Dunedin rally today after Anglican organisation suspends 27 staff without pay ahead of Christmas

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27 staff working for Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin, Alexandra and Balclutha have been suspended without pay just ten days before Christmas.

The move will have significant impacts on AFC’s services, which include caregiver support, home visits by social workers, food bank and budgeting services that help some of Otago’s most vulnerable families. With only 3 more days of school many children receiving support from the social worker in school programme will not be visited by their social worker.

 

What: Silent rally by suspended Anglican Family Care staff

Where: Outside Anglican Family Care, 36 Bath Street, Dunedin

When: 12noon today, Monday 15 December

 

Richard Wagstaff, PSA national secretary, said “This is an extremely aggressive step to take, especially just before Christmas,”

 

“PSA members were taking low-level industrial action to ensure minimal impact on AFC’s vulnerable clients.

 

“Some of Otago’s most vulnerable families will be placed further at risk by AFC suspending over half of their staff without pay.

 

“Our members were taking action such as refusing to wash the company cars, and in retaliation they have been told without any prior discussion not to come in to work at all.

 

“10 days before Christmas there will be significant worries for our members and their families.

 

“We are making an urgent application for facilitated bargaining, as our members want to be back in discussion and back at work,” said Richard Wagstaff.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

The 27 staff, members of the Public Service Assocation (PSA), had recently attempted a mediation process with their employer in an attempt to get a new collective agreement. The PSA requested this to continue as good progress was being made, however AFC declined, saying they felt there was nothing more to discuss with their hard-working staff.