Moves to outsource home care for the elderly and younger people with disabilities in Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong are being opposed by the Australian Services Union.
Both councils recently endorsed a tender process to sub-contract domestic assistance, personal care and in-home respite.
ASU organiser Luke Cherry said members were campaigning to keep council services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Program for over 65s and the Home and Community Care Program for Younger People.
“ASU members working at Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong city councils know the value their clients place in receiving continuity of care through people they know,” he said.
“They don’t want the kind of rotating door of carers they’ll get under a contracted-out arrangement.”
A Hobsons Bay council spokesperson said due to changes in state and federal government funding the council had an obligation to ratepayers to test the market.
“It is premature to report on or assume there will be any changes to our service yet as a result of the ongoing market process,” the spokesperson said.
“Our staff and clients have been made aware that we are having a good look and we will be working very closely with them right throughout the process, as we have so far.”
Maribyrnong’s community services director Clem Gillings said the council was only tendering out in-home support services, being personal care, respite care, and domestic assistance.
“Council will continue to support older citizens through the provision of a range of community-based support and engagement services such as meals on wheels, planned activity groups and community transport services,” she said.
“This decision was made as a result of the national aged care and disability reforms that make it difficult for local governments to continue as providers, and there is evidence that other providers may be better positioned to provide a comprehensive and quality service for our residents.”