Family and Community Services staff hold stop-work meeting

DEPARTMENT of Family and Community Services staff at Cessnock have also held a stop work meeting this afternoon, following colleagues at Edgeworth, including child protection caseworkers, who walked off the job for an hour this morning.

The staff are protesting against job vacancies they say are compromising their efforts.

About 35 staff at Edgeworth held an hour-long stop work meeting from 11.30am.

About 25 Cessnock staff have followed suit this afternoon, stopping work at 2pm for an hour.

A skeleton staff remained at both sites during the meetings to respond to emergencies.

Child protection caseworker vacancies in the Newcastle area were at about 25 per cent, Public Service Association assistant general Steve Turner said.

‘‘It’s not only the caseworker vacancies they’re worried about it’s admin vacancies because if there’s not an admin worker here the caseworker has to do a lot more administration and therefore can’t do their case work,’’ he said.

‘‘This government’s not attempting to fill those vacancies.’’

They were also concerned about the lack of supporting resources and a cumbersome computer system, he said.

It follows staff recently walking off the job at areas including Wollongong, Penrith, Lismore.

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