NDIA staffing is elephant in room

The union representing workers in the NDIA, CPSU, has cautiously welcomed yet another review of the NDIA, but pointed to a glaring omission.

CPSU Deputy Secretary, Beth Vincent-Pietsch, said, “We’re pleased to hear the minister state that they are listening, and will be consulting with people with disability and their families, the disability services sector, ministers and officials from Commonwealth and state governments and the NDIA as part of this review. We know people’s plans are taking too long. We also know why this happens.

“At the heart of problems in the NDIA is an artificial staffing cap which means there are not enough people to deliver for participants. We need more people working on these plans: It’s as simple as that. Our members are under pressure to churn through the large numbers of backlogged participants in response to complaints about wait times, but because we are understaffed this leads to cookie-cutter plans that don’t work. Participants then rightly ask to have their plans reviewed but due to the staffing cap there aren’t enough reviewers. By the time this gets sorted- if it gets sorted- the 12 months on a plan has expired and we are back to the beginning. Enough is enough.

“Everyone is doing their best but there is simply not enough people, and not enough resources, to do a very big job. All the reviews to date have come to the same conclusion, as have most State governments, the Productivity Commission, People with Disability Australia, the Benevolent Society and many others have said: get rid of the staffing cap.

“In today’s announcement a critical voice was left off who would be consulted- the workers in the NDIA. We know the everyday reality of what the NIDA looks like and how it can be fixed.

“Outsourcing our responsibilities isn’t it, and setting a staffing cap isn’t it either. The capacity to deliver on the great vision of the NDIS exists – just give the agency the people and the funding to do the job.”

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