Earlier today, we were musing about the danger of society not taking care of its seniors. And we pointed out that the measure of a decent society is how it treats and cares for its children and its elderly. And, sure enough, workers in Kings Cross walked off the job today because of a threat by the state government to cripple the ability to help adolescent kids.
Here is what happened, per The Australian:
The Public Services Association (PSA) says the Department of Community Services is currently reviewing funding of the Kings Cross Adolescent Unit, which has been operating since 1986.
“We’ve got a government trying to clean up Kings Cross but they can’t give a guarantee that this unit, which does that work, will be kept open,” said PSA assistant-secretary Steve Turner.
The union and other Sydney-based caseworkers held an emergency meeting on Thursday after details emerged that case work levels were being reviewed across the state.
Staff from the Kings Cross Adolescent Unit then voted to stop for the rest of the day, after the government refused to guarantee the future of the unit.
Turner has more to say in his own comments distributed publicly:
The Kings Cross Adolescent Unit is on the frontline of locating and removing children and young people from some of the most dangerous streets in Sydney. These dedicated, hard-working professionals divert at risk youth away from living on the streets, helping them access support services and get their lives back on track.
For more than 25 years, the team has reached out to tens of thousands of street kids and built a strong presence and invaluable relationships in the community.
The closure of the Kings Cross Adolescent Unit would be a sign that the Government has given up on the serious issue of youth at risk or involved in drugs or prostitution at the Cross.
If the government doesn’t want to stand up for kids, looks like it’s left to the PSA to take it on. Good on the union.