Sandhurst staff call for certainty

ONE YEAR: Sandhurst Centre campaign. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

ONE YEAR: Sandhurst Centre campaign. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

RELATED: Boom time for disability sector, says Damian Drum

"HEY Damian, give us the drum. What's the future for Sandhurst?"

That was the chant from Sandhurst Centre workers during a rally outside Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum's Bendigo office on Thursday.

RALLY: Sandhurst staff call for Damian Drum's support.

RALLY: Sandhurst staff call for Damian Drum's support.

ONE YEAR: Sandhurst Centre campaign. Pictures: JIM ALDERSY

ONE YEAR: Sandhurst Centre campaign. Pictures: JIM ALDERSY

HACSU union members posed for photos with a cake and presents, with the rally signifying 365 days since the state government announced the disability institution would close.

"We're here to send a message to Damian Drum, given that he's a minister in the Napthine government, that they've still not provided staff with any certainty about their jobs," HACSU state secretary Lloyd Williams said.

"Part of the announcement about the closure of Sandhurst was they intend to contract out the services from government service delivery to an external service provider.

"We don't know who the external service provider will be.

"But what we do know is the difference between the wages and conditions of the people who are employed at Sandhurst and have superior qualifications to those that work in other sectors, is up to about 30 per cent.

"So the great concern for those staff here is their future job security, their employment conditions and their wages - not just on transfer, but into the future."

Mr Williams said staff had attended information forums in good faith but had been given no answers.

"The government needs to answer one simple question: will staff transferring to contracted-out services be guaranteed retention of their current and future wages, conditions and job security?" he said. 

“Damian Drum is a cabinet minister in the Napthine government.

"We want him to lobby his colleagues on behalf of his constituents and end the uncertainty."

Mr Drum said the Sandhurst Centre's clients' needs were being put first.

"We are improving the quality of life of the client, first and foremost and above and beyond everything else," he said.

"It is staggering that the union are somehow or other trying to sabotage this move as being something other than the progressive action that it is."

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