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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Six month wait for pay rate confirmation: FSG

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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.’

Concerned families

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.’

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  1. As a former employee of FSG I can assure you that the wage losses since transition to CPL are in my case $1,200 a fortnight. not only that but we cannot access salary sacrifice. In a “Meet the Staff” (meeting held in Beenleigh) staff had the opportunity to meet CEO Rhys Kennedy & his senior managers. Rhys got up & promoted the good work CPL were doing & how glad he was to have us on board.
    When it was asked of him when wages would be upgraded to meet the quality & experience of the workers from FSG ( all workers were started at CPL at the lowest rate possible) & whether we could be able to access salary sacrifice he looked bewildered that these things had not already been done. It is nearly 2 months since that meeting & absolutely nothing has been done.
    Many former employees of FSG have now left CPL because of their terrible pay rates & lack of communication with staff & guardians. The houses have been virtually left to fend for themselves with no leadership or guidance from CPL whatsoever. They have been picking up the exactly the same government subsidies & in fact are being paid for sleepovers in some houses & not actually providing this service. They picked up fully trained staff with years of experience & started them on apprentice wages.
    There has been no action taken by the Services Union in regard to these matters which itself is a disgrace. All parties in this should hang their head in shame FSG, CPL, SERVICES UNION & the Queensland Government.


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