FAMILY and Community Services management will meet with nursing staff at the Stockton Centre on Tuesday after an industrial commission hearing yesterday with the nurses' union.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association had gone to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission over job losses in the plan to replace the Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra disability centres with group homes.
As the Newcastle Herald has reported, at least 476 permanent full-time employees - including 76 enrolled nurses and 50 assistants in nursing - have been identified by FACS as "not in scope" to transfer to the 69 group homes being built to house some 300 residents of the three disability centres.
But the union concern is as much for the people who are transferring to the group homes as it is for those who are not going across, because of a range of questions over resident care and job descriptions in the group homes, to be run by non-government organisations.
Union organiser Nola Scilinato said last night that FACS had agreed at the hearing to an extra three weeks for consultation but had insisted its staff selection process could not be stopped - a position the union did not accept.
Ms Scilinato said a union meeting would be held this afternoon at Kanangra.
She said the industrial commission had set down a report-back hearing for next Friday, Jun 21, at 9.30am.
With NSW parliament resuming next week, the Herald understands a delegation from the Hunter centres is planning to meet Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, Port Stephens MP Kate Washington and Lake Macquarie Independent Greg Piper.
The delegation is also hoping for an audience with new Disabilities Services Minister Gareth Ward.
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