Recently we wrote to management about some concerns we’ve heard around the purpose of the new security cameras being installed on the Spreyton premises.
We told management that workers had heard that there were 10 security cameras with voice recorders about to be installed at the Spreyton units – and whilst workers aren’t averse to extra security measures for themselves and for the participants, there have been some concerns that the cameras are in fact being used to “spy” on workers and listen in on conversations without their consent or knowledge.
We told management that HACSU would have major concerns if the cameras were in fact being used as a substitute for adequate supervision or to the ends of trying to catch someone out for disciplinary purposes.
Devonfield have written back to us and said:
“It was never and is not our intention to ‘spy’ on employees or to ‘catch someone out’ for disciplinary purposes. The cameras have been implemented to ensure adequate security and ongoing safety for our participants, employees, and property. These cameras are installed as a preventative measure against theft, break ins and other concerns from our participants and employees. Unfortunately, theft of participant belongings (bikes, lawnmowers etc) is a common occurrence in our area, and leaves the participant out of pocket.”
Management told us that security cameras have been installed at Devonfield’s Perth properties for some time with no concerns from the employees that work there, and that management have plans to roll out this level of security to the majority of Devonfield’s occupied group homes and units.
They also said this:
“I can also confirm that these cameras do not record audio, and are only installed on the exterior of the property. The cameras can only be accessed by Devonfield’s IT Manager (of which we have a current vacancy) and the CEO. Footage recorded by the cameras is not ‘monitored’ and is only accessed when required in the event of an incident (theft, injury, damage etc).
In the time that I have been employed at Devonfield (10 months), the security cameras have only been accessed once – this was a request from the Police Department for an investigation into a significant amount of participant funds being stolen from a home and we needed to verify entry and exit of individuals, both employees and visitors, to the property.”
Whilst HACSU supports security measures being put into place to protect workers, we do not support cameras being used as a replacement for adequate supervision or to “keep an eye” on workers’ day to day interactions with participants and fellow co-workers.
If you have any more concerns about the use of cameras at work, please feel free to give HACSUassist a call to discuss those issues further.