we’re less positive about is how their proposal to have diploma level or technically qualified workers will deliver any real improvement to recruitment and retention – and we still need more details on their plan.
The other big issue we’re worried about is your workload management clause (or lack of one).
We don’t need to tell you how badly we need a maximum caseload cap – and the recent COI recommends this too. Unfortunately, their offer still falls short of giving you any kind of viable workload measure.
What’s for certain is that the Government never would’ve fronted up with another offer if it wasn’t for workers and their union making noise – so congratulations on sticking up for CSS and for the young people you work so hard to support.
We’ll be doing some further analysis of the offer this week, and we’ll keep you updated once we find out more.
You’re all doing the best that you can in an unenviable situation, so please make sure that keep looking out for each other and reach out for support if you need it. HACSUassist are only a phone call or email away on 1300 880 032 or via firstname.lastname@example.org