Somewhere there is a definition of lunacy that runs along the lines of 'lunacy is when you do something the same way and expect a different result'
Today some of Australia's disability employment services will learn whether they will be allowed to continue to deliver their programs or whether they are to be replaced.
Outgoing providers will be smeared with the label, 'poor performers' and incoming services rewarded with tags of 'high performing'.
These attributes are handed out based up on a system known as 'Star Ratings' with scores from 1 (bad) to 5 (good*).
Seems fair enough - surely we want the highest performing providers to survive and thrive while the poorest disappear beneath the waves?
If only this system recognised true performance - it doesn't - and you are welcome to disagree if you can answer this question; if it's so flaming red hot, how come we are going to dump it?
What's not included are indicators of true quality like hours worked and wages earned - that's how I judge my job and I am fairly confident I'm not alone. It is only very recently that time in employment >52 weeks started to be included.
The dumping of perfectly good providers on a regular basis is demonstrably flawed as the number and quality of placements, even in this flawed model, continue to decline.
It's not the economy, it's the system that's to blame !
Disability Employment peak bodies are mute on this, seemingly afraid to rock the boat.
The victims are the great staff with decades of experience, the employers who haven't been told, won't be told that will just turn up at work one day (maybe) to meet a new face from the staff of the replacement organisation.
The workers with disabilities won't be told their provider is to be dumped the phone calls just won't be answered.
Choice and control?
Not here. The choices of people with a disability made when choosing a provider totally ignored, no consultation. The business owners and managers who decided to hire and developed a relationship with the service provider not involved in any stage of the process - no stakeholder consultation whatsoever.
Worst of all there will be no improvement in performance. The lost opportunity costs alone show the decision is poor. The impact upon outcomes albeit as an unintended consequence of the process mean that, at least in the present contract, no positive improvement can result.
This is NOT a good day.
*I should state that my own organisation is amongst the highest performers under the present system - average 4.4 'Stars' and all ESA contracts are 5 'Stars' - so this isn't sour grapes, I'm not whinging, we have delivered under the present system.
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