The ASU is by your side every step of the way - this information is for ASU members and delegates regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID19 Vaccination RollOut: Webinar for Disability Workers
- The latest official Health Advice is available at www.health.gov.au
- Find information about the Vaccine Approval process at www.tga.gov.au
The Federal Government has said that Disability Care workers are Priority 1 (A). The Government haven’t yet defined what they mean by “disability care staff”, we understand it would include support workers in SIL and Group Homes.
The Government is about to release its plan for the disability sector. We will know more then. The current advice is that if a vaccine is approved it is safe for most people and it will make a difference in the fight against COVID19. For personal health advice about any particular condition you have and the interaction with the vaccine you should speak with your GP.
Only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved so far. Pfizer Hubs for Priority 1(a) workers (including disability care workers) are at RPA, Westmead and Liverpool hospitals followed by Hornsby, St George, Nepean, Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga hospitals.
ABC News: Vaccine Rollout in the disability sector
Latest changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker
On September 30th ASU Deputy Secretary held an ASU Member Briefing on the changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus in the same family as the common cold. According to Australia’s Health Department, people with coronavirus may experience fever, flu-like symptoms and shortness of breath.
HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK
COVID-19 is a health and safety risk for employees. Employers have obligations to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees and others.
We have developed this COVID Workplace Checklist for ASU members.
Delegates can also use the Coronavirus Workplace Checklist to ensure the safety of their workplace.
To find out more about the obligations employers have, download our full COVID-19 factsheet for ASU members.
Some older employees, or employees with immune suppression disorders may be at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. In the event of an outbreak in Australia these employees should carefully consider their need to attend work and take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure.
For all the information about your work and Coronavirus, download the ASU COVID-19 Factsheet.
Full and part-time employees who can’t come to work because they are diagnosed with COVID-19 can take paid personal/carer’s leave.
Casual employees and independent contractors do not receive pay when they are not at work including when they are sick.
Employers should therefore consider specific measures to support casual employees and other insecure employees who are impacted by COVID-19 including the provision of paid “special leave”.
JobKeeper wage subsidy
Through ASU Career Launchpad we held a live webinar with ACTU JobKeeper experts Chris Watts and Sunil Kemppi. You can now watch the live webinar on at a time that suits you, on-demand.
ASU Jobs Connect
Jons Connect is a free service for members to find work where there is now high demand.
We are working with employers across the country to help members get work at places where there is now high demand for more workers and where there are positions available.
These jobs are predominantly in community and disability services.
If you would like to access this free service, please complete the online form.
While we can’t guarantee that we will be able to find everyone a job or additional work, we are committed to supporting our members during this time
Frontline NDIS workers
People with Disability and their families cannot be left alone to fight COVID-19. The Australian Services Union, National Disability Services, Health Services Union and the United Workers Union have developed a joint statement on the impacts of this crisis on NDIS participants and workforce, and call on the Government to take action.
A survey of disability workers found that many underlying problems in the sector was contributing to risk factors during the pandemic. At the end of April the Federal Government finally listened to ASU members and announced half a million more masks to go to the disability sector.
We still need a COVID-19 Care allowance for support workers in recognition of the higher risks and standards of care that must be taken when supporting someone with COVID-19. You can help show the government that you are essential by taking action here.
The Government has not supported our call to guarantee that no disability worker to go without pay because of COVID-19 (due to isolation, or client cancellation or illness). However the additional supports and funding they are giving NDIS services should be used by services to ensure workers continue to be employed and paid throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
At the start of April we held a special briefing for ASU members working in the NDIS. You can watch the live recording of the conference here.
Qantas Group Employees
Qantas’ announcement that they are outsourcing their entire groundhandling operations and cutting 2500 jobs is nothing short of devastating, and is further evidence that the Morrison Government has turned its back on aviation workers.
We send our support and solidarity to every single worker at Qantas today, as well as their families and communities.
This announcement comes on top of 6000 job losses at Qantas that have already been announced.
That means we are now losing at least 8500 highly skilled and experienced workers from Qantas, adding to a further 3000 from Virgin Australia. The aviation industry is being decimated by this pandemic, while the Government stands by and does nothing.
It is a shocking double standard that Alan Joyce has resumed receiving his multi-million dollar salary, but can’t find money to pay the workers who have built his wealth.
How can it be that Qantas has received half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ support through measures like the JobKeeper subsidies without the Government putting conditions on workers continuing to be directly employed?
The Federal Government has refused time and time again to put in place a comprehensive aviation industry support plan and extend JobKeeper to all aviation workers.
Sign the petition: https://aviationkeeper.com/.
By Your Side During COVID19
If you have questions on concerns about your health and safety at work, leave entitlements and job security, or any work related issue, don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9310 4000. You can also book a time for us to call you that is best for you.