Positive Union Meeting with Minister - Churches of Christ Update - Teams Meeting!

Our union met with Minister Crawford on Monday 3 July 2023, to discuss Churches of Christ announcement to transition out of Youth Residential, Supported Independent Living Services and Family Support Services. At the forefront of our discussions was the impact this decision on staff and the young people who you support. 

Our meeting with the Minister proved to be fruitful. We were able to bring to the Ministers attention that it was crucial to identify and prioritize the voice of workers during the transition process. We can report back to members that the Minister agrees that employees with their union need to be front and centre of this transition and that their insights, concerns, and suggestions should be considered to ensure a smooth transition and retention of employment. Doing so provides the best chance of continuity of care for the young people you support which is vital to limit disruption and concern for them.

To ensure the voice of the workers is heard, we recommended implementing a few key strategies that we have also raised directly with your employer:

1. Open Communication Channels at work: Establish an open-door policy or create designated channels and face to face opportunities for employees and their union to voice their opinions and concerns. Encourage employees and their union to share their thoughts/opinions, to genuinely consider and be responsive to their feedback. This will help foster transparency and create a sense of inclusion among the workforces.

2. Transmission of business: Primarily that the transition out of Youth Residential, Supported Independent Living Services and Family Support Services at Churches of Christ occurs via a transmission of business i.e., the service contracts along with the young people and staff move to another provider. This would ensure continuity of care, a smooth transition and retention of employment, as well as accrued entitlements. This would require the establishment of a representative process with the Department and providers as well as our union to ensure all stakeholders perspectives are considered in decision-making processes.

3. Equitable pay and working conditions for transitioning staff: Consideration of existing conditions and pay, or better, will need to be a key factor to ensure employees are not negatively impacted by the transition. 

Our union will meet with the Minster again on Thursday 13 July 2023. We will have one of your Delegates attend this meeting. 

We will also during this time continue to have dialogue with the Department and Churches of Christ to ensure members are represented.

Most importantly we are keeping in contact with you and are holding meetings in TEAMS on the following days and time to provide you with options so you can attend. If you are on shift you are able to attend as these meetings have been approved by Churches of Christ and were pre-empted in their communication to staff last Friday. The same information will be provided so join the meeting that best suits you!

Wednesday 12 July:        10.30 am – 11:30am  

Thursday 13 July:              1.30pm – 2:30pm  

Friday 14 July:                    1.30pm – 2:30pm  

These are intended to be half hour meetings but an hour has been approved.

Moving forward, we encourage everyone to continue spreading the word about the union and its benefits. Remember, the more members we have, the stronger our voice becomes. If your colleagues haven’t yet joined bring them to one of these meetings. Those impacted by this issue who join before the 30 July 2023, will have our initial servicing period (ISP) waived, after this date our ISP policy applies.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please complete our form by clicking here or contact Stuart Maggs on 0439 713 803 or email [email protected]. Your input is invaluable as we strive to create a better work environment for all our members.

By your side, 
The Services Union

Above: The Services Union meeting with Churches of Christ members to provide an update.