Productivity Commission Report is bad news

The NDIS is in the news today, for all the wrong reasons.

Earlier this year the Federal Government asked the Productivity Commission to review the NDIS. Today the Commission handed down its Report and it is bad news for NDIS workers and participants.

Our sector is growing really quickly with the Report finding that 20 percent of all new jobs in Australia will be NDIS jobs. ASU members across the NDIS have said all along that well paid, stable and secure permanent jobs is the answer to meeting the needs of the sector.

Alarmingly the Report recommends the opposite. It says the NDIS workforce should dramatically increase the number of casual workers.

The Report is also critical of the recent improvements to casual workers’ rights to become permanent.  The Report says the NDIS “relies on a significant increase in casual employees who would work fairly consistent and predictable hours. If these workers took up the option to convert to permanency, then this could reduce the flexibility of employers to respond to demand”.  

This rings alarm bells and sounds like workers should work permanent hours without the benefits and security of a permanent job. Already many employers treat workers like casuals. Rosters are all too often written without any consultation. This could make things even worse.

What’s does this mean?

The Federal Government will now consider the Report and its recommendations. The Government can decide to listen to the bean counters who want to rip off workers and reduce their rights, driving down the skill level and quality of the workforce OR the Government can listen to workers on the frontline and prioritise NDIS participants through valuing and supporting the workforce.

The Government needs to make the right decision.

The NDIS will only be the best it can be when:

  • Secure permanent jobs at the centre of service delivery
  • NDIS prices that provide decent wages and conditions
  • More funding for training so workers can develop long-term careers in the NDIS

What you need to do:

  1. Join the ASU campaign to make the NDIS the best it can be – an NDIS where workers are properly valued and have secure permanent jobs. Sign up here.
  2. Organise a workplace meeting to talk about the campaign with your colleagues and how they can get involved. We need everyone to get involved and push back against this attack on good jobs in our sector. Register your support to hear about the campaign and how you can get involved.

The rules are clearly broken when the answer to increasing the sector is doing it by ripping off workers and casualising the workforce! We need to build a strong union together to resist these changes and campaign for a better NDIS.