Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Update on my work situation.

My interview with J. (SCC staff manager) turned out to be much as I thought it would. As I am employed on a casual basis, I am at the bottom of the pile when it comes to allocating clients from what is left in this area after the Council clients are taken out of the system. The employees who are permanent part time will be given first preference by the roster clerks. This is not unexpected; probably about 60% of the carers are on casual rates because the pay is so much higher, and we are happy to go with unpaid sick leave and unpaid annual leave. So I'm not alone in that I won't be allocated any work for a while if I choose to stay with Southern Cross.

J. was very apologetic about that, but I assured him I had no problem with it, as SCC have always been very honest with the carers about who gets the new jobs first. He said he is encouraging the carers to stay 'on the books' with SCC, as more clients are always coming into the system, and eventually we would all make up our guaranteed hours again, although the jobs probably would not be as close to home. But as SCC pay a travel allowance, driving between clients is not such a big issue.

Today, I spent some time with Lindsay - a new blogging friend who Val introduced to me a few weeks ago. He lives only a couple of streets away, and has recently retired from a very active business career in which he had a lot to do with workplace industrial relations, so he was willing to share his expertise with me. I showed him a letter I had drafted to go to our local paper, and he thought it was good, so I emailed it to the paper later on. He made several phone calls to Southern Cross management, Nillumbik Council offices, local councillors, members of Parliament, etc. and generally made an impact with them! The MPs' staffers were very interested indeed, as Industrial Relations law is a hot topic in Australia at the moment, so my letter could have far reaching effects!

It appears our Council is in chaos since the news about the change in service providers was released. Clients and their families, carers and other concerned residents are writing, emailing and phoning the Council to denounce them. Council are apparently meeting the new Provider on Friday to see if they can sort something out. Whether this means they will agree to meet the carers' existing employment terms and conditions is debatable. I doubt it somehow, but Lindsay informs me that what the Council have done is highly unethical and possibly illegal, in that it has downgraded our wages etc. if we move to their employ, even though we would be doing exactly the same work.

I just want to be able to look after my existing clients. They are distraught at the thought of losing me as their carer, and I am quite depressed about the whole situation at the moment.


Blogger Miss Eagle said...

I think I might just about be on deck after a dreadful three weeks with the flu. In the process of getting my life organised. I am so glad the sun is out this week. That is the biggest help to my psyche - too many gloomy or rainy days and I have S.A.D.

I am so sorry to hear about the drama with the job. I agree about the elderly people themselves not being able to have a say. There needs to be an advocacy organisation for them to give them a bit of clout but unless they have the energy or some sort of mechanism by which they can express their views such an organisation could not succeed.

Countervailing power it's called. There are really only three sorts of power in the world: guns/military; money/corporate; numbers/organization. So, if you're not into violence and have no money to speak of, the only way to be taken seriously is to have the numbers. That's why Aussie pollies are taking the "Christian vote" seriously these days. I really think the aged and the ageing and their families and carers ought to organise themselves. With our ageing population becoming a numerically significant part of our population and then, adding to that all, those who are interested in them - like their families - there is the possibility of having a bit of clout if only they could be brought together in some way. Organisations like the council will always go for price. And there is a race to the bottom pricewise. It has been going on like this for nearly twenty years. Anyway can talk a lot about this from various perspectives and experience gained in previous careers and I could tell you about what could happen in the future. In my view, after the Aboriginal situation, aged care is the biggest issue facing our communities, states and nation. Yet, in many ways, it appears to be a sleeper issue - but for how long? I am hoping that as I continue to recover my health and get my life organised there can be a bit of a getting together. Probably the yum cha which I am yet to investigate further.

Friday, 07 September, 2007  
Blogger miss*R said...

I wish I had some wise words, but I don't... I am here if you need to vent.
I am thinking I will have to get down there in the chrissie holidays to be with you and Lee-ann for some holiday cheer, seems we both need abit. Can we wait that long?

Friday, 07 September, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Oh dear! Keep me posted dearest. I rather suspect you (or Council?) has opened a can of worms (well,poisonous snakes perhaps) that can't be closed. Could be an interesting outscome if the local member is interested!
Maybe it's high time that we of a certain age, (careers, people and their families) organised a peaceful march over this issue of pretending that we are not an ageing nation> I will march with you! I think Ineed something to get wound up about at the moment - apart from ne!

Saturday, 08 September, 2007  
Blogger Val said...

Wow, it would be great if this really kicked off by kicking up a stink amongst the powers that be. I'm glad Lindsay has been able to give valuable input, and that I played a minor part in introducing you two.

Saturday, 08 September, 2007  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Thank you dear friends one and all, for your moral support. I'll be in touch with each of you individually soon.

Sunday, 09 September, 2007  

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