EMPLOYEES of Tamworth Youth Care are fearful of
losing their jobs following the resignation of the
organisation’s management committee.
A volunteer board oversaw the management of both Tamworth Youth Care – which operates the city’s youth refuge – and the Coledale Community Centre, but employees said its resignation two weeks ago would see 14 staff members made redundant.
Services will be managed by another organisation until the Department of Family and Community Services puts out a tender – expected later this year – for a
permanent managing body.
Outgoing management committee president Paul Hobbs said an organisation had been approached to take over temporarily, but Community Services had not yet given approval.
“When another organisation takes over the services, we assume that for a while it will be business as usual and then we believe that organisation will be asking for expressions of interest from staff if they’re prepared to continue with their current job,” Mr Hobbs said.
But Tamworth Youth Care manager Peter Mudd said while that was the assumption, there was no certainty and no guarantees.
“Everything’s up in the air at the moment; it’s caused a lot of stress in the workplace,” early intervention prevention worker Jessica Toole said.
Mr Mudd said there was a lot of anxiety over how staff were going to pay their living expenses if they were
“We work with homeless people. We’ve worked with thousands of kids in the years I’ve been here, and I could be joining them,” Mr Mudd said.
It is understood eligible staff will be offered redundancies, but no details have come to light.
Mr Hobbs told The Leader the committee had approached the relevant union and peak employment body to get the best possible treatment for employees in terms of entitlements.
But Ms Toole said in addition to job security, staff were also worried Tamworth Youth Care’s programs, such as the early intervention and housing support for young mothers, could be in jeopardy with a new organisation taking on management.
Rapport with the young people they help and with other services would also be lost if staff left, Mr Mudd said.
In a statement, the Department of Family and Community Services said services would continue to operate and there would be an ongoing need for staff.
“Decisions around staffing is a matter for Tamworth Youth Care. Our priority is to explore the continuation of these services being run in
the Tamworth area,” it said.
According to Coledale Community Centre manager Sue Davis, the situation will pose no problem to the
community as far as the centre is concerned.
“There will be no disruption to any services,” Ms Davis said.
Mr Hobbs said the committee decided to call it a day because the members were all volunteers with other jobs and commitments, and the time had come that they “needed to move on”.
It had also become increasingly difficult to attract volunteers to such roles, he said.