Front line staff employed by FSG, a disability service provider that recently went into voluntary administration, have been given until Monday (July 16) to accept an offer from CPL.
Staff were notified by text on Thursday morning that they would be required to have the paperwork into the office by Monday confirming their acceptance of the contract.
According to one staff member who didn’t want to be named, if they accept the contract they would be taking almost a 30 per cent pay cut and going back to an entry level wage after working in the disability sector for 28 years and 20 working with FSG.
They also pointed out that they would no longer be paid under the social community home care and ageing and disability award as recommended under NDIS guidelines.
‘It begs the question about these organisations being in human services themselves let alone taking care of the most vulnerable in society,’ they told Echonetdaily.
‘We are expected to have compassion and respect for people – but it is important to remember that the staff are people too. It doesn’t set a good culture for caring for others.’
Echonetdaily contacted both The Services Union and CPL who have responded saying that while staff are being offered a low rate they have guaranteed that all staff will have a review within six months and if they are moved to a higher pay grade they will receive back pay.
‘It is currently an on boarding system and there will be a review of classification over the next six months and they will be re-classified and receive back pay accordingly,’ said The Services Union executive president Jennifer Thomas, who has been working closely with both the administrators and CPL.
‘CPL have had to work within a really tight timeline set by the voluntary administrators of only two weeks.’
While CPL have apparently now clarified these details with potential staff, staff will still have a wait of up to a six months to gain clarity on their pay rate.
‘CPL has offered employment to over 500 former employees of FSG in the past week,’ said CPL CEO, Rhys Kennedy.
‘The FSG Enterprise Agreement does not apply to CPL. CPL has its own Enterprise Agreement in which employees and disability support workers are paid.
‘We are not aware of any employees who would be taking a 30 per cent pay cut at CPL. For any employees who feel this is the case, we encourage them to get in touch with CPL as soon as possible.’
In the meantime families have been left wondering if key care providers will still be available after Monday as the impact of FSG’s failure hits. While CPL is offering employment to front line workers, questions are still being asked by families about how handovers of care will be conducted if key staff members won’t be rostered on after Monday.
CPL CEO Rhys Kennedy has told Echonetdaily that ‘Families who receive disability supports from CPL are free to choose their support staff at any time. The matching of support staff to customer needs is central to providing great support and CPL are working hard to ensure that FSG customers receive the support they need (and want).
‘In instances where there is a change to support staff, CPL will work hard to find appropriate matches from other staff. This will be communicated to families as it happens. These conversations will happen at an individual level to avoid unnecessary fear, anxiety, distress for people with disabilities and their families.’