Access PSA members Newsletter

A newsletter sent to Access members in Dunedin on 10 September, 2018


On Wednesday the 5 September we held our first Delegate Coordinator Meeting with Access Community Health for 2018 in the PSA Office in Dunedin.

Delegate Coordinator Meetings are designed to be meetings between PSA Delegates and Management that allow for free-flowing exchanges of information, ideas, and suggestions on a local range of subjects pertaining to the workplace and industry.

Your PSA Delegates that represented Members were, Deborah Hendry of Dunedin, Serayna Lee Harris and Jo Blakey of Oamaru, Scott Taylor (Organiser) and for Access the Southern Regional Manager, Colleen Coop.

Delegates were overwhelmed by the amount of correspondence coming into them from Members and received a great deal of feedback which we gathered and listed the priorities into an agenda.

Agenda items from PSA were:

  • Communication and attitude
  • Guaranteed Hours
  • Client Care when Support Worker is away on Leave
  • PSA Inductions

Agenda Item from Access were:

  • The Removal of Manual Timesheets

The Removal of Manual Paper Timesheets:

Access intend on removing the manual paper timesheets by 30 September 2018.

There are mixed feelings from Members regarding this change but in essence, Support Workers - SW will need to purchase a smart phone if they don’t already have one to complete their timesheets.

This is already happening in other parts of the Country and early feedback has indicated that it is a real dogs breakfast!

PSA Position is SWs cannot be required to use their personal phones for work, so if you choose not to then Access must provide and an alternate method like ezi tracker or something else. These are the mechanisms in which SWs get paid so must be provided for by Access. If this is a problem please inform your local delegate so we can deal with it individually with Access.

Communication and Attitude:

We raised concerns around poor communication and attitude by “some” Staff in the Access Office and from National Call Centre.

Delegates provided specific examples where Members raised a question to someone in the Office about pay or a client care plan and the person in the Office were rude or unhelpful.

Other examples included Access contacting the SW on their annual leave and pressuring them to work or when SW send an email enquiry they do not get a response or an answer.

PSA will not tolerate poor behaviour from Office Staff and we highlighted the need for greater communication and responsiveness as is fundamental to operations and client outcome. We urge any Member that encounters and incidents to make some notes and report it to us via your delegates so we can prosecute the matter with Access.

Guaranteed Hours:

There was agreement that we needed some clarity around this – on the amount of hours and work patterns. We outlined that we have examples of extreme underpayments to Members which is totally unacceptable.

Access are committed to work with PSA Members on this to right the wrong. We ask all Members to request their GH contract and payslips and to check if they are correct. If you do discover a problem please bring it to your Organiser Scott Taylors attention immediately so we can raise it with Access to remedy.

We have fixed up many of our Members underpayments nation-wide so we encourage you all to check.

Client Care when Support Worker is away on Leave:

Access agreed that this was an area that needed serious improvement not just so Clients receive quality care and acceptable service delivery but also necessary for the reputation of Access. Crucial factors for reducing missed cares were, improving contact and communication about changes to rosters. Clients needed to be told when a SW will be away on leave and who their replacement carer will be. SWs take pride in their work and the outcome of the Client and care coordination is important to us and missed cares because of oversight is not good enough and we will be calling them out on it.

PSA Inductions:

PSA will now be advised when there are induction and training days are for new employees and Delegates will be allowed an opportunity to meet new staff and advise them of the Collective Agreement and the Join Pack.

Next Steps…

Your Enterprise Agreement has already expired, 31 May 2018 and we will begin our Claims Meetings soon so if you know anyone that is not a Member then please ask them to join at so they can have their say!

Welcome to the new Members that have recently jumped on, you have made your workplace and Union much Stronger!

Finally for Members or allies of our Union if you are on face book then like our “Southern Region Access page” and you can add me as the PSA Dunedin Organiser – Scott Taylor.

This is an initiative from your Delegates and is great as it is a closed forum for Members to engage, ask questions and follow my movements as your Organiser.

Members Walk tall and feel proud of our work and feel proud that we control our own destinies!