Australian Services Union Branch Executive President Billy King has responded to the council's outsourcing announcement, calling the decision "disappointing".
"This decision will be a significant disruption to staff and aged care residents across the municipality," he said.
"Older people benefit from high-quality services delivered by direct employees of the council."
"When councils outsource in-home aged care services, older people and their families experience a fall in the quality and continuity of care."
"The Australian Services Union will be by our member's side through the transition to another provider."
"The ASU will make sure Horsham's dedicated in-home aged care staff are consulted through the transition and their best interests considered."
Read the council's reasoning, and background, for the changes below
Mayor Mark Radford says carers and clients will be protected, as it plans to transfer its aged care services to a different provider.
He said the process had been mooted since 2011, and it had to continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is in the court of the state and federal governments what happens next (with the transfer date) and when. Like a lot of things which have been delayed with COVID-19, the whole process could be held up, but the council has pretty much done what it said it would," he said.
Cr Radford said 34 staff would be directly affected by the change. He said clients could contact the council with any difficulties they experienced during and after the transfer.
"If there are issues with the new provider, the council has an active interest in how the whole process works and the accountability of the providers," he said.
"We have members in our own families that receive care from private organisations, and we would be confident the new provider will maintain those high standards set by our staff.
"Most of the staff are part-time workers and women. We will continue to work with the staff, the union representatives and the new providers. Some will stay in the industry, and others may move on."
A petition calling on the council not to relinquish its services gained 395 signatures earlier this year.
IT is likely elderly and disabled residents in Horsham Rural City will be receiving care from a different provider by December.
On Tuesday, Horsham Rural City Council confirmed councillors decided to withdraw from directly providing Home Support Services.
In a statement, it said the likely end date was December 2020.
"Council undertook an expression of interest process to find a suitable provider to deliver services including domestic assistance, respite care, personal care, meals on wheels and home maintenance," it said.
"Seven agencies expressed interest. A suitable provider has been determined and recommended to the Commonwealth and State governments."
The release said the governments would decide when to announce who the new provider was formally.
Mayor Mark Radford said in the statement existing services would not be reduced when transferred to the new provider.
"Council's existing staff will have the opportunity to apply for positions to work with the new provider," he said.
"The final date for the transfer of service provision will be a matter for the commonwealth and state governments following their 'due diligence and planning'.
"Council will assist clients during the transition process and will always be available to work with both the new provider and the members of our community who rely on this support."
The council expects the transition to a new provider to take up to three months from the government's decision on whether to accept its choice of provider. It expects to be notified on whether its choice has been approved in October.
The Mail-Times has contacted the Australian Services Union for comment.
More to come.
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