Home Media Resources Union Calls for Negotiation - August 12, 2003
Union Calls for Negotiation - August 12, 2003
The Union representing Carers and Support staff at Kew Cottages in Melbourne is calling on the Government and Kew Cottages Parentís Association to resolve their differences and to work together for the betterment of residents, their families and staff.
Victorian State Secretary of the Health and Community Services Union Lloyd Williams said "the debate seems to have shifted from providing optimum support and care for the residents to arguing about ideological positions on housing options and land use".
Mr Williams said "HACSU concluded an agreement with the government two years ago on the Kew redevelopment on issues such as resourcing, rosters, redeployment and training".
"Our members have worked cooperatively and compassionately through the sometimes difficult processes of change, particularly when that change involves residents moving from all that they have known to a new home, new surroundings, and a new social and community environment", Mr Williams added.
"Already more than 50 residents have moved to alternative community housing options and on all accounts are very happy", Mr Williams said.
"The union understands that this is an emotive issue; we are dealing with people's lives and we know that parents and other family members are going to hold very strong and passionate views.
"However, we must take the ideology out of this debate, otherwise we risk losing the objectives of the redevelopment, of which no one disagrees with.
"To be truly focused the union believes that there must be a range of community housing and service options to meet the diverse and personal needs of the residents.
"The Union believes that this can be achieved through a mix of low, medium and high density community housing options."
According to Mr Williams "the current Community Housing model of a five bed CRU does not necessarily meet the needs of all residents, particularly those with more
"A truly diverse approach to the debate will deliver outcomes for all residents and address the concerns of families and at the same time deliver on the commitments made by the government when it announced the Kew redevelopment", Mr Williams said.
According to Mr Williams, "the debate has gained the momentum of a runaway train. It is fast becoming the vehicle for everyone to pursue their own agenda".
"That is damaging and should stop. At the end of the day it only serves to distract us from delivering the best outcomes for the residents, and that can only be achieved by good will and cooperation by everyone", Mr Williams added.
"That is why HACSU is calling on the Government and the Kew Parents to stop their dueling. The Minister should open her door and invite detailed and rigorous debate with the Kew Parents who, in turn, should participate in a true spirit of cooperation."
Mr Williams says "The current debate shows it is now time for the Government and Kew Parents to sit down and map out a plan that responds to issues around:
everything you and I take for granted."
As a party intimately involved in the redevelopment, HACSU has advised the Parents Association of its willingness to assist.
Contact: Lloyd Williams, State Secretary, 03 9347 2100, mobile 0418 542 799.
12 August 2003
Health Services Union
Ph: 03 93413328