Labor to fix Turnbull Government’s NDIA staffing mess

The CPSU has welcomed the Federal Opposition’s commitment to remove the Turnbull Government’s costly and illogical cap on staffing numbers in the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Shadow Minister for Human Services Linda Burney has today announced this if elected a Labor Government will remove the cap so the NDIA can make its own staffing decisions within its existing budget.

The Turnbull Government imposed an Average Staffing Levels cap on the NDIA, and on all Commonwealth agencies, setting an arbitrary limit on the number of staff who can be directly employed by the agency.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “Our members working in the NDIA are happy and relieved at this commitment from Labor to the scheme and the tens of thousands of Australians it exists to help. This common-sense policy change will significantly improve NDIA services for clients while ensuring decent, permanent work for the people who work to provide those services.”

“The arbitrary staffing cap imposed on the NDIA by the Turnbull Government benefits no-one, except the corporations who profit because the agency is blocked from directly hiring the staff it needs to provide disability services. NDIA funding is there for clients and the workers serving them, not to line the pockets of profit-hungry corporations.”

“Currently a large proportion of people working to deliver the NDIA aren’t employed by the agency but through dodgy and unfair labour hire contracts and other arrangements that mean they are paid less, have no job security and work under inferior employment conditions. For example multinational corporation Serco profits from running the NDIA call centre while dudding the people doing the actual work. These people need and deserve decent, permanent jobs.”

“The Turnbull Government should immediately follow Labor’s lead and adopt this policy. Last year the Productivity Commission recommended the staffing cap be scrapped and there’s also overwhelming support for this change from disability groups and the community at large. Anything less will show the Coalition cares about corporate profits not NDIA clients and workers.”

“The NDIA is best placed to make long-term decisions on how to make the best use of its budget, including the staffing it needs to deliver quality services. The Turnbull Government is currently standing in the way, putting its ideological agenda ahead of what’s best for Australians with disability.”