Disability workers send Drum message

BENDIGO’S disability workers are fighting for better pay and conditions.

About 30 people dressed in orange Health and Community Services Union T-shirts and waved union flags yesterday afternoon during a protest outside MP Damien Drum’s Barnard Street office.

The protest comes just weeks after a two-hour stop-work action on October 11.

HACSU Victorian organiser Stephen Norris said many disability workers stood to lose thousands of dollars a year due to proposed cuts to qualifications allowances and pay increments as part of an EBA campaign.

“We were here three or four weeks ago for the same thing,” he said.

“There’s been no changes, no progression. The state government’s still trying to take money out of members’ pockets by offering a low wage outcome of 2.5 per cent.

“And they still want to rip off current rights and conditions.”

Mr Norris described the cuts as “the most significant assault on conditions and services in disability for 15 years”.

“The general wage offer will take workers backwards across-the-board, and that’s for workers already recognised as amongst the most poorly paid in our workforce,” he said.

“On top of a woefully inadequate pay rate offer, there could literally be thousands of workers who lose many thousands of dollars due to removing allowances and other entitlements.” 

Mr Norris said disability workers were prepared to keep fighting for their cause.

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